I'm still too sick to do much, but I saw in the news that comedian Soupy Sales died and it reminded me of a story.
I was working in a lab where I had to produce antibodies to proteins I'd grown in bacteria, which meant injecting live rabbits. We'd bought a group of little Belgian black and whites, rather than the more expensive typical white rabbits, not knowing why people didn't usually choose the cheaper ones; after getting scars up and down both arms and my chest - more than once - it became obvious. The little guys have an attitude, especially when you poke them with needles. A year later, the law required that what I was doing had to be done by a veterinarian and a year after that, using a local anaesthetic.
I was instructed not to name the animals, but to give them designations like "Exp. 113, Rabbit A" and I assumed that this was because people are reluctant to inflict pain on animals they've named. So I named them, figuring that that was exactly the reason TO name them. I gave them the names of comedians starting with "S." - Soupy (Sales), Slappy (White), Shecky (Green), Stymie (Beard), Shemp (Howard), Satch (Huntz Hall), etc.
When it was time to write the paper that came from the research, it became necessary to refer to the animals specifically, as one had produced an antibody unlike the others. It was Soupy. I renamed him "Rabbit A" but later found out that there was an obscure rule in the many layers of bureaucracy that forbad renaming the animals, so a scientific paper was written that involved a rabbit named Soupy. Once published, the antibodies used become public domain and other laboratories clamored to get their hands on them for their own studies, so we were getting requests monthly for some "Soupy antibody." My boss never let me forget it, nor the lab tech, whose rabbit "Butterfly" was nearly as popular.
I'll get back to writing about running once I get back to actually running.
Aid Station: Eugene Curnow
3 days ago