They Play One on TV

For those of us who have had some experience working in a lab setting, we all know that moment in the crime show when the science is WAY too easy. Even if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve suspected this was true.


The TV Science Lab:

DETECTIVE: We found this hair at the crime scene. We need to know who it belongs to!

LAB TECH: I can have the result in 5 minutes.

DETECTIVE: You have 30 seconds!

LAB TECH: (Sighs and puts down meatball sub; loads hair into a vial and puts vial into a machine that looks like a large espresso maker with neon lights): It’s analyzing now.

{Espresso machine whirs and buzzes; a piece of paper pops out of printer}

LAB TECH: (Grabs paper after taking a huge bite of meatball sub) Hmmph fif if off.

DETECTIVE: What in the world are you saying? Speak English, man!

LAB TECH: (Swallows mouthful of meatball sub and swigs from a 2 liter of Mountain Dew) I said, hmmm . . .this is odd.

DETECTIVE: Let me guess, no match.

LAB TECH: No, I was talking about my sandwich. The sauce tastes different. Spicier. But, I got a match on your hair. Known criminal. Lives at home with his mom. According to this report, he’s there now. And he’s asleep. Upstairs bedroom.

DETECTIVE: (Runs out of the room with the report) Thanks, I owe you one!

LAB TECH: Don’t I know it. . . (Takes another gigantic bite of meatball sub) . . . Don a nah ifff.

The Real Science Lab:

DETECTIVE: We found this hair at the crime scene. We need to know who it belongs to!

LAB TECH: Hair analysis takes 36 hours. That doesn’t include system suitability, which by the way only passes 7% of the time. Plus the Hair Analyzer has been acting up, might need to have a service call.  This Hair Analyzer is 40 years old, and there’s one service tech for it; his name’s Gus and his office is in Argentina. Plus, we’re not sure he’s still alive. Assuming that the test runs ok, we’ll have preliminary results on Friday, which will then have to be reviewed by QC and QA. And QA is being audited for the next 2 weeks. Best case, you’ll have your results three weeks from Thursday, if all goes well. BTW, the results, which have been oddly inaccurate lately, if that matters to you, will HOPEFULLY be entered into our database, which actually disappeared 4 days ago.  Don’t worry, it is being looked into.  Ever since we liquidated our IT department, all of our IT work is handled by the Geek Squad.  We’re dropping off all of our computers there during lunch, and I’m told they are assigning their best Junior Technician, “Roadkill99,” to our case. So we should be fine by the time the results are ready.  Normally, you could call me for the results, but I’ll be on vacation starting 2 weeks from Wednesday. And all the phones are with the Geek Squad, anyway.

{Killer escapes to Mexico}

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