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The Gossip

Four men of the cloth, taking a short breather from their heavy schedules, were on a park bench, chatting and enjoying an early spring day. “You know, since all of us are such good friends,” said one, “this might be a good time to discuss the problems that are disturbing us.” They all nodded in agreement. “Well, I would like to share with you the fact that I drink to excess,” said one. There was a gasp from the other three. Then another spoke up. “Since you were so honest, I’d like to say that my big problem is gambling. It’s terrible, I know, but I can’t quit. I’ve even been tempted to take money from the collection plate.” Another gasp was heard, and the third clergyman spoke. “I’m really troubled, brothers, because I’m growing fond of a woman in my church—a married woman.” More gasps. But the fourth man remained silent.

After a few minutes the others coaxed him to open up. “The fact is,” he said, “I just don’t know how to tell you about my problem.”

“It’s all right, brother. Your secret is safe with us.”

“Well, it’s this way,” he said. “You see, I’m an incurable gossip.”

Arlene Quant, quoted by Alex Thien in Milwaukee Sentinel

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