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by Michael A. Kechula

Though I'd injected 783 different liquid compounds into the moldy clump of mashed potatoes in a Petrie dish, it refused to transform into a brontosaurus embryo.

“You dirty sonovabitch! I’ve given you $35,735 worth of the purest compounds in existence. Why don’t you respond?”

Something my sainted mother used to say popped into my mind, “Spaghetti is the staff of life. When all fails, try spaghetti.”

Racing to the kitchen, I grabbed three strands from yesterday’s dinner and pressed them into the moldy potatoes. I left one strand trailing outside like a fuse. Lighting it with the Bunsen burner, I ran for cover and hid under my bombproof desk.

Nothing happened. Dammit! Maybe Mom had been speaking cryptically. Had she meant something deeply metaphysical?

Then I realized spaghetti included marinara sauce which had near-magical properties.

“Sauce is the lifeblood of spaghetti,” I mumbled. “That’s why it’s red. Lifeblood…lifeblood…lifeblood.”

Using a syringe, I drew 100cc of marinara, slammed the syringe into the mashed potatoes, and pressed the plunger. Suddenly, the clump emitted a sigh like a contented lover. Eureka!

I couldn’t sleep for three days. Not after making the most amazing discovery in the universe. Miraculously, the moldy potatoes had transmogrified into lasagna.

When I injected more sauce into the lasagna, it sighed again. Then it emitted something that sounded like a greeting in Italian.

I pressed my stethoscope against the lasagna’s top layer. My lord! A regular heartbeat! I’d just created the world’s first living lasagna!

Before collapsing from exhaustion, I put the Petrie dish and it’s precious contents into the freezer to retard further transformations.

Eighteen hours later, I woke refreshed. As my mind cleared, I remembered I’d created one of the wonders of the world. Yanking open the freezer door to gaze upon my fabulous creation, I found it covered with thick frost. Worse, I couldn’t find a heartbeat.

Chiseling an opening through the frost and noodle topping, I gave the lasagna mouth-to-mouth. No response. Placing it on the lab table, I pressed paddles against the lasagna and yelled, “Clear!” Though a million volts surged through my creation, it didn't stir.

Racing to the kitchen, I grabbed the saucepot and dumped the contents over the lasagna. In seconds, it sighed and said something in Italian.

The lasagna didn’t transform into a brontosaurus embryo, as I’d calculated. Instead, it sprouted long strands of black hair on one end. Then feet and shapely legs on the other. This was followed by buttocks and abdomen. Before long, it turned into a magnificent woman.

Unfortunately, she was only large enough to fit in the Petrie dish.

Instead of being glad she was alive, she started bitching in Italian about her minuscule stature. She never stopped nagging.

To shut her up, I put her in the freezer. By the time I removed her, she was forever silenced.

Next time I conduct this experiment, I’ll use half a ton of moldy mashed potatoes, and a hundred gallons of marinara.