Saturday, August 27, 2011

When Science Should NOT Be Tried At Home

photo credit to my future daughter in law, Miss Nooooon-yezzzzzzz

Jake Nye the Science Guy was in the bathroom.

With the door closed.

Alert #1.  Jake, in the bathroom, with the door CLOSED?  Hmmm. 

Jake?  Are you okay?

"Yeah Mom, nuthin to worry about here.  I'm not doing nuthin wrong."

Alert #2.  He's already confessed.

Jake.  Are you using the toilet?

"Only to put my experiment on the seat."

RED Alert #1, Alert #3

Jake.  Get out of the bathroom NOW.

"I can't leave my experiment alone, Ma."

RED Alert #2.  Forget counting the regular alerts.  We're nearing a Defcon situation.

Since we no longer have any pets, and since his sister escaped the asylum and is currently being detained in the home of a 'more' normal family, I did my best to remain calm.


Science Guy is beaming.  Not sure if it's cuz he likes science, or because he knows it could potentially be the last time he ever displays a smile for the rest of his Earthly days.

"Here it is Mom.  But you might not ah-preesh-ee-ate how cool it is."

Red Alert #3.  Appreciate?  Used correctly in a sentence?  While beaming?  And holding a recycled plastic cylindrical Crystal Light container filled with.......oh dear Lord what hath he done?

Jake.  What is this?

Beaming Muppet of a Pretend Scientist:  "It's my experiment!  Doncha love it?"

No, Jake, what is your experiment MADE OF? (as terror starts to grip me as I realize the contents of the plastic container will soon begin to melt and burn my fingers into stumps before I can dial 911)

Science Guy, counting items off using his fingers, "Well, it's nail polish, shaving cream, ummmm oh yeah, my lemonade Crystal Lite that I was drinking, um, shampoo, and um..oh yeah my perfume (cologne, for those who need interpretation)"  And he's still beaming.

I begin to slowly walk towards the front door.  Beaming Science Guy follows.

It's been several decades since I had Chemistry, but, yeah, there's something else in his concoction, for sure.

Hmmmm.  Jake?  You sure there's nothing else in your experiement?

Beamer:  "Nope.  Oh, yeah, wait a second, yeah, um, itch cream (aka HYDROCORTISONE), and my special smell good soap (Dove Care for Men that Beamer HAD to HAVE just cuz his Dad uses it)."

Jake?  What ELSE?

Beamer:  NOTHING!

I give him 'the look', as I continue to hold the nearly dissolved, highly fumigating, mysterious concoction that I am not so sure is not about to melt several of my phalanges in an accident that I will for once, be completely unable to decipher or describe to the medical attendants and/or the social workers who will eventually want to know how it is that my 40 pound six year old son had access to shaving cream and nail polish, of all things.

Beamer:  Oh, wait, yeah, something else too.

I'm silent.  Waiting.

Beamer:  Ear drops.

THESE ear drops Jake?  THESE ear drops that come from a visit to Dr. Jill for ear infections?  THESE ear drops?

Beamer:  Um. Yep.  (And he is still BEAMING!  As if he has just solved for pi.)

Jake?  This container is EMPTY.

Beamer:  Yeah, (head nodding violently).  I used the whole thing.  It took a long time to squeeze them all out but i did it.  But then it was too watery so i added more nail polish.  But then it didn't smell so good.  So that's when I put in ALL MY PERFUME.

I open the front door.  And yes, it's 905pm, Eastern time.  And I tell him to follow me.  And he has the nerve to tell me no, he doesn't want to get his feet dirty, since he JUST HAD HIS BATH. !?!?!?!?!

I'm done with being calm, cool, collected Mom.  And become my usual PSYCHO Mom, as I came pretty close to screaming, "THEN PUT ON YOUR SHOES THAT ARE RIGHT HERE!  RIGHT HERE BY THE DOOR!  RIGHT HERE!  PUT THEM ON AND PUT THEM ON NOW!"

No longer Beaming Failure of a Scientist:  "Are you gonna hit me?"

Oh buoy.  No, I am not going to hit you, nor am I in the habit of hitting you, but I've got something even more painful up my sleeve, Bucko.

I force him to accompany me outside (where we do have outside lighting, thank you very much.)

And I give him the oozing and melting and smoking container that used to hold 5 packets of Crystal Lite, and now holds, well, to be completely honest, I HAVE NO IDEA.

And I tell him to put it over 'there'.  Not IN the trash can.  Not IN the grass.  Not NEAR a sprinkler.  Not NEAR the house.  Put it by that big plastic bucket.  And do NOT dump it.  And LEAVE it.

Science Whackjob amazingly does as he is told.

But doesn't want to come in the house.

Jake.  GET in the house.

"But Mom!  I wanna see what happens next."


He enters the house reluctantly, kicks off his shoes, and mutters something under his breath.

WHAT did you just say?

"I said, YOU don't ah-preesh-ee-ate how cool science is."

My first thought is, "Where is my Xanax?"

But I chose to deliver and elicit consequences first.

He has six more minutes to complete his essay on:

1).  WHY he thought it was a 'good' idea to try and build a Crystal Lite bomb.

2).   WHERE did he get this cockamammie idea from.

and finally:

3).  HOW it is that he can assure, aka PROMISE, his downtrodden mother that no such science 'experiment' will ever happen again unless he is in the 10th grade, in Chemistry, in a controlled environment, with a lab coat wearing teacher named Fred Savage who wears Safety Glasses every day and mixes red, green, and yellow frothing concoctions into a beaker, drinks it, smashes the beaker against the blackboard as it splinters  into glass smithereens and cackles like the mad scientist that he is/was as he informs 25 aghast teenagers that he just made 'water'.

Fast forward 40 minutes.

The MAD supposed to be writing the answers to his essay questions.

I hear a very weird sound involving what sounds like something being shoved into a plastic garbage bag.

So I weeble wobble myself to the living room to find out what 'science' experiment could be in process NOW.

Whatever it WAS, I missed it.

But I persued my usual line of questioning.

After a valiant attempt at warding off the interrogation, Science Boy fessed up.

"Mom.  I was trying to put my FOOT into the bag of APPLES."

Sigh.  Head down.  Eyes closed.  Prayers for the divinest of all possible interventions.

"And then my FOOT got stuck and I couldn't get it out."  (of a 3 lb. bag of Granny Smith Apples)

Jake.  How many apples were in the bag?

"You mean, like, when we got them at Publix?"

Sigh.  No Jake.  I mean, like, how many apples were in the bag when you stuck your foot in there?

"Oh.  Just one Mom.  Just one."

(I've noticed that his foot is no longer in the bag.)

So, Jake.  Whadya do with the apple that was in the bag, after you got your foot out of it?

"MOM!  Whadya think I did with it?  I ate it!  It was a perfectly fine apple!  And you and Dad are telling us all the time that we shouldn't waste food!  You can't get mad at me for eating an apple!  Geesh!"

Oh no, Whackjob.

I'm not mad.


Bewtiched, bothered, and bewildered?



  1. So, I'm an engineer at heart still. All I want to know is what happened to the science experiment?

  2. Honestly? Almost 24 hours later, I'm too scared to peek. I was really hoping it would spontaneously combust and simply 'disappear'.

  3. "The MAD scientist..." - LOL !

    - The Scalawag, Maloney