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an inverted pokernight

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 20:38:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: grace
To: poker-night
Subject: an inverted pokernight

to the left of my labbench, there’s a sign that says threateningly “Some
people take their work home with them every night.” picture’s of a
whitecoat scientist leaving behind glowing footsteps.

given the signs around our cafeteria – “no lab coats allowed in lunch
room” – i laughed and ignored it. worst case, all i could bring home was
a little escherichia coli (now with FMRPD1 production capabilities!) or
pichia pastoris (now with extra ORAI1 or ORAI3!). nothing that exotic,
you know?

but then a few days ago, i realized that my room smelled a little oddly
of… of fresh bread. (huh?) more pleasant than stale cigarette smoke,
to be sure, but puzzling. had matt punted his robot-wrangling
responsibilities and become a baker? but no.

yeast. it occurred to me that must have tracked some home – probably a
little medium dripped on the floor, and the rest followed as one might
expect. well, that sorta sucks, but all things considered, my room
suffering from an infestation that yields the scent of fresh bread ain’t
half bad.

well, so i thought at least. it was several days later that i noticed the
floating pen. it was drifting, slowly. drifting upward. i reached up
and grabbed it, noticed that there seemed to be some white crap on one
end. sniffed it: fresh bread.

my yeast was making things float?

but by the time i was on my bike headed to lab, i was convinced i’d
imagined it. and i came home, saw nothing, went to bed. woke up to a
crowded airspace. more pens, socks, books, all drifting upwards, and a
good many had already reached the ceiling. things had obviously gone too
far. could i contain it?

i’ll spare you the details of my attempts to seal off my room, to
suffocate the yeast in a pure CO2 atmosphere, etc. suffice it to say that
despite my desperate measures, the rest of the household began to drift
upwards over the next days and weeks. i took to showering two or three
times a day, trying to prevent the yeast from getting me.

in the news a week or two later, reporters interviewed a neighbor. more
specifically, they interviewed a distraught mother who claimed her
10-month-old child had drifted upwards into the sky. though dismissed as
hysteria, similar reports soon trickled in from other somerville houses.
then cambgridge and medford. it kept spreading. _keeps_ spreading.

i’m sorry to say that i slept too long last night, and awoke to find
myself drifing gently upwards. i’m afraid to leave the house, for fear of
drifting off into the sky, so i’ve been hovering around the dangerhaus
ceilings all day. happily, i found my laptop among the loose things
congregated on the library ceiling. we may all be bobbing around the
ceilings in the grip of a strange yeast-borne levitation plague, but hey,
it’s a thursday night, which means i’m inviting you to….

pokernight!
XX xxxxxxxxx xx.
somerville, MA, 02144, etc.
first hand at 9!

and bring some good beer, eh? we can’t quite reach the beer fridges from
up here!

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