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Wednesday, January 26, 2011  

Well Preserved, Part II

I don't think I ever wrote a follow-up on what happened after Trash agreed to order M. Edium some "preserved specimens" to dissect. That's partially because for a long time, nothing did happen.

As I mentioned before, your regular civilian householder can't just mail-order dead animals. We had to have them shipped to the same address where the catalog had been delivered, i.e. M. Edium's Montessori school. Trash did the ordering, so I have no idea how long they were supposed to take to get there. But after a few weeks, M. Edium's teacher Mr. N. mentioned to me that they hadn't shown up yet and I should probably call.

I was like, "Yeah, I'll get right on that."

Because honestly, I would have been perfectly happy forgetting all about it, and I was prepared to bet that M. Edium would have eventually forgotten about it too (a great bet, because I would have won no matter what). But Trash, Ms. "Never Say No To Science" Mom, insisted on calling to find out what was going on.

After finding the number, getting a customer service rep on the phone, and having her pull up the order, Trash got something like an explanation. The order wasn't lost, or filled incorrectly, or sent to the wrong place. It wasn't filled at all. I'm not the one who did the talking, but my understanding is that the place that is accustomed to filling bulk orders for classes and schools declined to mail us a dead frog and a dozen dead earthworms because it was "weird."

No argument here.

But Trash got them straightened out, and they agreed to go ahead and ship the stuff out. Hot damn.

For a while we weren't sure how the dissection was actually going to happen. Six is probably a little too young to cut him loose with his first scalpel. At the same time, Trash wasn't going to help him, because she doesn't even like to touch a dead animal when she's cooking it. And don't look at me, because I'm not Mr. "Never Say No To Science" Dad. Trash had originally thought we'd have to have her mom help the next time we went to Iowa, because she's the only person in the family with medical lab training. Sure, the last time she'd dissected anything was probably back when Jack Klugman was also doing it on Quincy, but doesn't every grandmother dream of getting that call from their grandchild asking, "Can you help me dissect a worm?"

Happily, Febrifuge stepped up, which is good because not only is his training decades fresher, he also lives in the metro area. Having to be around when a worm gets dissected is bad enough without having to drive it four hours in the car first.

Before long, a white cardboard box showed up. "It's still not too late," I said before they opened it, and then it was too late. Inside was a big, stiff, brown frog sharing a plastic bag with a puddle of formaldehyde, and a package of what, if one didn't know better, might almost look like the most expensive gourmet pasta you've ever seen, in the form of twelve long, straight noodles vacuum-packed side by side.

Horrible, yes. But we never say no to science. It was a little weird having them in the kitchen until the dissection took place. It was also unexpected when Trash happened to be on the phone with our sister-in-law and happened to mention the upcoming…procedure. Which is when M. Edium's cousin, then-eight-year-old Deniece, asked, "Can I come too?"

And we went from there.

posted by M. Giant 3:24 PM 3 comments


Please tell me there will be a Part III. With photos. Not necessarily of the frog-n-worms, but of the adults' faces during the dissection.

One more thing M.Edium will have to thank you and Trash for in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.....

By Blogger Heather, at January 26, 2011 at 3:35 PM  

Oh, if there's a part III, I have the photos.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at January 26, 2011 at 3:52 PM  

There are no pictures of me, however, for as soon as Febrifuge entered the room w/his scientist coat and cutting tools, I chose to go grade papers. And shudder.

By Anonymous Trash, at January 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM  

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