942. Water fleas


Vyvyan had an interesting job. He worked as an industrial chemist. He was employed to develop new fragrances of car air freshener, but it was still stimulating and challenging. Just recently he had developed the fragrance of “Cucumber and Catnip”. He had one of these air fresheners in his car.

It was while developing the Cucumber and Catnip Air Freshener that he made his big discovery. New chemical usages required tests to be done on aquatic life. He knew, for example, that 3a,4,5,6,7,7a-hexahydro-4,7-methano-1H-indenyl propionate, a chemical used in his Cucumber and Catnip fragrance, was toxic to water fleas. It was while he was at a local lake gathering daphnia and other aquatic invertebrates for toxicity studies that he discovered a hitherto unknown species of water flea.

Vyvyan was shot to stardom. It’s not every day a scientist discovers a new species in his own backyard. And now – oh the excitement! – the water fleas had laid eggs. Vyvyan kept a close watch on the progress of the eggs every time he passed the lake.

There’s the lake now! Goodness! Poor Vyvyan was so intent on looking that he drove off the road and into the lake and nearly drowned. The car was submerged. He managed to escape through the car window.

But the air freshener! The Cucumber and Catnip Air Freshener contained 3a,4,5,6,7,7a-hexahydro-4,7-methano-1H-indenyl propionate that was toxic to the newly discovered water flea! Vyvyan reached into the car and grabbed the sachet of air freshener. He made it to shore! He held high the lethal Cucumber and Catnip Air Freshener sachet. He had saved himself and the rare water fleas!

The funeral for the others in the car, his drowned wife and two young daughters, is next Friday.

27 thoughts on “942. Water fleas

  1. thecontentedcrafter

    Anybody who marries a man capable of inventing a ‘Cucumber and Catnip’ car fragrance using such obviously lethal chemical properties probably longs for death by any means ………… Anybody who comes up with a story line like this – just the mere idea of a ‘Cucumber and Catnip’ car fragrance – has to be some kind of genius! (Or maybe idiot savant?) I will never get in an over perfumed car again without enquiring if the fragrance is cucumber and catmint!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      LOL! I had been preparing car fragrance chemical safety files for weeks and had had enough when I wrote this! “Cucumber and Mountain Air” seemed to be the latest oliphatory delight!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. umashankar

    Allow me to quote from the profound Hindu religio-philosophical scriptures, ‘Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta’, considered an epitome of wisdom and spiritualism, and is part of the epic called ‘Mahabharat’.

    “Sri Krishna said to Arjuna: You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.” (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 47)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cynthia Jobin

      That is lovely. I have read it as the Baghavad Gita, in English. I question what goes on in cars that you need “air fresheners” (outside of the marketing potential) and why people want to deny reality and kill themselves slowly, inhaling synthetic chemicals. Open the dang windows!!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Great wisdom shared, thank you. It reminded me of: “Does the master thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded? I think not. Even so you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, “We are unworthy servants. We have done our duty”.” – Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Val

    What a great story! Gotta save those precious water fleas! (I once did a cesarean on a dying water flea with a pin and microscope. (I was the one with the pin and microscope) Its babies thanked me. I think the water flea itself was called Mrs Yorrick. Alas.)

    Liked by 1 person


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