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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Slurry birthdays

It is a tradition within the animal behaviour research group at the University of the Witwatersrand that when it is someones birthday, we throw a party. The parties are usually surprise parties, with some being bigger surprises than others. The last one was hosted yesterday. And it was a big surprise...

It was a joint party for Brian and Sneha, two fellow MSc students. Both had had birthdays in the last month, and we hadn't managed to organise parties for either of them on time, so it was a combined belated birthday party. After about two weeks worth of organisation and coordination between Helen, Megan and I we finally picked a date and set things up. I'm not entirely sure who did the actual setting up because, I left to go and do observations on the chimps at the zoo and when I returned, my lab was the picture of festive fun.

Through this, I learned a very valuable lesson, appropriate for anyone who is planning to throw a party at any stage in the future. Silly string is a bitch to clean up. It gets everywhere and appears to chemically bind to linoleum floors and almost all types of paint.

I also learned that a dust-pan makes an excellent silly-sting scraper.

The party was not expected and so Brian and Sneha were greatly taken aback. To add to this, shortly after being thrust through the door into the lab, they each had a cup shoved into their hand filled with jello-shots.

For those who have an intact liver or are innocent, jelly-shots are just shot-glasses of jelly (that's Jello for you Americans out there) that has been mixed with vodka or some other alcoholic beverage. I've only ever had them once. Given that I am a vegetarian, I don't eat gelatin, the principal component of jelly, and so was spared having to take jelly-shots. The others all told me that they were very strong...
It can't have been as bad as Govan's birthday last year though. At that party, it was a rule that if you walked through the door, you had to drink a mandatory 'shot' of vodka. It was 09h00 and a 'shot' was what most would consider to be half a cup. My supervisor has a heavy hand and sick sense of humour.

Part of the wonder of yesterdays birthday celebrations was the random birthday crap that Helen managed to buy at a ridiculous price from china town. This included balloons like the one pictured below which were always humorous and sometimes, a little creepy...

All in all, a fun time was had by all and we undoubtedly look forward to the next one...which should be Megan. Oh what pleasures await...!

1 comment:

  1. They were a bit strong, but in the worst way... they didn't taste strong at all...

    Sorry about the clean-up, you should have called me to help!

    And for the record, next time I'm not blownig up balloons... my ears still hurt! Which makes the whole prospect of buying a helium tank for the lab a lot more promising!