All of that to say that I literally set the lab on fire. And by I set the lab on fire I mean I set a fire in the lab. This is actually a somewhat common occurrence given that I use a glass spreader when I spread plate and have to ethanol flame it between uses, as somewhat shown in the
A few nights ago I was plating the last set of samples for the day and talking to Niecey on the phone. The little imp has discovered that if she hits the redial button on the phone that it will call my cell. This works the majority of the time since my family is somewhat anti-social and I am one of the few people who is called using that phone. While a little awkward I am capable of doing most lab work with the phone balanced between my shoulder and ear so I answered and chit chatted with her for a bit. I saw the drop of flaming ethanol drop like I've seen probably 100 times and watched as it went under the test tube rack that I put the used tubes in. At this point I paused to watch it until it burnt out and then started spreading the plate.
As I was finishing spreading the first of two plates I shifted my focus from the plate to the suddenly up in flames test tube rack! Niecey got to hear what Auntie Kee says when she gets startled with something of that nature, it involved many repetitions of the cuss word Forest Gump made a slogan out of. Thankfully for me she already knows that one and so I was not teaching her a new word, more the proper application of said word. I finished spreading the plate I was on while trying to hold the phone and blow on the rack in hopes that would put out the flames that were quickly growing and burning towards the tubes the rack was holding. Blowing on it did not help, thankfully I was able to finish spreading the plate quickly and then I grabbed the rack and took it to the sink where I doused it with water. The test tubes in it seemed to actually protect the part of the rack they were in, thank goodness! I did NOT need to have that part burn and the tubes to start falling down into the flames. It definitely could have been worse, no one got hurt and it wasn't even that much of a fire. It was a freak accident that will hopefully never happen to me again, especially since I now know that a small drop of ethanol that looks like it burnt out is enough to light up a rack!
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*While all this talk about doing a figurative setting the lab on fire thing may sound like a good plot for a porno I definitely wouldn't recommend it. Not based on experience mind you, that has so never happened, more from a I know most of what is worked on in the lab and can only imagine the rest. It would be a situation where you could walk away with a STD (aka STI and VD), diarrhea, and purple^ and green^ markings on your butt. If that floats your boat go for it, just don't let me know about it!
^PW, the male grad student, has been working with stains lately, specifically crystal violet and malachite green, he is a slob (one of the many reasons he is the object of my loathing). I have gotten dyed a few times, at first I was confused but quickly figured it out and just sigh and wish my boss would let me whack him with a newspaper like I keep asking her if I can but she keeps saying no...