Science Lesson

The title of some questionable spam reminded me of this true story.

Of course, as a second-hand story, this may well sound like an urban legend to readers of this blog. Nevertheless, I am confident that it is true, as I heard the same story related by two people I knew well, both of whom were there, but who have never met. A housemate at the time told me the story the day it happened, and a girlfriend verified it a little while later. As that girlfriend is now my wife, I must believe her.

It was in 1985, during an undergraduate biochemistry class at Michigan State University. The class was held in one of those large lecture halls which can accommodate a hundred or more students.

On this particular day, the professor was explaining that human semen was comprised of mostly sugar. At that point, a young lady toward the front of the class raised her hand.

“Then why does it taste so salty?”

She quickly realized how revealing that question had been, prompted by loud laughter from the rest of the class. Turning bright red, she grabbed her books and walked rapidly out of the lecture hall.

After a few attempts in vain to get back to education, the class could not stop laughing, so the professor ended up dismissing the class early, apparently without answering the question.

Hey, do not blame me; I only reported it.

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