Friday, June 5, 2015

NMR love, by Chemjobber

(clears throat)

NMR love

by Chemjobber

Instrument, I come to you 20 times a day

like a crazy monkey lover:

in and out, in and out, in and out.

The hissing of the compressed air announces


or defeat.

And you, you hardly ever break down

(except when you do)

(I forgive you.)

Oh how I love to polish the outside of your magnet.

Instrument, please come home with me tonight.

I’ll scrub off all the stains,

the compounds from the broken tubes.

I’m tired of being your part-time lover.

Let me carry you off

into the night on my pickup truck.

That postdoc from the other lab,

I know he smells

and doesn't shim you right.

This poem is an adaptation of Jim Daniels' "Factory Love." To him, I owe an apology. 

To hear him read some pretty good poems, click here for his recent appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. (Honestly, I'm not really a big Garrison Keillor fan, nor a fan of modern poetry, but I did like his poems.) 


  1. Oh no! CJ has cracked!

  2. Around here, "polishing the magnet" gets you referred to HR.

    1. Your magnet, or someone else's?

      I'll stop now.

    2. CJ, watch it, if your magnet quenches YOU will have to clean it up!

    3. In Soviet Russia, the magnet quenches YOU!

    4. Sometimes the magnet gives you all the right signals...

    5. I think the magnet is only attracted to you for your belt buckle. There is no such thing as unconditional love. Sorry.

    6. Rodeo cowboys have the same problem.

    7. I should have been more specific. Rodeo cowboys have the same problem in that it's all about the belt buckle. The belt buckle in rodeo competitions is a kind of trophy - an indicator of a (usually cash) prize won (and possibly endorsements to follow). The belt buckle is what draws the "buckle bunnies" (groupies) who figure they're either going to get a good ride or take the buckle owner for one. There is no such thing as unconditional love (sigh).

    8. Not from humans. But from dogs, yes.

    9. There's a strange chemist at UIUC who might have some thoughts on that, Anonymous #2. Not sure how many groupies she gets though.

    10. @NMH, I guess we both stand corrected.

  3. Don't quit your day job.

    And, if you want to go *ahem* "polishing magnets" get a room.

  4. That postdoc will never shim you like I can.

  5. In the words of a certain banty rooster: "man, you're the sickest".

  6. Replies
    1. This is hilarious... listen to the Jim Daniels reading and then use your imagination to sub in the magnet-polishing. I think the only thing wrong with CJ is that he's spending too much time at the NMR console. An Agilent/Varian perhaps? Maybe this is a rant in disguise.