Daisy Bateman

On the Inspirational Properties of Travel

I’m back!* Yes, having survived my sojourn to the wilds of the Northeast, during which I had to contend with my inadequacies at a) candlepin bowling, b) pool and c) explaining what it is I do for a living without giving away the fact that I don’t entirely understand it myself, I have returned home and to my true calling of writing severely run-on sentences for the internet. And despite what I just said, the trip was actually pretty good, though more so in the parts where Cameron and I were visiting Mary and Sean’s lovely place in Cambridge, and less so when I struck off on my own for the work conference at the site in not-exactly-as-lovely Worcester. But, hey nothing wrong with meals you can expense.

There were plenty of interesting and informative presentations at the conference, some of which I even stayed awake for, but by far the best thing I learned there is that our company’s laboratory site in that city** was built on the grounds of an old insane asylum. My boss, who was sitting next to me at the table at dinner when we learned this (and is aware of my not-exactly-literary ambitions) immediately declared that I should write a book about that, and I think he may be on to something. I mean, just think of the possibilities!

It starts slowly; a mysterious image in the UV picture of an agarose gel, a pool of blood on the floor that everyone blames on the guy doing the whole-blood work, even though he swears he didn’t do it. Then all the mice in the animal facility start murdering each other, and someone discovers that the cold room has been maintaining its temperature despite the fact that the compressor has been broken for several months, and whenever anyone tries to generate a protein sequence all they can get, no matter what the real sequence, is a long series of repeats of “aspartic acid-isoleucine-glutamic acid.”*** Then someone stays to work late, and the next morning his body is found in the autoclave, and pretty soon all kinds of science-type Hell is breaking loose. 

I think it could be a hit.

*Since Wednesday night. But I think it’s petty to dwell on details like that, don’t you?
**I’m avoiding mentioning my employer by name here on the off chance that someone there has figured out how to use google alerts, and puts me on some kind of watchlist.
***For assistance in understanding this joke, please see this page.

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