Gourd fertilizer wasn’t nearly as cool of a job as it sounded. Like a lot of jobs it looked pretty good on paper, what with the new breeds he’d created and the studies on variation in genomes he’d gotten published. But the day-to-day actions were pretty damned repetitive. Once you’ve swabbed seed on the inside of a flower you’ve crossed the thin line between interesting and sanity-crushing repetitive.
The studies, the molecular dissections, the gene mapping- that occupied about 10% of his overall time. The real work- the stuff he technically got paid for- was the monotonous, mind-numbingly dull reproduction of fertilization. He concluded early on that if he were going to survive he’d have to think of something to do with his brain while his hands repeated their simple actions flower after flower.
He’d always been fond of the picnic game as a kid- going over the items one would bring while cycling through the alphabet. Except that in his variation he would set the picnic location in a very strange place and try to come up with the most ridiculous items one could possibly bring there, in alphabetical order. It seemed like a waste of brain power for a botanist of his standing at first but then, what else was he gonna do?
Today he’d decided the picnic would be in space. He started with the basics- ant farm, balloon, things of that nature. But he found himself struggling later on in the alphabet. He was stuck on N and getting quite agitated with himself when his friend interrupted him from his thoughts.
“Man, the pollen is killing me today,” Jed said, making a loud and terribly elephant-sounding blow into his tissue.
“Why don’t you take something?” Ken asked without really paying attention. A night-light? No, too stupid. Nestle cocoa? Too obvious…
“Nah, that stuff makes me all wonky and sleepy, can’t take it. I just need my Neti-pot and a cup of hot-“
“Neti pot! Thank you!” Ken interrupted him.
Jed raised an eyebrow and then knelt to start spreading seed. Having known Ken for a disturbingly long period of time he had learned it was best not to question his random exclamations.