This is the season for me to scour the internet and local stores for supplies for our science program hosted in local parks. The fun part is that there is such a variety of items and such quantity. The checkout woman at Costco remarked about the the six bulk packages of Mentos mints, bulk vinegar, two extra-large bottles of lemon juice, and four dispensers of Alka Seltzer. (I was also buying beer and ribeye steaks, but not for science lessons.)
In other stores and on the internet especially, there’s even greater variety and surprise. It’s funny, for example, to find oneself buying personal lubricant, in bulk, with a university credit card. Not to mention the fact that it’s all legitimate. Well, yes, sure, personal lubrication is always legitimate, and important, I’m sure. But in this case “it’s for the kids” as we like to say around here. Well, “for the kids,” meaning NOT really “for the kids,” but … Let me explain.
Our summer program is particularly famous for making large messes in parks, playing with children and letting them experience chemical reactions and physical phenomena. One of our particularly proud concoctions is a bubble solution we use to blow bubbles from lots of different devices; and, we have a whole kiddie pool of bubble solution from which we can pull a fabric hoop to make gigantic bubbles. Always, the recipes for these are interesting, including things like glycerin and corn syrup, and sometimes other odd ingredients. I’ve found some that had included extra glycerin, and still others with calls for products that make me blush, found only in the most secret corners of a pharmacy.
But this week my new director found an exceptional recipe for really exceptional large bubbles. It includes both a “personal lubricant” and a powder called “J-Lube” that mixes up into bulk lubricant that is meant for large veterinary obstetrics. Yet, a search for “J-Lube” quickly shows that it has other uses as well. Many of the vendors of the stuff also sell other lubrications, devices, and instructions (for lack of a better term that won’t put me on more search results than I care for). I emailed a veterinary acquaintance who confirmed its use in her own vet practice, with the warning, “it is treacherous stuff! If you get it on the floor – watch out!”
I found a veterinary outlet* and ordered two bottles of the powder, enough to make 16 gallons of lube, and plenty of bubbles. Watch out!
*This will be enough excitement for accounting, probably already setting someone into cardiac arrest. Can’t imagine what would have happened if I’d ordered it from other sources. I like to keep them on their toes.