The science of love

J. was an extreme sports guy and a materials scientist. He loved skiing and mountain climbing, yet sadly died in a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk outside of his lab. His wife and fellow materials scientist M. reached out to have rocks made for their family and friends. At the time we were shipping our rocks in a Press-and-Seal product to keep them from banging together and getting scratched or broken, but these were going farther and to a colder environment than we had shipped before. A few days later she e-mailed and said the sticky residue from the Press-and-Seal product was clinging to the glass. I told her to wash them in soap and water and they would be fine. She e-mailed the next day and said it was not coming off, but she would try a few other things. On Monday she e-mailed that she had taken J’s rocks to the lab over the weekend and tried all manner of solvents on him to no avail. She said it had actually been a lot of fun working on one last project with him and she had talked to him all weekend while trying to get the gummy stuff off the glass. She listed a bunch of polysyllabic things she had tried, but she thought she was making things worse instead of better and she was getting frustrated. I told her I would call Glad and ask for help.

The lady at the other end of the phone had a thick Southern accent and sounded bored, even though it was 9 a.m. “Ohl” she said. What? “Use cooking ohl, then wash with soap and water.” I called M., laughing. “She says to use cooking oil!” M. was silent for a few beats, Then we both burst out laughing for having made something so simple into something so complicated. I received a lovely thank you note from her stating “The rocks cleaned up easily and beautifully with vegetable oil. Who knew 🙂 Thanks for the help on that!”

I just think J and M were not done working together.