Monday, October 19, 2009

Jeremiah was a bullfrog

When I was a sophomore in high-school I had a biology class where we dissected a frog as an anatomy lesson. Whereas a lot of biology classes have freshly killed frogs, ours had ones that were kept in formaldehyde. Because of this— the frogs had rigor mortise and were stuck in one particular position. Ours had the fortunate/unfortunate position of having one of its front legs folded in front of its body instead of off to the side.

This was unfortunate, because we had to work around that folded arm any time we had to access the body. It made it particularly difficult to open up the belly and see what it recently ate. I don't think that my lab partner and I put two and two together and saw how fortunate we were until we snipped the frog's jaw and rolled out the tongue.

One of the exercises in class was to roll out the tongue to see how long it is. In order to do this, you had to snip the two sides of the jaw so that the jaw can be flipped down and the tongue rolled out. I don't know at what point we noticed that the hanging tongue reminded us of a Rolling Stones album cover— or that the folded arm may have been in that position for a reason. It was after this point that we never looked at our frog the same way again.

We fashioned an electric guitar out of paper and slipped it under the folded arm. We affectionately named it Jeremiah and sang Joy To the World to ourselves every time we got the frog out. I do not think that we had the forethought to take pictures— who could when you are keeping one eye on the teacher so that you don't get caught goofing off. Our frog was a rock-star and we liked it that way.

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