I know it will come as no surprise to you, but I have been ill for a few days. Some stomache bug or something - all that matters to my story is that I have been eating maybe a half-meal a day because of stomache ouchieness. This sets the scene for my story.
I couldn't get up this morning, so I do what I always do in these situations: I made an event of it. I washed my hair (and let me tell you, gentle reader, when you have hair as long as I do any such grooming session is an event), took great care with my make-up, dressed in flattering clothes, even topped off the whole look with a just-barely-doomy choaker. I was set, I was stepping out...
...I was completely at a loss to where my backpack was.
I tore through the housed, looking under, over and in every conceivable spot where my backpack could be, but to no avail. I called bishi_wannabe, but he had not seen it. In the end, I was left with two possibilities - I had either left it at work (not likely, seeing as how I distinctly remembered packing it up before I left to mope on the couch in pain from my belly), or the crazy hoodlums who stole the very same backpack months ago broke into my house to not steal any of the highly valuable stuff we have, like gaming consoles, but to get my backpack.
Which option do you think I believed?
Much to my relief (and surprise), my backpack was sitting on my desk when I got into work. No harm done. So I set about getting ready for my major experiment of the day - feeding mice bacteria. I have to collect bacteria from my chemostat for about an hour, then spin the cells out in a centrifuge, before removing the supernatant and resuspending the cells in a vicsous buffer. Not hard, by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to sit with my nose virtually inside the container of bacteria as I do this.
My bacteria smell a whole lot like sweetened sewage.
Speaking of smell, everybody in the department noticed that my lab smelt a whole lot like a cross between parmesan cheese and vomit. Being the clever girl I am, I recognised the smell and where it was coming from - Fusobacterium nucleatum, from one of the other chemostats, which was being grown in combination with Porphyromonas gingivalis We all laughed about the reek, and then they left me to my work.
A word about these bacteria before I continue - Fusobacterium nucleatum is associated with halitosis (bad breath), and Porphyromonas gingivalis with periodontitis (a gum disease that causes the loss of teeth from the bone in the jaw being dissolved away). They ain't nice bugs.
Any way, I get my cells ready and head down to the animal house. Because nothing says I love you like having mice pee and crap all over your (gloved) hands. Then lunch! I managed to nibble on a handfull of crackers, and regretted it a few hours later when my belly ache returned.
I did some other work, which was largely uneventful. However, I was also roped into changing the chemostat media for a girl who was away sick - the media for the Death Mix Chemostat (TM) of Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis.
Like a fool, I agree.
Thinking myself clever, I discover the cause of the rank vomit-cheese smell that we had all been exposed to throughout the day; the waste outlet tubing on the Death Mix Chemostat had somehow come unhooked, and rather than draining into the waste container it had been pooling in the bottom of a bucket the waste container sat it. Increased surface area means increased stink.
Heh heh heh, I thought. What a mighty scientist I am! What a huge science brain I have to have worked out the solution to the problem. I re-hooked up the waste tube, and went about changing the media of the chemostat with one of my supervisors.
A few minutes later, there came the ominous and eventful pop.
The waste tubing had a blockage, you see - at some point of time, probably last night, the blockage caused a pressure build-up which popped the waste tubing off in one section. The section of tubing which I reconnected.
Cheesey-vomit smelling bacterial culture waste, the colour and viscosity of liquid poo, when flying. It splattered across my face and hair, it splattered down my supervisor's back.
It was like the spooge of filth itself.
I was not impressed.
I had some choice things to say.
After we fixed the problem, I stormed off home, threw my clothes straight into the washing machine, and had a "Crying Game" few minutes in the shower, trying to get the smell of culture waste off my skin and hair.
Sometimes, I hate being a scientist.
I knew I should have stayed in bed today.