Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Pitch black

The power went out in the lab one time. Baseball Cap Guy was sitting at his bench, pipetting something, and there was sudden darkness. I’m talking, complete, utter, no-light-at-all, windowless basement darkness. The kind of darkness where you begin to believe that light doesn't even exist, that it was merely a figment of your imagination. Now, recall that the lab was cramped, overcrowded, and spilling over with chairs. The lab was also full of very expensive machines, sharp needles and razor blades, biohazardous and toxic substances, and many corners jutting out at odd angles. And the lab was lacking a clear path to the door. Because of the chairs. So Baseball Cap Guy had no choice but to remain still, holding the pipettor, and hope that the lights would come back on or that someone would at least open the door and maybe let a little light in so that he could leave. He couldn’t even put down the pipettor because he might put it on an errant razor blade, or more likely, accidentally spill his petri dishes all over the place.

The Doktah and I came in about fifteen minutes later, after the lights came back on. When the power went out, we hadn't even really noticed for the first ten minutes or so because it was daytime and we weren’t using a computer at that moment. So when we saw Baseball Cap Guy sitting at the bench we said, “Hey, did you know the power went out?”

“Yeah. I noticed.”

1 comment:

marian said...

Our lab is in an office building, and thus has many features not common to labs. Like, in order to conserve power, all the lights in the lab suddenly shut off at 8pm. And 10pm. And midnight. To turn them back on, you have to physically walk over to the light switch and flip it back on - but there is about a 1 minute refractory period, in which such actions do not produce light. But at least we still have ambient light from the hallway.