Drowning Worms

Regarding Cecil’s Column on drowning worms…

This reminds me of an old joke my grandfather (a prohibition-era moonshine smuggler) loved to tell:

One Baptist preacher would often sermonize to his parishoners on the evils of alcohol. One Sunday, he had two glasses on his pulpit. He lectured an entire hour before he finally addressed their contents. "Here I have one glass which contains water. The other glass contains corn liquor. And I will show you the evilness of moonshine, and how it is harmful not only to your body, but your spirit.

“In the first glass, I shall place a lowly earthworm, one of God’s most fragile creatures. And in the other, I also place an earthworm. Which do you think will live, and which shall die? Which glass contains the fluid of life, and which contains poison?” And he fishes the worms out of their respective glasses.

“And Lo,” holding up the first worm, he says, “see how this worm still lives, even after you or I would drown, thus submerged?” And then, holding up the second worm, “But alas, this second worm has been slain by the poison of moonshine, even though the first had lived. And now that you have seen this demonstration, what lesson are you going to carry home with you today?” Asked the preacher of his parish.

One hand goes up in the back of the church, “Yes, my son? What have you learned here today?”

And the man in the back says “When you have a case o’ the worms, you should drink moonshine!”

Each earthworm has male and female glands. They are an inch or less apart on the worm, but the earthworm cannot fertilize itself. They meet, above ground, in a worm bar, and align, head toward tail in the parking lot. They form a mucus (mucous?) sleeve around that smooth section. There’s an exchange of sperm and eggs, then they trade phone numbers, and scurry off, leaving the fertilized eggs in the mucus sleeve.