01 April 2008

Abbie and Jammer

OK, this will only take a minute or two and then I promise I'll get back to the other story about my maid Vienna calling me while I was in Maui. Right off La Perouse Bay.

This one is from a while back. Back when I was working for Metrocon. Metrocon was a privately held biotech company that focused on in-licensing promising pharmaceutical and medical device technologies in the late preclinical development phase. They did a lot of proof-of-principle clinical (phase II) studies on a virtual basis for eventual corporate partnership and commercialisation. Real exciting stuff.

Truth be told, I didn't know a goddamn thing about molecular therapeutics they were just paying me to cook the books. And paying me handsomely I must add. But I mean these guys, my co-workers, were like actual aliens from other planets. Planets like Neptune, Johns Hopkins, Mars and Harvard.

I'd done some time at Washington University in St. Louis which meant absolutely nothing to this particular cult. Day in and day out these guys were all about viral and non-viral gene therapy, peptide therapeutics, oligonucleotides, molecular vaccines, antibody approaches, and the technologies underlying genomics and proteomics. I barely knew how to speak droid but I learned quick. I also learned these would be the most depraved bunch of cats I'd ever work with.

This one guy, Farrow, lived with two crazy, polygynous, domesticated skunks. He had an entire floor of his house roped off for his pet skunks, Abbie and Jammer. Last weeks newspapers lined the floors spattered with little baby skunk shits. I'd never seen anything like it. But then again Farrow worked on something called "Southern blots" all day and knew about things like in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and hybridisation probes. So I guess coming home to his pet skunks was how he relaxed. He would walk in his house like Desi Arnaz, "Abbie, I'm hooome!" and Abbie the skunk would come waddling down the mahogany staircase knowing he was due for a few chunks of apple and peanut butter as a treat. The more mischievously aloof Jammer was never far behind and he snorted as he scurried along. It was fucking adorable.

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