The Night Before the Defense
(or A Visit From Citrate)
Twas the night before defense, when all through te lab
Not a gel box was shaking, with stain or with MAb;
The columns were hung in the cold room with care,
In hopes that my protein, I soon could prepare;
The post-docs were nestled all smug in their beds,
While extracts of barley muddled their heads;
With the tech in the suburbs and PI the same,
I had just settled down to another video game.
When out of the fridge there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the terminal to see what was the matter.
Away to the cold box, I flew like a flash
But the stench was o'erpowering and I threw up beef hash.
The mould on the dampest of walls were cold
Had the softness of kittens only seven weeks old;
When what to my view, a thing I despise
But a half eaten sandwich and four tiny mice;
With a little old scientist, so lively and galling,
I knew at a glance was Linus Pauling.
More vapid than undergrads, his charges they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them rude names.
"Now, Watson! Now Francis! You strange little modellers!
On Luria! On Bertani! You stupid old broth'lers!
To the top of the bench, to the top of the wall!
Purify! Purify! Purify all!"
As dry heaves before the commitee meeting, bend
A young student's body and his colon distend,
So up their earlobes, acytes they grew,
With a sack full of antibodies, their skin turning blue.
And then, for a second, I heard from the 'fuge,
An unbalanced rotor spinning something too huge.
Where I put down my hand, to better hear the sound,
Came the snapping of sparks from a wire sans ground.
Pauling's hair was al wavy, and I thought I must be sick
`Cause the curls in his hair looked just like a helix.
On an arm load of oranges, he started to snack
An I recalled his fetish with citrate, the quack.
His eyes were all wrinkled, but the cheeks were yet red;
Not too shabby for a man who was several years dead;
The leer of his smile was just a tad scary
And the snow on his rooftop made his head yet quite hairy;
The end of a pipette, he held in his teeth
And a pile of kimwipes lay around his big feet.
He held a small vial of something quite gel-ly,
A mercaptan no doubt, for it make him quite smelly.
He changed `round the columns, adding to the confusion
And I laughed to spite my own paranoid delusion.
A wink of his eye and a rotation of his head,
Told me whatever I drank would soon leave me dead.
He spoke not a word, just buggered up my work,
And dried all my resins, that silly old jerk.
And separating his middle finger from first, fourth and third,
That crazy, old bugger, just flipped me the bird.
He grabbed up his cohorts and ran down the hall,
And away they all flew, letting me take the fall.
That is why, dear Commitee, I am sorry to say,
I need a five year extension, starting today.
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