olfactory receptors

The Hirudo (or Leechfolk)

(Art is not mine, artist posted it when I was discussing this race on /tg/ months back and refused to share their name and said they did not have a page where they posted their work. I would be very grateful if someone could point me to the artists page if they ended up making one)

A while back on /tg/ I was helping to create various collective homebrews with the other anons there. While nothing concrete came from it one of my biggest contributions was the Hirudo or Leechfolk. Resembling mundane leeches in much the same way Thri-Kreen or Formains resemble mantids and ants respectively. Considered one of the less popular aspects of the “Bugworld” setting I still have a soft-spot in my heart for them and knew they’d be better appreciated here. So I’ve written up what I remember and can track down of them as a common use race for D&D 5E but they can be adapted for any system really.

Feel free to use them for your games and characters as long as I, Justin Wiysel, am credited as their creator. I don’t plan to make any profit from these, just don’t want to see someone else profiting off my work that I want to be free for all to enjoy.

(This one is done by @edspear who did a lot of concept art for them and the Bugworld)

The Hirudo, or Leechfolk to most commoners, are a typically jovial and empathetic race who are becoming well-known as healers of great skill. Dwelling in swamps, along waterways, the coasts, and anywhere sufficiently wet they are still a relatively rare sight away from their villages and cities but more and more are hearing the call to adventure. Their unique skill-sets make them valued members of their groups, ranging from natural healers, skilled alchemists, and deceptively capable combatants.

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aquacura  asked:

vera keyes or nick valentine headcanons? ∠( ᐛ 」∠)_

I’ll go with nick valentine cause I know nothing about Vera

Well traveled before the war. Been to three different countries and twenty different states. .

In an ironic twist, human nick has the biggest, thickest, eyebrows you’ve ever seen.

Likes to put peanuts in his coke. Picked the habit up in the south. Nobody knows what the fuck he’s doing.

Over time his olfactory receptors (his robotic sense of smell) had gotten pretty damaged. He misses the smell of flowers.

He was that guy that mixed bourbon into his coffee.

He also enjoys earl grey tea.

He thinks the silver shroud is kinda lame (this is canon).

He’s not big on superheroes or crime fighters believe it or not.

Likes to read classic literature and poetry.
(He quotes the Raven in game)

he gets jerks and spasms from time to time cause he’s an old worn out bot and hasn’t had a proper maintenance in forever.

Used to be a bit of a bigger guy when he was a human.

Nick always had two left feet when it came to dancing. But he still loves to nonetheless.

He can’t really eat but sometimes he can just almost taste whatever he’s attempting to chew on.

Mornings are rough for him. He sometimes wakes up and catches himself doing things he can’t do anymore, like eat breakfast.

He also has episodes where his memory bank gets a little corrupted and he forgets he’s a synth or where he is. Kinda like machine Alzheimer’s. He gets very panicked and upset.

Ellie’s very good at helping him through these episodes.

Nick relies very heavily on Ellie for emotional support. She’s like an unofficially adopted daughter to him.

He’s the ultimate story teller.

You cannot keep a lie from nick. He can tell when somebody’s lying. He’s too clever.

He gets his metal hand caught on stuff a lot.

He watches out for all the kids in diamond city. He gives them good advice and a shoulder to cry on.

Makes a lot of prewar references nobody understands.

Likes to collect dead lighters.

Ya know how people can like, roll or twirl a coin around their fingers. Yeah, he does that a lot.

He tried writing a few poems back in the day. Ellie’s the only one that’s read them.


Mechari Medical and Repair RP guide

Hello! Welcome to the second round of exhaustive rp guides for mechari.  This time a focus on ‘medical’  Why?  Because everyone understands what to expect when an organic character is injured or ill since all the players live that life already.  Mechari?  Not so much. Often rp defaults to the closest parallels we can find in our modern world- cars and computers.  From a lore standpoint this simply will not do. Mechari are advanced beyond our current reckoning. Created by a race who mastered everything they touched  with technology and magic, mechari would be well beyond arc welding and oil changes.

The following is a blend of existing lore and headcanon based on current bleeding edge prosthetics and robotics.  It is meant as a guide to help out with confusion and help immersion in RP. Should you chose to use this just like my other guides is entirely up to you (note- for Junction Nexus 01 this is the lore we go by)


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Flowers are nature’s ad men. They’ll do anything to attract the attention of the pollinators that help them reproduce, and they tailor their displays based on the sensory capabilities of those pollinators. Bees can see visible and ultraviolet light, they have precise olfactory receptors, and now we know they can also detect electric fields.

  • Visible spectrum (photo). Particular bright colors and petal shapes attract particular pollinators. (Credit: Kevin Collins)
  • Ultraviolet (photo). Bees and other pollinators can see the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. They are guided by patterns on flowers that are invisible to humans. (Credit: Kevin Collins)
  • Fragrance plume (artist’s depiction). Bees follow specific odors to locate flowers and, once they arrive, use scent maps to move toward the center of the flower. Fragrance that clings to a bee provides information for other bees back at the hive.
  • Electric field (artist’s depiction). Flowers have a weak negative electric charge relative to the air around them. Different flowers have different electric fields, often with charge concentrated at the tips of the petals.

new study shows that bees sense these electric fields because the static electricity moves tiny hairs on their fuzzy bodies. 

anonymous asked:

remember that stereochemistry can be every important for aromachemicals, even hydrocarbons!


The R-isomer of carvone (below) smells like mint, while the S-isomer smells like caraway seeds. Fascinating, isn’t it? It shows that the binding sites of the olfactory receptors in our noses are chiral too!

Genetic Engineering Alters Mosquitoes’ Sense of Smell

In one of the first successful attempts at genetically engineering mosquitoes, HHMI researchers have altered the way the insects respond to odors, including the smell of humans and the insect repellant DEET. The research not only demonstrates that mosquitoes can be genetically altered using the latest research techniques, but paves the way to understanding why the insect is so attracted to humans, and how to block that attraction.

“The time has come now to do genetics in these important disease-vector insects. I think our new work is a great example that you can do it,” says Leslie Vosshall, an HHMI investigator at The Rockefeller University who led the new research, published May 29, 2013 in the journal Nature.

In 2007, scientists announced the completion of the full genome sequence of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits dengue and yellow fever. A year later, when Vosshall became an HHMI investigator, she shifted the focus of her lab from Drosophila flies to mosquitoes with the specific goal of genetically engineering the insects. Studying mosquitoes appealed to her because of their importance as disease carriers, as well as their unique attraction to humans.

Vosshall’s first target: a gene called orco, which her lab had deleted in genetically engineered flies 10 years earlier. “We knew this gene was important for flies to be able to respond to the odors they respond to,” says Vosshall. “And we had some hints that mosquitoes interact with smells in their environment, so it was a good bet that something would interact with orco in mosquitoes.”

Vosshall’s team turned to a genetic engineering tool called zinc-finger nucleases to specifically mutate the orco gene in Aedes aegypti. They injected the targeted zinc-finger nucleases into mosquito embryos, waited for them to mature, identified mutant individuals, and generated mutant strains that allowed them to study the role of orco in mosquito biology. The engineered mosquitoes showed diminished activity in neurons linked to odor-sensing. Then, behavioral tests revealed more changes.

When given a choice between a human and any other animal, normal Aedes aegypti will reliably buzz toward the human. But the mosquitoes with orco mutations showed reduced preference for the smell of humans over guinea pigs, even in the presence of carbon dioxide, which is thought to help mosquitoes respond to human scent. “By disrupting a single gene, we can fundamentally confuse the mosquito from its task of seeking humans,” says Vosshall. But they don’t yet know whether the confusion stems from an inability to sense a “bad” smell coming from the guinea pig, a “good” smell from the human, or both.

Next, the team tested whether the mosquitoes with orco mutations responded differently to DEET. When exposed to two human arms—one slathered in a solution containing 10 percent DEET, the active ingredient in many bug repellants, and the other untreated—the mosquitoes flew equally toward both arms, suggesting they couldn’t smell the DEET. But once they landed on the arms, they quickly flew away from the DEET-covered one. “This tells us that there are two totally different mechanisms that mosquitoes are using to sense DEET,” explains Vosshall. “One is what’s happening in the air, and the other only comes into action when the mosquito is touching the skin.” Such dual mechanisms had been discussed but had never been shown before.

Vosshall and her collaborators next want to study in more detail how the orco protein interacts with the mosquitoes’ odorant receptors to allow the insects to sense smells. “We want to know what it is about these mosquitoes that makes them so specialized for humans,” she says. “And if we can also provide insights into how existing repellants are working, then we can start having some ideas about what a next-generation repellant would look like.”

The worst of Megatron’s dreams isn’t a nightmare.

It isn’t a dream of Vos. It isn’t a dream of flames rising ever higher as the towers snap and topple and burn. It isn’t a dream Megatron wakes from with the smell of smoke pricking his olfactory receptors.

It isn’t a dream of Kaon overrun. It isn’t a dream of his city choked by its own smoke, the statue of Megatron at the city gates pulled down by mechs with the Autobot brand welded to their shoulders and chests.

It isn’t even a dream of the Council ascendant, of Megatron and his people battered and beaten and hauled off to the smelters, a failed insurrection crushed as a warning to any mech with dreams of rising above his station.

His worst dream is quiet and pleasant.

He lies on his berth, exhausted from a long day of battle. A young mech, red and blue plating scorched and scratched from the day’s fighting, nestles against him, optics bright.

He wakes still feeling the other’s warmth. He stirs and it fades, leaving him cold.

And he remembers everything.

This would have been a pain to try to stuff into an askbox, for you and me. ;)

“What do you mean we’re stuck in here? Can’t you just sonic it open, or something?”

He grimaced, stepping away from the revealed wiring. “It’s a screwdriver, not a magic wand. I can’t conjure missing parts out of thin air. It’s been purposely sabotaged.”

She slumped against the wall. “Isn’t there an escape hatch or something?”

“It’s a transportation pod, Rose. The doors are supposed to be able to be opened manually. That is the emergency exit.” He hit the alarm button, sighing in defeat, and leaned against the side of the pod himself, arms crossed over his chest.

“Not exactly what I had in mind when you promised me sightseeing in the city.” She glanced pointedly at the blank gray wall.

“Greetings, transportation pod zero-two-heart-gamma-five. Your distress call has been received.” The voice was robotic, likely automatic. “We are currently experiencing an usually large volume of calls at the moment, but rest assured we will retrieve you as soon as possible. Estimated time until rescue: one hour. Thank you for traveling with Llordan City municipal transport.”

“An hour?” Rose wrinkled her nose.

“Better than some places.” He frowned. “I wonder if this is a city-wide phenomenon.”

“Like a strike, or-or a terrorist attack?”

“Quite possibly. The anti-collision system’s still working properly, as far as I can tell, so we’re not in any danger.” He settled himself down on the floor, his back to the wall, facing her. “But there are several companies who’ve been lobbying for privatizing the public transportation system, and this incident is going to cost the city probably hundreds of thousands of credits.”

“We should be out there! Helping to rescue people, or figuring out who did this, or something!”

“‘Course we should. But no one’s in danger, and I’d like to avoid further damaging public property if I can help it. Once we get out of here, we can join in.” She didn’t look convinced.

“It’s not exactly what I had in mind, either, Rose.” He made space for her between his legs, and held an arm out to her. “Come here.”

She sat down in front of him, leaning back into his chest with a sigh, and he wrapped his arms around her. They rested for several moments in comfortable silence, and he closed his eyes.


“Yes?” He glanced down at her, the scent of her strawberry shampoo tickling his olfactory receptors.

“Have you ever played ‘Two Truths and a Lie’?”

Linda B. Buck (b. 1947) is the recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, for her work on olfactory receptors. She has significantly added to the understanding of how odours are detected in the nose and transposed into information in the brain.

After obtaining a PhD in immunology, she became an assistant professor in neurobiology at the Harvard Medical School, and established her own research lab. She has been awarded numerous international prizes for her groundbreaking discoveries in relation to the olfactory system.

This is how super smart octopuses are

The cephalopod’s genome reveals how the creatures evolved intelligence to rival the brightest vertebrates.

We humans think we’re so fancy with our opposable thumbs and capacity for complex thought. But imagine life as an octopus … camera-like eyes, camouflage tricks worthy of Harry Potter, and not two but eight arms – that happen to be decked out with suckers that possess the sense of taste. And not only that, but those arms? They can execute cognitive tasks even when dismembered.

And on top of all that razzmatazz, octocpuses (yes, “octopuses”) have brains clever enough to navigate super complicated mazes and open jars filled with treats.

The octopus is like no other creature on this planet. How did these incredible animals evolve so spectacularly from their mollusk brethren? Scientists have now analyzed the DNA sequence of the California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) and found an unusually large genome. It helps explain a lot.

“It’s the first sequenced genome from something like an alien,” says neurobiologist Clifton Ragsdale of the University of Chicago in Illinois, who co-led the genetic analysis, along with researchers from the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan.

“It’s important for us to know the genome, because it gives us insights into how the sophisticated cognitive skills of octopuses evolved,” says neurobiologist Benny Hochner who has studied octopus neurophysiology for 20 years.

As it turns out, the octopus genome is almost as large as a human’s and actually contains more protein-coding genes: 33,000, compared with fewer than 25,000 in humans.

Mostly this bonus comes from the expansion of a few specific gene families, Ragsdale says.

One of the most remarkable gene groups is the protocadherins, which regulate the development of neurons and the short-range interactions between them. The octopus has 168 of these genes – more than twice as many as mammals. This resonates with the creature’s unusually large brain and the organ’s even-stranger anatomy. Of the octopus’s half a billion neurons — six times the number in a mouse – two-thirds spill out from its head through its arms, without the involvement of long-range fibers such as those in vertebrate spinal cords.

A gene family that is involved in development, the zinc-finger transcription factors, is also highly expanded in octopuses. At around 1,800 genes, it is the second-largest gene family to be discovered in an animal, after the elephant’s 2,000 olfactory-receptor genes.

Not surprisingly, the sequencing also revealed hundreds of other genes specific to the octopus and highly expressed in particular tissues. For example, the suckers express a unique set of genes that are similar to those that encode receptors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This may be what gives the octopus the spectacular characteristic of being able to taste with its suckers.

The researchers identified six genes for the skin proteins known as reflections. As their names suggests, these alter the way light reflects from the octopus allowing for the appearance of different colors, one of the tricks an octopus uses – along with changing its texture, pattern or brightness – in their mind-blowing ability to camouflage.

When considering the creature’s extraordinary learning and memory capabilities, electrophysiologists had predicted that the genome might contain systems that allow tissues to rapidly modify proteins to change their function; this was also proven to be the case.

The octopus’s position in the Mollusca phylum illustrates evolution at its most spectacular, Hochner says.

“Very simple mollusks like the clam – they just sit in the mud, filtering food,“ he observes. "And then we have the magnificent octopus, which left its shell and developed the most-elaborate behaviors in water.”

Tabula Rasa

Set During Three Words
Rated: M
He can see the tears brimming in her eyes and feels his chest tighten. His attempts at an explanation come off more sharply than he’d intended. He can see that’s he’s said the wrong thing, but he has no idea what the right thing is.

“I don’t know what you want me to do here, Scully.”

She turns away from him. He watches her shoulder blades draw together and she presses her palms into her lower back as she tips her chin at the ceiling.

“I want you to do whatever you want, Mulder,” she sighs. Her voice is thick with tears and it breaks his heart. “You disappeared and you died and then you came back. You get to do whatever you want.”

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compoundchem  asked:

Hi, just wanted to say a big thanks for giving Compound Interest the nicest shout-out I've read yet! It's great that the graphics are making chemistry interesting for people, since that's pretty much the goal - being a chemistry teacher, I'm pretty biased, so it's good to hear that it's working for people who previously didn't like chemistry as well :) Also, great posts here on your site too - I've enjoyed reading through them!

*squee* Being liked by CI is right up there with being liked by The Brain Scoop/Emily Graslie :D

Seriously though, I like your posts on the basics of chem, but I’m loving the “chemistry in real life” stuff lately - scents are so closely tied to our memories (what with literally having receptors just a nanosecond from the brain) and the way we perceive the world, and I’ve never looked at it from the chemistry side before.

The compounds that create these scents are unique and fascinating and now I want to learn even more about how they bind with our puny number of olfactory receptors to cause all of these weird and varied smells in the world!

I think my followers would be the type to especially appreciate your most recent post, on the causes of “old book smell” and “new book smell”

Official Compound Interest site

If you don’t already follow Compound Interest on tumblr, the blog has great replies as well as the awesome infographics of the website.


We don’t understand as much as we think. And a lot of things we like to chalk up to the placebo effect is really just our own arrogance regarding the scope of our knowledge. 

As someone pursuing a medical degree, I hear a lot about “natural” and alternative medicine versus allopathic or “western” medicine. 

The truth is that if physical healing works, it’s for a physical reason even if we have yet to discern the mechanism. In the past, I would have considered aromatherapy to be some new age holistic placebo game. But the facts just aren’t so. 

Here are some of those facts, which I learned in lecture on the first day of Bio this semester:

  • Humans have 350 different kind of olfactory receptors. 
  • More than 15 of the olfactory receptors that exist in the nose are found in human skin cells. 
  • Olfactory receptors literally bind the molecule you are “smelling” and send a signal into the cell. While part of those signals are responsible for the actual sensation of smell, other parts of those signals are just now being studied more carefully. 
  • A team of researchers at Ruhr University Bochum found that exposing one of those receptors to sandalore, a synthetic sandalwood odor, sends signals that induces healing in damaged tissues. 
  • In a series of human tests, skin abrasions healed 30% faster in the presence of sandalore.  
  • A professor of physiology at Johns Hopkins University found that olfactory receptors help control metabolic function and regulate blood pressure in the kidneys of mice. 
  • A study published in 2003 discovered that olfactory receptors in sperm cells enabled them to find their way to an unfertilized egg. 
  • Olfactory receptors have been found in liver, heart, colon, lungs, and brain. Genetic evidence suggests nearly every organ in the human body has olfactory receptors. 
  • A 2009 study found that exposing olfactory cells in the human prostate to beta-ionone, a primary odor compound in violets and flowers, appeared to switch off errant genes and thus inhibit the spread of prostate cancer cells. 
  • Another 2009 study tested the effect of Lyral, a synthetic lily fragrance, on skeletal muscles and their olfactory receptors. It was not only discovered that it promoted regeneration of muscle tissue but also that inhibition of the genes coding for those same receptors caused inhibition of muscle tissue regeneration. 

Currently I’m experiencing a resurgence of the same disruptive physical symptoms I suffered last semester. Muscle spasms and referred pain, which consequently impair my sleeping and eating habits. 

I’ve seen a handful of doctors and no one has been able to pinpoint a cause to treat. So I’ve decided to try some other methods I think may help. Aromatherapy is now one of them. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on my experiments. 

Namaste :)

Nepeta is a genus of plants known as catmints. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a member of this genus.
Cats usually react to catnip by vocalizing, salivating, rolling, jumping, and so on. This is because nepetalactone, a volatile oil in catnip, binds to the olfactory receptors  of cats, triggering responses in the amygdala and hypothalamus. About 70-80% of cats respond to catnip this way, as it is hereditary.

Gail's first text messages with Holly

Read on A03

Unknown number:
I think you owe me a drink.

Who the hell is this?

Unknown number:
Some people, actually no, cats, call me Lunchbox.

I left you at the morgue thirty minutes ago.

Unknown number:
Your point? Meow.

You just made me spit my drink out all over my favourite sweater. And now the barman is laughing at me. Thanks.

That’ll teach you for secretly putting your number into other peoples phones, “Officer Cranky Pants.” Fitting.

You’re not people.

I am not sure what that means, but I am going to take it as a compliment.

Take it however you like.

So about that drink. Do you wanna? With me? Now?

Desperate much?

You can talk. So drink? Lol.

Well that depends, do you still smell like dead people?

Your olfactory receptors are safe. I have since masked said smell.

What a nerd. You driving? I am already at that cop bar The Penny, though I wouldn’t mind getting out of this incestuous hellhole tonight.

I am very close. Pick you up in 3 meows, I mean minutes.

I am regretting my decision already. Will be getting a new phone number ASAP.

Hey! You are the one who seemed desperate for friends. Anyway, I know where you work. This thing is inevitable.

That’s called stalking. Stop texting and driving or I will have to write you a ticket.

Siri, say hello to Officer Peck.

Siri is a dick.

Siri agrees with you. She is also having trouble writing her own name.

Illiterate dick. Meet you outside shortly. I’ll be the one freezing my tits off in nothing but a bra.

You can borrow my jacket.

That green puffy looking thing? Fuck no! I’d prefer to wear fleece.

Can’t help you there.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30

anonymous asked:

Gail and Holly have only ever been just friends. Holly accepts the job in San Fransico and Gail helps her pack.

All Boxed Up - Part One

Holly stands in her front doorway, noticeably gaping at your unexpected presence. “What are you doing here?”

“Well…I…Um…“ You stammer, as your explanation eludes you in this particular moment.

“I thought we were meeting up later at The Penny for goodbye drinks?” Holly questions, confusion now etched plainly on her face.

You unfold your arms to reveal the open bottle of wine you have tucked safely in the inside pocket of your long coat. It’s the expensive bottle you pinched from your parent’s cellar four years ago, a gift to yourself after having graduated from the Academy, top of your class no less.

At the time, you had made a promise to your younger, less cynical self that this particular bottle of liquid gold would not make it past your bright red lips until you passed your next significant milestone – whatever that may be. When you’d thought of all the possibilities, not once did you think it would be because you were about to say goodbye to the one person who had come to mean the most to you. (Not that you let Holly know that.)

You thrust the bottle into the open hands in front of you and without an invitation, step around your friend into the warm hug that is her home.

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Bubble Bath

This is dedicated to Athingor3.  We exchanged prompts and here is mine.  

This prompt is rated ’M’ for… well, you know why ;)  

The song Gail is listening to is Crazy In Love by Kadebostany.  I know this song is now ruined by 50 Shades of Grey, but it’s still an awesome song.


Athingor3: Alright. I’m working on this. I think I’m going to change it up a bit…hopefully you’ll like it.

Now for you. Gail secretly likes bubble baths. Holly is out of town but Gail uses her key to use Holly’s tub - because icky boy roommates. Candles around the bathroom etc. Holly comes home unexpectedly.

Keep reading

You know, I always felt weird about cilantro. I’ve heard people who hate it say it tastes like soap or stinkbugs. And I’ve always thought it did taste kind of like soap and that stinkbugs aren’t so bad because they just smell like cilantro. And boy do I love cilantro.

Anyway, from organic chemistry I know what aldehydes typically smell like. And they’re found in cilantro, soap, and stinkbugs. And, wouldn’t you know it, there’s been research linking cilantro hate to a SNP in a gene coding for an olfactory-receptor that senses aldehydes.

Went and checked my SNPs and sure enough I’m heterozygous for it. One copy to smell it and one copy to not be such a hater, I guess.

Part 9 - Gail & Holly - Texting (now email) saga continues

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30

To: Holly Stewart <dr.hm.stewart@yahoo.com>

From: Gail “that is my donut” Peck <bigbluebeanbag@gmail.com>

Subject: Germy

Dear Holly (aka “I can’t be bothered using my brain right now to produce anything funny here”),

I’m sick, Holly! Like, really, really sick! I couldn’t be more sick if I tried and I don’t do sick, Holly! No! I think I need another hug. Or maybe it’s me who should be giving you one. Fuck me!

If there are parts of this email that don’t make sense it’s because Dov has been regularly dosing me with cold and flu tablets and lots of other shit and I am probably a little drowsy, not that I can really tell. I may be writing this email with my eyes closed. I may in fact be asleep. I am surprised I can even use punctuation, but I am. See? A question mark.

Thank you for your somewhat roller coaster ride of an email. Having been laid up been in bed for the past 24 hours (because I’m sick, did I mention that I’m sick?) it was a welcome, if not emotional, distraction from all the phlegm and boogers. So many boogers, Holly! It’s not a pretty sight. I don’t think you would like this stupid face of mine anymore once you see it covered in crusty boogers. I am also a terrible patient, something I am sure you can quite easily picture and are probably laughing at right now. I bet you don’t even get sick do you? Being all perfect and everything.

Just so you know, I wasn’t ignoring you; I have just barely been able to lift my arms until now, you know, because I’m sick? Really, really sick? It made it very hard for me to blow my nose I tell you. However, all my extremities seem to be functioning again, so yay me! :P

Dov has set me up with his MacBook. I told him to sit it on top of my chest and he managed to touch my boobs while doing it. He looked a little too pleased with himself. I am totally going to tell Chloe about this.

So Dov and Chris have been on Gail-watch. I should be saying I am happy to have Chris back in the house but he has been acting like an overprotective father, taking my temperature and threatening to call my mother. He is definitely missing Christian. Poor guy. He is really worried about him, and he has asked me if I can talk him, but I really don’t know what to say. I am supposed to think it over.

Anyway, he has been bickering with Dov on how best to take care of me. He was never this attentive when we were together that’s for sure. It’s quite sad; I think he and Dov are actually going to break up! Anyway, they have been doing my already stuffed head in.

I think I need to take a break from this email. I might actually be asleep after all, or in fact need to be. This email is going to be a big choppy mess once I am done with it. By the way, you are such a fucking smart-ass! I know how to read and write emails, you loser! It was funny though. Made me have coughing fits, so thanks for that. I am all types of sick right now, did you know that?

So I woke up from a 6 hour nap an hour ago. Unfortunately I woke with a terrible headache and now Papa Chris and Dov are home to make it even worse I’m sure.

Okay, something hilarious and kind of weird just happened. Dov and Chris were arguing over when my last dose of medicine was and Chloe stormed in and told them to “get the fuck out.” This chick is the mousiest, yet talkative, most sunny person you will ever meet. You know, my worst nightmare? Yes, I realise you are happy and sunny too but you are weirdly morbid and sarcastic as well, so it all balances out, actually it tips the scales the other way in fact, I actually like you. A lot.

Anyway, so she swore, and it was like Christmas morning, just minus my mother’s woolen knitted reindeer jumpers (yes I like Christmas, so fucking sue me). She proceeded to feed me chicken soup and applied a cold cloth to my forehead, all while keeping her trap shut. Obviously, I would normally refuse any type of hand holding, especially from her, but I didn’t have the energy.

Okay, so Chris is dead. I killed him. Not only do I murder your wives, I murder my housemates too. He did in fact call my mother and she only just left my bedside after being here for two hours. Two hours with my mother is like… Actually there is nothing really to compare it to. It took her five minutes to stop trying to pull me out of bed, insisting I wasn’t actually sick. Then I threw up and she gave in and became all motherly. She held a tissue to my nose and asked me to blow. I refrained from blowing boogers all over her hands though. She said I still looked pretty good for some one who feels like a zombie. That’s the nicest compliment she has given me in quite sometime. She did ask me if I needed anything. I’m like, “anything?” I told her I wouldn’t mind a new iPad and some donuts. Will see how that works out, as she is coming by in the morning.

I have copped a fair amount of criticism over the years from my mother, but it sounds like your mother is pretty funny about it. You are both right, you should come up for air more often, if not only for the sun, for my olfactory receptors. Look! I learned new words! :D

Your glasses are perfectly fine. I think she might be pulling your leg a bit there. Though, I am pretty good with a glue gun, so I could always add some sequins and diamantes to jazz em up a little. Then again, sequins and fleece don’t really go that well together and you already have a hard enough time finding a wife, so I am thinking I should probably just leave them as is…

Regarding your cheese comment? No comment, you pervert.

I have been referred to a lot worse than someone’s imaginary friend and yes, of course you smell! I have told you this many times! You think with such a huge brain this fact would sink in quicker.

So again, leaving the lab as I mentioned earlier would probably help with the no friend and not smelling predicament you find yourself in. Maybe you should go to more crime scenes and meet some more snarky cops. Just no one from guns and gangs, they tend to get shot at on a more regular basis.

I think you probably already know what I am going to suggest in regards to your a-hole colleague - Murder, it’s the only viable option.

Sleepy time again, *Snore*. Actually I don’t snore; I do talk in my sleep though. Chris has told me. Actually Dov has told me too. He can hear me through the walls, but he won’t tell me what I talk about. He likes to torture me. Bastard.

Guess what? I woke up this morning (feeling much better by the way, you know, because I’m sick?) and there was a box sitting on the end of my bed. My mother actually bought me an iPad! I can’t believe it! And she didn’t wake me up either. Bonus! No breakfast donuts though, so I am terribly disappointed about that.

I will only say one thing in regards to your attempt at drawing a meerkat, as lame as it may be, you have to bring it home for me so I can stick it on my fridge and bask in all its… Um… Meerkatness.

Onto the uncomfortable stuff. If you couldn’t already tell, I have been putting off writing to you about your dad. I don’t think I was in my right mind (because I am sick, lol I’m sorry) to attempt to write anything. That’s if I even have a “right mind” to begin with. You do seem to think I am insane after all.

I am still a little unsure about what to say really other than I am truly very sorry for your loss and that I am here for you if you ever want to talk about it some more, for catharsis or whatever. Sorry, I am really bad at this but I will soldier on like my mother taught me.

As a police officer I work with brave people everyday. I have heard countless stories; I have even lived it with Jerry. And that’s the thing isn’t it? I lived. I am alive because there are heroes in this world like Jerry and your dad. I just hope one day I can be half as selfless and courageous as them but until then, I will protect and serve and honour them in the only way I know I can, with this smart mouth of mine.

So this novel took me two days to write. I am going to be a bad editor and not read through it again because I will probably delete it otherwise, so please take the less coherent stuff with a grain of salt.

By the way, I think my email was longer than yours. So of course this means I win.


Gail, booger extraordinaire aka winner.

P.S. No more emails. I much prefer notes or typing with two fingers.

FFnet link