Thursday, April 07, 2005

If I'm Lucky My Kids will only be Circus Freaks

Today is lab clean-up. This entails taking all of the noxious chemicals sitting in the back of my hood (A big box with a fan on the top so I don’t have to breathe in toxic fumes) and either putting them into waste containers or placing them into someone else’s area so they have to deal with them. The latter is my method of choice for dealing with things such as metallic mercury and hydrogen chloride lecture bottles. It is also a prime opportunity to expose oneself to some really mutagenic, carcinogenic chemicals. Over the past 5 years I have spilled benzene on my pants, absorbed countless liters of methylene chloride through latex gloves, inhaled just about every volatile mutagen known to mankind, and virtually bathed in pyridine. This does not bode well for my genetic makeup.

After spending this much time around teratogens my chromosomes most likely resemble rotten spaghetti while my Cerebus-like 6-headed sperm would be lucky to make it to an egg with the help of a motorized wheelchair. Of course, if by some miracle one of my crippled sperm should reach a female ovum it will surely result in some abomination of genetic abnormality. At this point I can only hope that my child’s deformity will only be superficially disgusting so that I can launch him/her/it into a lucrative career as a sideshow performer. Graduate school has a way of lowering one’s expectations. A few years ago I might have hoped for a son who would become a football star or maybe a daughter who would turn out to be a radiologist but now I am just hoping that the hours at the bat-boy tent aren’t too long.


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