The Grinch Who Stole Science

The Grinch may be green, but he’s not photosynthetic.* However, here’s a grinchy science parody that fits just perfectly on this blog.


Every Sci down in Sci-ville liked Science a lot… But The Grinch, who lived just North of Sci-ville, Did NOT! The Grinch hated Science! The whole research season! Now, please don’t ask why. He just wouldn’t listen to reason. It could be that his head wasn’t screwed on quite right. It could be, perhaps, that his ties were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his brain was two sizes too small. But, whatever the reason, his brain or his ties, he stood there on the funding committee, hating the Scis.

Staring down from his office with a sour, Grinchy glower at the warm lighted windows below in their tower. For he knew every Sci was preparing their aims, busily now supporting their claims. “And they’re gathering their data!” he snarled with a sneer. “Deadline’s tomorrow! It’s practically here!” Then he growled, with his grinch fingers nervously drumming, “I MUST find a way to keep Science from coming!” For, tomorrow, he knew… …All the Sci girls and boys would wake up bright and early. They’d rush for their grants! And then! Oh, the experiments! Oh, the experiments! Experiments! That’s one thing he hated! The Experiments! Then the Scis, young and old, would sit down to a bench. And they’d research! And they’d research! And they’d research! Research! Research! They would start on the -omics, and screens on yeast which was something the Grinch couldn’t stand in the least!

And THEN They’d do something he liked least of all! Every Sci in the tower, the tall and the small, would stand close together, with hypotheses greeting. They’d stand hand-in-hand. And the Scis would start meeting! They’d meet! And they’d meet! AND they’d meet! Meet! Meet! Meet! And the more the Grinch thought of the Sci’s Annual Meeting, The more the Grinch thought, “I must stop this whole thing! “Why for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I MUST stop Science from coming! …But HOW?” Then he got an idea! An awful idea! THE GRINCH GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!

“I know just what to do!” The Grinch laughed in his throat. And he made a quick Scientist lab coat. And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great Grinchy ploy! “With this coat, I’ll look just like a PhD decoy!” “All I need is a postdoc…” The Grinch looked around. Since postdocs are cheap, one could easily be found. But they wanted benefits? No! The Grinch simply said, “If I have to pay a postdoc, I’ll make one instead!” So he called his dog Max. Then he took some red thread and he tied a big hood on top of his head. THEN He loaded some bags and some old empty sacks on a research vessel and he hitched up old Max. Then the Grinch said, “Giddyap!” And the vessel started down toward Sci-ville where the Scis lay a-snooze in their labs.

All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air. All the Scis were all dreaming sweet dreams without care when he came to the first lab in the square. “This is stop number one,” The old Dr. Grinchy hissed and he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist. Then he slid down the fume hood, a rather tight pinch, but if phenol could do it, then so could the Grinch. He got stuck only once, for a moment or two. Then he stuck his head out of the fume hood flue where the little Sci flasks all hung in a row. “These flasks,” he grinned, “are the first things to go!” Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most not nice, around the whole room, and he took every device! Beakers! And pipettors! Stir plates! Tris! Sequencers! Manuscripts! Timers! UV-Vis! And he stuffed them in bags. Then the Grinch, very nimbly, stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the fume hood! Then he slunk to the freezer. He took the Scis’ box! He took all the strains! He took the lab stocks! He cleaned out their chem shelf as quick as can be. Why, that Grinch even took their last can of LB!

Then he stuffed all the data up the fume hood with a rant. “And NOW!” grinned the Grinch, “I will stuff up the grant!” And the Grinch grabbed the grant, and he started to shove when he heard a small sound like donning a glove. He turned around fast, and he saw a small Sci! Little Cindy-Vi Sci, who’s qual exams were nigh. The Grinch had been caught by this little Sci daughter who’d got out of lab for a cup of DI-water. She stared at the Grinch and said, “Reviewer, why, “Why are you taking our R01 grant? WHY?” But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick! “Why, my sweet little tot,” the fake PhD lied, “There’s a fatal flaw in this aim that’ll kill the whole grant. “So I’m taking it home to triage, my dear. “I’ll fix it up there. Then I’ll bring it back here.” And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her skull and he sent her to rethink of her hypothesis null. And when Cindy-Vi Sci went away with her thoughts, HE killed the grant until their funding was naught! Then the last thing he took was the log for their data. Then he went up the fume hood himself, the old hater.

On their walls he left nothing but hooks, and some wire. And the one speck of media he left in the lab was a crumb that was even too small for a stab. Then He did the same thing to the other Scis’ labs leaving crumbs much too small for the other Scis’ stabs! It was quarter past dawn… All the Scis, still a-bed all the Scis, still a-snooze when he packed up his vessel, packed it up with their instruments! Reagents! The tweezers! The tape! And the shakers! The centrifuges! The freezers! Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Rejectit, He rode to the tiptop to eject it! “Bye-bye to the Scis!” he was grinch-ish-ly humming. “They’re finding out now that no research is coming! “They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll try! “Their mouths will hang open a minute and sigh “Then all the Scis down in Sci-ville will all cry Why-why!”

“That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “That I simply must hear!” So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear. And he did hear a kick-starter rising over the snow. It started in low. Then it started to grow… But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded rational! It couldn’t be so! But it WAS full of hope! No dope! He stared down at Sci-ville! The Grinch popped his eyes! Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise! Every Sci down in Sci-ville, the tall and the small, was researching! Without any grants at all! He HADN’T stopped Science from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same! And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so? It came without R01s! It came without panels! “It came without fellowships or reviews through normal channels!” And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler went can’t. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Science,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a grant.”

Maybe Science…perhaps…means a little bit more!” And what happened then…? Well…in Sci-ville they say that the Grinch’s small brain grew three sizes that day! And the minute his brain didn’t feel quite so tight, He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light and he brought back the equipment! And the laserjet toner! And he… …HE HIMSELF…! The Grinch became a top donor!



*I just wanted to clearly state that since I know at least one person stumbled upon my blog with the search term “Is the Grinch Photosynthetic?”


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