so i was up at the crack of dawn this morning to go off to burlington for my day of science-nerd bliss at the 41st Canadian Water Quality Research Workshop. I show up, set up my poster and strut my stuff to the Canadian Centre for Inland Water (CCIW)’s auditorium. instantly i’m brought back to the 70’s as the aud features wood paneled everything, nixon-era theatre seating and ugly-orange upholstrey on said seats. whatever, it’s canada and this isn’t hockey related. “welcome to the 41st blah blah blah. please welcome our keynote speaker, Dr Hrudey”.
whoa,whoa,whoa! like kelly hrudey, hrudey?!? like, i-hated-him-on-the-ice-but-hes-fine-on-the-cbc kelly hrudey?!?
well, no, but it was his cousin. although he doesnt look a thing like him (on a somewhat related note, i met some guy who looked like an aged kelly grueber of the 1992 world series champion toronto blue jays, minus the mullet, and we bitched about the fact that in the morning the coffee was awesome, but by mid-afternoon it was some sort of flavoured swill. i also saw a chinese guy with a mullet, but i digress). so this hrudey guy was on the walkerton inquiry and had a really interesting talk about walkerton and how cities are still making the same mistakes they did in 2000. he also dropped the bomb that the whole evacuation of that indian reserve not too long ago, because of an e.coli outbreak, was actually a publicity stunt, which cost us tax payers tens of millions of dollars. it turns out the e.coli “outbreak” was fixed in above 7 hours, some months prior to the evacuation. the pictures of kids with rashes and stuff was the result of impetego and staph infections resulting from poor conditions on the reserves (due to our government not giving two shits about the native community, until they get anglo-saxons on their side). Dr.Hrudey also shamelessly plugged his book, which was a turn-off. good talk other wise.
so i made it through most of the mornings lectures ok….until! a prof from U of Guelph who, i think, was of eastern european descent and driveled on about digging holes in beaches and testing for e.coli associated with the sand. now, her science was interesting, but imagine an unimpressed romanian grandmother going on and on and on, completly monotone for 20 minutes. needless to say it was rough. now, near the end of her lecture she has a slide that basically has a picture of a beach, then schematics of two holes (photoshopped in) with all the measurements between them and their sizes and such, and proceedes to decribe, for about 5 minutes, mind you, how to dig a hole. here’s a quick reproduction of this slide. now! she follows this roller coaster ride of excitement by stating “and here’s what it looks like in real life” and shows, basically, this (i swear to you, im not exaggerating here).
now i, who tend to not think before i speak, say, apparently much louder than i thought i was saying it, “yup, that’s a hole alright.” this is met with stifled laughter from most, except the four people infront of me who would turn around, in unison (it was incredible, you should have seen it) and say “who do you think you are!?.” i, not thinking before speaking, remember, say “…i’m marcel.”
i would later find out those were the speaker’s lab mates and supervisor. only 23 and i already have a lab full of scientist mortal enemies…