Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tam-Pon, Tam-Poff; Tam-Pon Tam-Poff, The Tamper!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all! I hope everyone had a wonderful day!

I found myself in Target this afternoon, purchasing a salad spinner for our lab. Seems the OXO salad spinner makes an excellent centrifuge for 96-well plates and costs $30 vs. $1000-$1500. If you just nodded as you were reading along with the hope that sentence would end soon, here’s a really basic explanation:

96-well plates are about the size of a 3X5 flashcard and have 96 depressions or wells, distributed in 8 rows and 12 columns. Liquid is placed into the wells and for an instrument we’re going to start using, there can’t be any air bubbles in the wells. Air bubbles are sometimes formed between the bottom of the well and the liquid when it’s added. The easiest way to get rid of the bubbles is to spin the plate in something called a centrifuge (think Spin Art or one of those vomit-inducing amusement park rides that spin and force you up against the wall of the chamber as the floor is lowered…)

Hang on, I’m dizzy.

So I’m standing in Target wondering if I should pick up the regular salad spinner or the mini-. Our section’s Head Kahuna saw someone use a salad spinner with the 96-well plates, so I called him to see if he had an opinion on which spinner would be better. He did and reminded me to get a receipt.

Since I was in the Kitchen section at Target, I looked around to see if there was anything else I needed. I picked up some splatter screens so I can cook down store-bought tomato sauce without making my stove top look like a crime scene…

I was almost at the checkout lanes when I spotted the feminine protection aisle. I thought about picking some up because I couldn't remember how much I had at home, but then walked past and decided I'd get my usual vat-o-Tampax at Costco. But then I wasn't sure when I'd be going to Costco and had a current need for some tamponage, so I went back and picked some up.

I got to the checkout aisle and the cashier’s uncomfortable grin and cheerful “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” reminded me that I was wearing a giant kelly green tam with attached bright green hair. I laughed, got a little frazzled and watched her ring everything up.

Right about the time I was signing the signature pad for my credit card purchase, I heard the Head Kahuna’s voice in my head: “Don’t forget to get a receipt.”

And it was then that it dawned on me I had everything rung up together. So tomorrow I have to turn in a receipt at work for three items, one of which is TAMPONS.


I can hear Head Kahuna now – “Nice try, but the state’s not paying for your tampons. We might consider getting you something for your PMS mood swings, but I have to draw the line at tampons…”

No comments: