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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: One Week in Dr. Lipinsky's Laboratory
By Jan Ackerson
03/10/08


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Day One

I awoke this morning at 3:00 with the realization that I’ve been conducting my experiment entirely in error; I need to oscillate the neutronic polarizers. Immediately, I called my lab assistant, Miss Bentham, an efficient and intelligent young woman. Knowing that she lives considerably closer to the lab, I explained the proper procedures and asked her to begin the trial, then wait for me.

She was there when I arrived, and the first trial was underway. We anticipate preliminary results in twenty-four hours.

Day Two

I arrived at the lab to find that the trial had produced an unforeseen effect: the air contained a fragrance—not unpleasant, slightly reminiscent of citrus. I mentioned this puzzle to Miss Bentham, who stammered an apology. Apparently the aroma was her perfume. I chastised her for introducing a contaminant into a near-sterile environment.

The trial, fortunately, has not suffered. All ten samples have achieved the anticipated degree of resonance. I will have to closely monitor Sample 8, however, which is showing slight destabilization.

Day Three

Miss Bentham was at the lab early this morning. Evidently, she shared my concern over Sample 8, and when I arrived she was at the electron microscope, examining a fragment and scribbling data on a nearby notepad. She beckoned me over and urged me to examine the fragment while she continued her calculations. I had difficulty seeing what was causing her agitation, so she grasped my arm rather firmly and moved very close so that she could make the necessary minute adjustments to the microscope. We worked head-to-head for some minutes, taking turns at the microscope. It was a most distracting and inefficient way to work. I shall have to see about securing a grant for the purchase of a second electron microscope.

Sample 8 continues to destabilize, and now there are changes in Samples 2 and 5. Tomorrow, we will try reversing the oscillation. My earlier excitement for this phase of the experiment is somewhat dimmed. I find myself eating and sleeping poorly.

Day Four

We reversed the oscillation today. The initial data seemed promising, and then the admirable Miss Bentham mentioned an obscure journal that she read as an undergraduate. In Minsk, it seems, a similar study was conducted in total darkness—it may be that photostimulation adversely affects neutronic polarization.

I was standing near the light switch, so I immediately flicked it to the “off” position. The lab is windowless and the darkness was nearly complete, there being only a few glowing or blinking lights on various pieces of equipment.

I felt my way over to the samples, and was surprised to find myself groping a rather soft part of Miss Bentham’s anatomy. She was quite professional—told me it didn’t matter at all, and patted my hand for reassurance.

We discussed neo-Einsteinian theories in the dark until nightfall, not wanting to expose the samples prematurely to light.

Day Five

I haven’t gone home; further deterioration of all samples is evident. Miss Bentham and I have worked twenty-three hours straight. We are now exposing the samples to varying intervals of electronic pulsation. She is truly a remarkable assistant.

I don’t remember the last time I ate or showered, yet Miss Bentham remains uncannily fresh and inexhaustible. I can’t help noticing that she removed her bulky lab coat. Her flimsy yellow blouse is fetching, but impractical. When I mentioned that a few strands of hair had escaped from her bun (not wanting them to contaminate the samples), she blushed. I do not wish to embarrass her, but a stray hair could be disastrous.

Day Six

At Miss Bentham’s insistence, I returned home for some much-needed rest. Upon entering my apartment, it occurred to me that it lacks not only adequate food, but also warmth and companionship. Perhaps I should consider taking a wife. Miss Bentham seems quite competent. I shall speak with her tomorrow.

Day Seven

Having slept and eaten a satisfactory meal (Chinese, delivered), I arrived at the lab eager to discuss last night’s sociological insight with Miss Bentham. When I first mentioned my need for feminine companionship, she seemed quite enthusiastic—but her enthusiasm strangely waned when I asked if she could give me the names of a few suitable women.

I may have overestimated Miss Bentham’s scientific capability; she suggested that I do something with Sample 8 that I believe to be anatomically impossible.

But it makes me speculate…what will happen if I increase the temperature of the samples?


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This article has been read 1020 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon03/13/08
This is too funny!! He is such a man. I love the way you get the reader inside his myopic, simple-minded brain. Very creative story for this topic.
Karen Wilber 03/13/08
This is soooo funny. I love how you slowly revealed what was going on. I couldn't wait to read the next entry and get to the end. Especially loved the part where he asked her for names of suitable women. I needed a laugh today, thanks!
Shelley Ledfors 03/13/08
Oh, my! What a great piece. I loved it! Thanks for the laughs.
Holly Westefeld03/13/08
A fun read and chuckle, indeed.
Lyn Churchyard03/13/08
Oh my, what a complete dufus! Dr Lipinsky may be a bright scientist, but as a human being he's blown a fuse, poor sap. This was so funny. Well done.
Jacqueline Zerres03/13/08
And I thought he was going to come to his senses and get the girl. Silly me. Great ending!
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/14/08
I love it! Perfect characterization of the man who is so brilliant he misses the basics--I know a few like that.
Peter Stone03/14/08
What an amusing and creative take on the subject. Poor guy wasted such a wonderful opportunity.
Sally Hanan03/15/08
Haha; this was really funny, and I loved your understated wit.
jodie banner03/16/08
You have such a grand sense of humor, this was soooo fun to read.
Lynda Lee Schab 03/16/08
LOL...at first, I misread the line to read that SHE offered him the names of the women without him asking. I was feeling sorry for the poor and geeky doc. But when I realized what the sentence really said, I laughed out loud. Great way to show the negative outcome of NOT making hay when the sun still shines. Great job!
Kristen Hester03/16/08
This is so funny. I could picture it all. Pour Dr. Lipinksy. I hope he soon has a 'duh' moment!
Laury Hubrich 03/16/08
Too funny. I got a good giggle out of this one! As always, wonderfully creative work! What will you write next?
Laury
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/16/08
Just a delightfully funny picture of a "clueless" male. I loved the conclusion.
Debbie Roome 03/16/08
Very good. Very funny. The end caught me by surprise but fitted his character perfectly.
Joanne Sher 03/16/08
So clever and fun - this MUST have been loads of fun to write. I love his "scientific language", and how clearly clueless he was. Delightful!
Dee Yoder 03/16/08
Jan, this made my day! I've met many a man like this in Science through the years and the depth of their "cluelessness" knows no bounds, believe me! (Especially when it comes to romance. Makes me wonder how any scientist-type male makes it to the altar.) Love these characters-and the ending!
Betty Castleberry03/16/08
HAHAHAHA! This is fun!
Chely Roach03/16/08
What a great read. Men can be SO dense in the arena of romance...hilarious! I loved it.
william price03/16/08
I was thinking, this is a lot of set up, the joke better be good, and it was far better than good. Way to deliver. Another keeper. God bless.
Leigh MacKelvey03/17/08
I really, really liked this voice! Sounded just as a dippy scientist would sound right down to the last line.
Your wit amazes me!
Yvonne Blake 03/17/08
Poor Dr. Lipinsky...He needs help in communications!
You're driving me crazy wondering what the different samples are. I liked the little comments that showed he was attracted, even if he didn't. (smile)
Very well done.
Thank you for writing this.
Loren T. Lowery03/17/08
At first you had me thinking along the lines of Plato who said we can never see things truly as they are because our observing them, changes them. Then, you took a new direction (observations in the dark) and I began to wonder, where is this headed??? And then I was enlightened...my own laughter lifting me out of the dark. So, funny and unexpected which makes it a true delight!
Joshua Janoski03/17/08
"She suggested that I do something with Sample 8 that I believe to be anatomically impossible"

LOL! This story was awesome! We have a family friend just like this. He is a very smart guy, and yet he lacks the brainpower to figure out the simple stuff.

The scientific jargon provided great realism to your hilarious story.

Jan, God has given you such a great gift. I'm so glad that you share it with all of us. :)

Debbie Wistrom03/17/08
You fooled me, I thought she was making the moves for a couple days. What crativity. Great ending.
Mandy White03/18/08
Too funny! A clueless, brilliant man. I loved it.
Patrick Whalen03/18/08
I have been reading many serious entries today and about ahlf-way through this I realized I needed to relax and "go with it." Quite funny and entertaining!
Karin Fiscaletti03/18/08
You have to know that you have described a perfect scientist! This made me laugh out loud!! Excellent story.
K. J. Cash03/18/08
Jan, how did you know about my ex-husband?? Jus' kiddin'.
Masterful story from a master!
Patty Wysong03/18/08
LoLLLoL. Such a fun read! Talk about capturing a person--wow, you got him! :)
Henry Clemmons03/18/08
Expertly clever. You made me wait so long for the punch I was getting angry, but I knew you would deliver the Master's touch at the end, which you did. Impressive again, Jan. If I could only write a sentence longer than four words...
Sara Harricharan 03/19/08
Oh that poor, completely clueless fellow! LOL! By the time I saw where this was going, I was chuckling at every new entry! I feel so sorry for his assistant, she was really trying and then he had to go and well-lol. Very good with the characters. I felt as if I knew the assistant, even though I only saw her through his eyes. That's neat! ^_^
Dianne Janak03/20/08
What a fun, interesting, creative story...loved the humor ...and description of the mind of the MC..do you know my engineer hubby? Kidding but not... great fun and really on topic on the downside of missing the boat..Love the creative gift you have.. is there a pill?
Celeste Ammirata03/24/08
I love this. It's original and very funny. What a clueless fellow that brainiac is! Great job. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.