Friday, July 01, 2005

You want us to do what?!

Part of the main lesson in Microbiology class was that bacteria is everywhere. After lectures, we had labs. Most of it involved culturing various bacteria, identifying samples, and laboratory techniques. You're supposed to read the description of the lab the night before so that you can get a good idea as to what to expect the next day.

One of our more memorable labs was saved for the last day. We got several sterile cotton swabs and were allowed to pick any surface to swipe and see what grows. Of course some of the more disgusting surfaces contained lots of bacteria like toilets. But, you'd be surprised just how many different types of bacteria inhabit surfaces like water fountains. However, that wasn't the end of it.

We were given one last sterile swab. Dr. Friesen instructed, "Go into a bathroom stall and get a sample inside your rectum." Everyone in class had the same expression on their face. You can imagine.

We all lined up in the bathrooms waiting for each of 3 the stalls to clear up and take our "turn". One of the guys in my class named Chris walked into the stall, locked it, and started laughing. Then he says, "Okay boys, here goes!" Just then, you could hear this little yelp come from his stall. Then, you hear, "Hey! What do you do if you clenched too tightly and all of the cotton comes off?!" We all started laughing. "I'm serious! What do I do?"

After we were able to catch our breaths from laughing so hard, we told him that he probably has bacterial samples on the stem of the swab. So, he wouldn't have to do it again.

As hilarious as this incident was, there was an important lesson to learn. Read ahead and call in sick when labs like this are assigned.