O’Leary’s research


A senior pupil is seated in the anti-room to the headmasters office. Mrs. Trip returning from the headmasters office sees young O’Leary and greets him.

“Good morning Timothy”.

“Good morning Mrs.Trip and how are you this fine morning,well I hope?”

‘Yes, thank you. Headmaster is expecting you. He is having morning tea so I expect he will be with you shortly.”

“Oh good, I’m sure he’ll enjoy his morning tea.”

A short time later Headmaster calls young O’Leary into his Office.

“Well O’Leary you have been escorted back to school by the local constabulary. They say they found you on your hands and knees on the 5th fairway of the local golf course, of which, I may add, I am a member. And this was during school hours. Can you please explain yourself.”

“Well sir, I was carrying out some ground work.”

“Ground work O’Leary….?”

“Aye sir, for my biology project.”

“Who takes you for biology?”

“Dr.Transplant, oh I mean Mr.Hart, sir.”

“Ah old Transplant,eh. And what exactly is the nature of this project, lad?”

“That’s right, sir.”

“What’s right, O’Leary?”

“Nature, sir”

“Be more specific boy, expound, expound.”

“Well sir, I chose fungi as the topic for the project and this being the time of year for fungi I have been doing field work. This, of course, being the explanation for my presence on the golf course, a well known location for ground mushrooms.”


“Well sir, I have been collecting samples.”

“Is this research fungi in general O’Leary, or edible fungi, poisonous fungi, bracket fungi?”

“Yes sir, though I have been concentrating my study on a particular genus which, incidentally, has a bearing on my sociology studies.”

“Fascinating O’Leary. And on which genus have you focused your combined study?”

“Psylocybin sir, aka the ‘magic mushroom’ which is known to have hallucinogenic properties, sir. A dose of one hundred can induce a state of euphoria, a mystical experience.”

“And you have been collecting these things, O’Leary?”

“Yes sir.”

“How many have you collected?”

“Over the last week about one hundred thousand, sir.”

“My God, lad. Have you eaten any?”

“No sir, not me sir.”

“Thank God for that, lad. What exactly have you done with them?”

“Well sir, that’s exactly where the sociology and biology projects merge.”

“Where exactly, O’Really, you’re not making myself very clear, am I?”

“I chose a closed community of nine hundred and fifty to conduct my experiment…”

“Jesus O’Leary, that’s the entire population of this school!”

“Exactly sir, well minus one. Enjoying your tea, sir?”