purveyor of head bones

A Visit to the Mischief Archives

It  has been some time since I shared some of the mischief I have done but not previously written about, mischief that didn’t spawn a photo or a blog post of its own.  I herein admit gloat that all of the following was my doing.

Remember the time she was short some cat skulls so she sent off  some preserved Dead Cat heads to the Purveyor of Head Bones to see if their hungry beetles would eat the flesh off?  Not only did the beetles not eat their têtes de chats morts et conservés, but they all up and died.  True!  The human female killed a dermestid colony.

I put her name in all sorts of fun places on the internet, so she got a very interesting email inviting her to log back in and complete her PayPal purchase of some very lewd shoes named “Private Desire.”

I arranged for an ordered chair to show up with no packing slip whatsoever.   This makes the Bean Counters all purple in the face and it never, ever gets old.

At the beginning of the semester, I nudged a bunch of students, and they all went to the wrong labs, including one who put his head in the right lab room.  The teaching assistant, who already had a full classroom, asked him what section he was in.  I whispered in his ear, and he told the TA the wrong one.  So the TA sent him next door, where there was one seat left and the TA made him welcome.  It wasn’t until the second TA was taking up the signed Lab Safety Agreements that she realized he wasn’t hers.  But, subtracting the wrong student, she was one student short. And just where had that missing student been?  Independently wrongly next door with the first TA, which was why that class had been full!  There’s a reason the human female is going bald.

And the students broke, did break, have broken, will break, will have broken, will have been breaking more and more micropipettors.   Basically, anyway you conjugate it, they break ’em.

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Every semester.  And every.  Single.  Time, the Pipette Repair People send her an invoice that doesn’t say invoice. With the wrong address.  Then she has to get them to send a corrected one, one that says invoice, and she turns it in to the Departmental Bean Counters,  About 10 days later, the Pipette Repair People shriek at her that they haven’t been paaaaaaaaid.  Then the human female has to remind them that the University is a Net 30 operation and that they will get their payment in due time.  Then about two weeks later, they shriek at her again, and she reminds them to count to THIRTY.  The human female says it gets really, really old.  For her, maybe.  I still get a good laugh out of it.  Especially since each cheery little email from them ends with, “Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions. Have a wonderful day!”

You know what else got old?  All the calls from TAs about broken respirometers that turned out not to be broken.  How hard it is to screw the lid on a fat tube and to measure liquid accurately?  Pretty hard, apparently!

The week after that, the big fifty liter carboy of Chlamydomonas (a friendly little green alga that is part of the photosynthesis experiments) grew up all “ooky” and contaminated.  The human female was never able to prove that I was the one who meddled with the autoclave so that the growth medium was contaminated, but from the epic side-eye I received, I think she suspected.

That same week, i had the fun of watching the human female and her Prep Staff tear the entire third floor apart, looking for one of the colored light boxes used in the Photosynthesis lab.  The human female knew she’d put it in the cabinet in room 305, but it wasn’t in there.  Until it was, after they all tore the floor apart another two times.  Turns out that lying on your side makes you invisible to biologists.

Then there was the day when she burned her fingers, her watch broke, one of the prep rooms overheated, and there was cat  puke to clean up.  I can’t remember if it was a Monday.  But I bet it felt like one.

I DO remember that it was a Sunday, though, when the low-tire-pressure-you’re-going-to-die warning light in the human female’s car came on.  She drove it very carefully to the nearby shop attached to a discount store, where they told her that they couldn’t find anything wrong with the tire, so she drove it carefully home, planning to take it to the dedicated tire place later.  When she went out to do so, the light was gone.   Teasing her is such fun.

I made it rain on her when she was returning the very heavy liquid nitrogen tank full of bull spunk.

It rained on a Tech I interviewee, too.  How to make a good first impression?  Don’t show up looking like a drowned rat!

How to make a good impression with Admin?  Have a whole batch of hazardous waste come back from waste collection because Environmental Health and Safety didn’t “like” the way it was tagged.

Then WorkDon’t cancelled the Tech timesheets that had some overtime hours on them.  When that was finally straightened out, their checks didn’t come on time.  (See?  It’s not just the human female I like to mess with.)

As always, the devil–and the mischief–are in the details.   And that takes us up through the end of last September!

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Mischief Update: Where to Start?

I’m already perfect, so I don’t make resolutions, but I do have a goal or two for this year.  One is to be more regular in providing Mischief Updates.  I write about the Big Mischiefs, but not always about the petty, grinding, day to day naughtiness that I thrive on.  Looking back, I haven’t done one since last summer!  To that end, I’ve decided to just sit and type today, and as far as I get is what you get of my infinite naughtiness.   Looking in my Mischief Journal, I have five and a half pages of notes.  I have been a very, very busy boy.

I had the Purveyor of Head Bones send a Second Notice invoice when they shipped some back-ordered platypus skulls.  It woke the human female up–she thought she was in trouble.  I love that deer-in-the-headlights look.

I made a teensy little power outage one day and the freezer with all of the stock of Useful Bacteria warmed up.  I tried calculating all the lost hours of culturing and aliquotting and labeling, but I gave up after a squillion.  And then I laughed as I watched the human female’s minions clean the contaminated freezer.

I arranged for an endless stream of hungry graduate students to traipse through the human female’s office, asking for Teaching Assistant jobs.  It’s such fun to make her have to tell all of those sad, pleading eyes, “No.”

When it came time for the TA training workshop, the human female and her minions were in charge of taping and playing back the practice mini-lectures.  First, I made all the camera cords look like this:

cable woes

What one goes with which TV?  Are the TV’s similarly color-coded?  I don’t know, and neither did they.   Although the minions had checked all the camera and power cord pairs beforehand, I snarled it all up again and arranged that one of the cameras, on the day of, had the wrong sort of output cable.  Then the camera the human female was responsible for somehow had the recording quality set too high, and it ran out of memory right in the middle of someone’s talk.  Embarrassing!  She had to scramble around and get a card reader from the human male and then quickly find the manual for the reader online while everyone was waiting.  Then, at the end of the day, one of the minions dropped a camera.  Odin’s eyepatch, those things are expensive!  It worked for a while, after a fashion.  The display was gone, but if you knew what the display should be, you could poke the right buttons and it would record.  I kicked it a little overnight and the next day it died entirely.  Ehehehehe.  What do you suppose the human female forgets she is one camera down when it’s time for this year’s workshop?

I tinkered with the departmental computer server so that multiple TAs’ directory permissions….vanished.  Others had their cards inexplicably not work to open doors.  The system that lets the human female code door cards wouldn’t let her log in.  Note to self:  this kind of stunt inconveniences a LOT of people.  Must do again.

The folks who were supposed to show up to sell goggles didn’t.  Cue parade of students wandering into the front office to ask where they can buy them.

There was a whole spate of spectrophotometers misbehaving for no reason.

And that brings us just to the end of the first week of last semester!

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In Which We Learn Just How the Human Female’s Sick Little Mind Works…

In all of the excitement of discovering that deer are sigynivorous and that some monotremes have skulls that look like something straight out of science fiction, one important fact was overlooked.

Not all of the skulls came.  Six of the seven requisite deer skulls are on back-order, as are a few of the nightmare beasts.

Missing entirely are the cat skulls.

I have written before, at length, about the dearth of pickled cat cadavers for the Dead Cat Ballet, how I have conspired to make it nearly impossible for the human female to obtain stiff kitties at any price or within any reasonable time frame.  Well, this same shortage means that cat head-bones are just as hard to come by as the rest of the beast.  The seven cat skulls she ordered from the Purveyor of Head Bones are on indefinite back-order.

The human female has mulled this for a few days now, and she has come up with a solution that horrifies even me.  I, who will stop at nothing and for no one in my bid for conquest, would never have come up with such a plan.

You see, the human female does still manage to order a few dead cats from time to time.  The Anatomy and Physiology teaching assistants still dissect a few kitty cadavers as demonstrations for their students.  At the end of the semester, there’s not much left of Mittens, if you get my meaning.

Perhaps you can see where this is going.  I will spell it out, painfully, for you.

She has written to the POHB with the most bizarre notion ever to come out of her  twisted soul.  “What,” she asked, “if we cut the heads off a few of our used cat cadavers and mail them to you?  Could you process them for skulls?”

I don’t know which is more appalling—that she would suggest it, that the POHB would agree to attempt the procedure, or that two of the human female’s minions would leap at the chance to perform the decapitations.

So here we have it:

box of catheads2

A box of noggins.

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All boxed up and ready to send.  I’ve heard that preserved animals are difficult to process into good skeleton specimens.   This will either end glory and shiny skulls or in tears and recriminations.  I guess we will find out.

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To be continued…

 

More Adventures in the Room of Skulls

I was able to rescue Sigyn from the clutches of that murderous deer.  Horrible creatures, deer, really.  I prefer to think of them as merely the larval stage of roast venison.

There are more skulls here, and they are drawing a lot of attention.  The human female and her minions are showing them off to anyone who wanders by.

Sigyn is investigating the pronounced sagittal crest on this opossum.

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The human female says that is where all the jaw muscles are attached.  It certainly looks capable of eating anything it finds.  Opossums are strange creatures–tails like rats, huge rafs of babies which they tote about in pouches or on their backs, fur that always looks like they’ve been washed in the washer on the wrong cycle, and a predilection for rummaging about in compost heaps.

I am more impressed by the dentition of this male vervet monkey.

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This fellow looks quite up to the task of perforating anyone who tried to put him in a funny outfit or make him do silly tricks.  And the overall effect is of a toothy little human.

Great Frigga’s hairpins!  Look who has turned up!  Marty, that goggle-eyed menace, has dropped by to ogle the chicken skull.

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I don’t want to think about what Marty’s skull might look like.  Not much room for a brain, that’s for certain.

Oh, and here is Fisi, trying to sneak in a nibble on the oppossum.

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Shoo!  Bad hyena!  No biscuit!

Sweet Tony Stark on the half shell!  What sort of alien mutant nightmare beast does this one come from?!

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Don’t get too close, Sigyn.  I don’t trust this thing at all.

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poke, poke, poke.

No sirree. I do not trust this thing at all, at all.  Nor can I figure out its modus operandi.  No proper teeth to speak of, but what about these long pincer-like things up front?  What IS it?  Where does it live?  What does it eat?  What does the rest of it look like??

Oh, I am going to have bad dreams and flashbacks about this one, I can tell you.

(Reads label.)  Huh.  I never, ever would have guessed.  Log your guesses in the comments, folks, and we’ll see if anyone comes close.

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It is Nine Kinds of Macabre in Here

The human female and her minions managed to make it through the first semester of new labs for Biology 111.  Now they’re facing all new exercises for Biology 112.  This course deals with evolution, phylogeny, and the many and varied organisms that inhabit this realm.  The instructor, with an eye to relating one notion to another, has planned an exercise in which the students will examine various vertebrate skulls and use their features, coupled with gene sequences, to come up with a vertebrate family tree.  It sounds both cutting-edge and ghoulish, and I must admit to being intrigued.

Sigyn, the human female says the skulls have arrived and are in room 313.  Let us see what has come!

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That is a veritable plethroa of crania!  And they’re from some outfit called “Skulls Unlimited.” Snort.  Of course they are.  I shall call them the Purveyor of Head Bones.

Some of the skulls are quite tiny.  This one is from something called a shrew.

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Sigyn is surprised at how tiny it is.  But as you should know, my diminutive princess, size is no indicator of fierceness.  A look at the teeth will reveal just what voracious predators shrews are.

The rat skull, on the other hand, just has long, orange incisors.

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And, according to Sigyn, “the cutest little molars ever!”

While the turtle has no teeth at all,

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though its bony jaw is quite capable of snapping up its prey.

Still, it is not always the carnivores that one needs to watch out for–

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Turn my sweetie loose this instant, you perfidious cervid!  Hang on, dearest, Loki’s coming!

Apparently white-tailed deer are not above a little snacking when the morsel is especially tasty.

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