You will enjoy this post, I’m sure. It’s the first in a new series of guest posts and was written by Hamilton Carter from the blog Copasetic Flow. If you need a good giggle, keep reading!
About a month after junior was born, we departed the toasty environs of the Southwest, and headed back to Brookhaven National Laboratory, home of my wife’s physics dissertation work. It was still the height of winter there, but we soon discovered that when I strapped Junior to my chest, and then zipped her and I up in a Dickies hoodie one size too large, she was snug as a bug in a rug. I realized I looked a little absurd walking from building to building with a large amorphous bundle strapped to my chest. Occasionally onlookers were curious enough to ask what I was carrying. I’d unzip a bit so they could take a look at Junior snoozing happily. Exchanging adoring grins, we’d both carry on, headed for our warm destinations. The system worked as well as it had for the baby bearers of Boulder! Until the bomb scare.
One morning, I was happily trundling along my way to talk to a man about a magnet. The kid, dozily settled into the wrap for her morning nap. Half way there, I noticed a police car following us about 20 yards behind. The police in Brookhaven were a bit of a curiosity in and of themselves. Not everything they did always made sense, so I shrugged it off. As we turned into the curved drive leading to the magnet building’s parking lot, the cruiser lurched ahead and pulled to curb. The officer inside was now facing us with his window down. Things had become a bit odd it seemed. The officer, obviously agitated, shouted, “Stop right there!”
“OK. What’s going on, officer?”
“Don’t move. What’s in the jacket?” I reached for the zipper below my chin. “Don’t touch that zipper! Someone called concerned that a bearded man in a hoodie might be carrying a bomb! What’s in the jacket!?”
Both offended, and about ready to guffaw at the inanity of it all, I fought to stay calm as the officer began to fumble his way out of the car. Apparently, adrenaline can make car door handles difficult to grasp. Speaking as calmly as I could, I said, “It’s a baby. Officer, there’s a baby under my hoodie.”
“A baby. My kid is under this hoodie.”
“Well, ummm, unzip the hoodie slowly.”
Unaware until then that babies were quite so dangerous, I cautiously eased down the zipper so that the kid emerged from her little cubby. She ‘urped gently, snuggled in deeper, and conked back out.
“Are you allowed to have babies here?”
“Well, yes officer, you’re allowed to live on lab property, so yes, you’re allowed to have babies.”
“Where are you going?”
“To talk to a physicist about wrapping a magnet in Lintz wire.”
“With a baby?”
“She’ll sleep through it all, I promise.”
“Well then,ummm, carry on.”
Ultimately, the officer and I became pleasant acquaintances. I’d had my comeuppance though: one man’s baby is another’s bomb.
Hamilton Carter’s childhood dreams of becoming an archeologist/novelist/physicist/adventurer morphed into his present-day life as a dad/science writer/physics grad student/electronics engineer, which is to say he’s accomplished all his life goals to date. As a kid, his love of comic books and sci-fi led him to science. He built a cyclotron in high school while hanging out with classmates who built linacs, Tesla coils, and linacs powered by Tesla coils. Having grown up in the mountains of south-central New Mexico, he enjoys hiking and camping with his family anytime he gets anywhere near a mountain.