In Pursuit of Bacchanal
Weather-wise, there are only two seasons in the island nation, dry and wet season. When it comes to festivities, there are only two events, carnival and charismas. But bacchanal is a year around celebration, at work or elsewhere.
“Jan, have you prepared the agar agar media?” asked Dr. Quitt.
“I am sorry, I couldn’t get around to do it,” replied Jan casually.
Dr. Quitt was working on nitrogen fixing bacteria in micro biology research laboratory where Jan was a full-time technician.
“Would it possible you can make it this afternoon so it will be ready for tomorrow after autoclaving tonight?” Dr. Quitt has lots of patience.
“I am sorry, this afternoon I have an appointment with my doctor,” replied Jan.
This was a typical conversation with Jan when it comes to work. She hardly worked in the lab. For the most part, she spent time at her desk writing letters to her parents back home in England or attending errands. She was her own boss. Other technicians in the lab treated her as such. Nobody has a clue, how she got the full time job doing nothing. Jan comes to work every day but not to work. This would be scandalous or a bacchanal anywhere but not on this island.
“Lakhina, would you come with me to the greenhouse to collect soil samples?” asked Dr. Dayal, a research scientist.
“Not with you, alone.”
I don’t trust you,” replied Lakhina.
You don’t!” Dr. Dayal was furious.
“No, you may try something funny with me.” Lakhina was adamant.
Dr. Dayal, a married man with kids left the lab in a hurry to avoid further embarrassment in front of several other lab techs.
“Dr. Donohue, are you attending the seminar this evening?” asked Dr. Persad.
“No, I have a fete to attend this evening, and I need a chick to go along, man,”
“Any new finds?”
“I am hitting on a woman from Tunapuna, I really want to get her,” Dr. Donahue was casual in his talk. He never took his academic responsibilities seriously; it was just a financial support for his sport, chasing women.
Bob, Ron and Ben were graduate students came from different parts of the world to the Island. For years, graduate and teaching assistant jobs were tied up among them with no progress in research but whole lot of bacchanal to go around.
As folklore goes, an eccentric Hindu mystic fed up with bacchanal during carnival events, year after year, put a curse that people on the island shall fall victim to their bacchanalia and it is only way for them to attain salvation. Some Hindu theologians even went so far to equate bacchanal to karma, the God’s way of punishing people for their behavior on the earth before attaining salvation. If a saint from heaven were to visit the island for a short visit, the saint will fall victim to a bacchanal either voluntarily or involuntarily
While there were many theories on why the people of the island are prone to bacchanal, one that gathering support was that living on an island that is floating over vast natural gas deposits make them light headed all the time to commit bacchanal involuntarily.
Juggernaut, a graduate student from abroad though finished his graduate work, couldn’t figure out what caused so many bacchanals to take place. After several years, lyrics came down from nowhere to make a calypso out of it, but left the islands before it was finished.
Where was the Bossman
Infra red, x ray diffraction
Mass spectrograph, gas chromatograph
All the analytical equipment
Idle and humming quietly
But, no graduate students or post docs to work
Was just a show and tell
Where was the bossman
Lab technicians liming
Or driving private taxi on the job
Academicians were in pursuit of bacchanal all the time
Where was the bossman