Thursday, 27 February 2014

I can't be good at everything.

I spent a terrifying five minutes trapped in the shower this morning.

I'm staying at a hotel in Edinburgh for two nights so that I can train with Dr Stig Walsh of the National Museum in Edinburgh in the use of x-ray computed tomography and assist him with research. He's looking at the interior of bird skulls, searching for patterns in their shape and size that can be linked to their flight patterns. I'll be scanning some of the birds for him and soaking up knowledge like a neuron-sponge.

Hi-tech and impressive perhaps, but none of it will happen, I thought to myself as I pulled desperately on the shower cubicle door, if I'm stuck starkers in a hotel bathroom.

Who was even going to find me? The walls are very thin, so perhaps someone would hear me shouting? But did I want to be seen in all my glory by the slightly unnerving tattooed man at reception? I think not. I might have to clamber over the door and drop, cat-like (or stone-like) to the tiles beyond, and freedom. What was jamming the door anyway, there was no mechanism, just magnets - apparently of superhuman strength. Had Magneto designed this thing? I leaned back and pulled with all my bodyweight.

Then I remembered it was a push door, not a pull door.

What cartoonist Gary Larson realised and expressed so beautifully (and repeatedly) was how monumentally stupid otherwise intelligent people can be.

Who can trust me with a CT-scanner when I can't even figure out the self-scanner in Tescos? *

Let's hope Dr Walsh is a patient man...

*Yes, it's true, I struggled to buy my dinner last night. It took many minutes of moving my groceries around and lifting them up and repeatedly smashing them back down before I figured out which bit was the weigh plate. I got some really withering looks from the staff.

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