Wednesday, May 16, 2007

They're coming to take me away-ha-ha!

They're coming to take me away-ho-ho!

He-he Ha-Ha He-He Ho-ho--to the funny farm!

Where life is hysterical all day long!

Yesterday, I had one of those days. Those days where, in everything you planned to do something is so seriously screwed up that you realize that astrology cannot possibly work because if it did, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn would have to be aligned and Jupiter had reached critical mass and became a star a la 2001 in order for so many things to have gone wrong at once. It's nothing tragic, nothing really all that horrible, just little bits of my labwork failing in the most absurd and completely unforseen ways. Ways in which you think, Yes, there is a God and he really doesn't want me to study transitional ER sites in Pichia pastoris. To use a knitting analogy, let's say you are working on a plain stockinette sweater in a lovely cream alpaca and you've been knitting on it for awhile and everything is fine and then one day, you pull it out of your bag and there's a bizzaro cable in red acrylic about halfway down the sweater and you think, how the hell did that happen? Was I smoking crack last night when I was working on this? There's not even any red acrylic in my stash! And I don't know how to do cables. And there's no way to fix it but to rip it all out and remove the offending red cabled portion and go back to knitting your lovely cream alpaca sweater. And you become convinced that there are little gnomes who come out at night and mess with your stuff. Or wonder if you can get an exorcism done.*

I am becoming more and more convinced that there are indeed gnomes who live in the walls of our lab who come out in the wee small hours of the morning (the only time when there is nobody in the lab, you'd be surprised at how late people are here at night) and spit into my reagents and mess around with my experiments and change the labels on my tubes. I'm not sure how to counter this considering I already have an evil eye hanging over my desk (a friend brought it back from Turkey for me; my desk is attached to my bench) and an Infant Jesus of Prague mini statue on my bench (one day, it showed up in the mail [at home, not in the lab] with a request for money; I get a lot of Catholic junk mail, especially since I do make contributions to a convent in Indiana)**. Perhaps I should purchase some good old fashioned gargoyles.... Suggestions, anyone?

*We have a post-doc from Greece and apparently it is relatively common to get a priest to come and bless your home or whatever, especially if you have a run of bad luck. I suspect though, that if I went to the campus priest and asked him to do an exorcism of our lab, he would be very amused. And then say no. Maybe I could just steal some holy water, put it in a spray bottle, then spray down my bench....

**Molecular biologists are very superstitious--you wouldn't believe how many good luck charms there are in our lab. We have this little finger puppet called the PCR monster that sits on our PCR machine when we are having a problem with the PCR reaction working. You cannot actually use the PCR monster the first time you do a reaction because that is abusing the PCR monster. The PCR monster can only be used when you have already tried the experiment and it failed and you are trying it again. Someone else in the lab has a buffalo figurine/toy called Al that she uses for all sorts of things. Somedays you come in an Al is sitting on top of an incubator or in her ice bucket or on top of the PCR machine. Al is a very well-traveled buffalo. I wonder if I should get a buffalo for my bench. Do you think the gnomes would be scared away by a buffalo?

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps a little buffalo you knit out of buffalo yarn? Gotta be some voodoo in that.

    I'm sorry your molecules aren't behaving!