George was a scientist. He retired long ago, yet he continues to work in his spare time at his own home. He has a large shed, or barn, behind his house full of scientific equipments, bottles with various liquids in them, test tubes, electrical gadgets and so on.
He is quite an inventor. He was fired from his job at a pharmaceutical lab for inventing an instant laxative which he tested on the nurses.
When I went to visit him he had a tattoo on his forehead advertising beer. He said bald people could use the space on their heads to advertise various products. Also people could advertise all over their bodies when on the beach.
He had a large empty glass tank; like a fish tank. I asked him what it contained, and he said it is full of chameleons but you can't see them because they're camouflaged like the glass tank! I placed a small stick in the tank and moved it about a bit. I assured him the tank was empty. He confirmed that they were all there when he counted them the previous evening. Then he started singing, "Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleons ... You come and go, you come and go ... Life would be easy if your colours were like my dreams ... Red gold and green ... Red gold and greeeen ..." I didn't understand what all that was about. Some scientists can be strange, I find.
He told me a story about the time he had to go to hospital for an operation on his toe. As he was wheeled in the operating theatre, there in the middle of the room was a man sitting in a boat. He asked who the man was and was told he's the anaesthetist.
The anaesthetist gave him a choice and said, "I can either knock you out with gas or with a boat paddle!" It was an ether/oar situation!
Anyway, as we walked through his rather crowded barn full of instruments and things, I noticed a bottle had tipped over and its content was leaking all over a table. I pointed it out to him. He put his finger in the liquid and then licked it.
"Is it safe?" I asked.
"We'll soon find out," he said with a smile.
I noticed on a table a plastic nose. I asked him what it was.
"It's my latest invention," he said, "with this nose on, you can smell in stereo and 3 dimension pin-point accuracy. You can turn to someone in an elevator and say 'it was you!' "
It was a surreal experience visiting George. He is one of those people who never actually give up working even though he retired years ago. He showed me another latest invention. Motorised shoes.
They looked a bit like skis but much shorter. They had some contraption in which you stand and lock your shoes and feet, like on skis. And the whole thing had wheels. He asked me to wear the shoes and gave me a remote control gadget with various buttons.
As soon as I pressed the "GO" button the shoes jolted forwards and I fell backwards on my back banging my head on the ground. That was not the worst of it. The shoes ran forwards at speed dragging me behind them on my back. I could feel my shirt and pants being scraped and torn on the ground. I could not stop the runaway shoes. He shouted, "Press STOP ... Press STOP!"
How could I? The remote control thing had flown out of my hand and I was being pulled on my back by these motorised shoes with a mind of their own.
After about two minutes of being pulled at speed I stopped feet first into a pyracantha bush. Those thorns can be quite painful, you know!
What a disastrous visit that was when I went to see George. I recall he had a beautiful parrot sitting on a perch in his house. I asked him if he talked. He replied, "he used to; but my wife has taught him the silent treatment!"