Mysterious ice tea cans!!!

Hi Friends, How are you all doing? Summer is over hum! Monday was the first day of Fall semester…all students are back, elevators are taking ages to go from first floor to 8th and no more good parking spots :). If you work in engineering building at Temple University you know what I am talking about! Yes THEY are back! Hmm that reminds me what a quite and wonderful summer we had. So back to reality. Today I want to share the drama created by some ice tea cans which mysteriously arrived in our office kitchen!

Before that… in order to understand the gravity of ‘this’ situation you have to keep in mind the importance of free food (or drink 🙂 )in poor graduate students’ life. We love free food more than anything… literally anything from Pizza, cookies, birthday cakes, pretzels and bagels or even leftover Halloween candies disappear within minutes of their arrival! We are constantly hungry! On 8th floor, We have a small kitchen which is shared by postdocs, grad students, staff and professors. One day, three cartons ( 12 cans each) of ice tea mysteriously arrived in the kitchen…no one knew where they came from and whom they belong. One or two days passed by but no one opened them, people started whispering among themselves. Soon those whispers grew louder and everyone started to talk about the cans.


First of all there were two theories: Either they were Uday’s because he loves ice tea or a gift for him from a secret admirer. But the mystery darkened when Uday himself, asked if anyone knew whose cans were those. Considering our work experience as scientist, suddenly for a week or so everybody turned into Sherlock Holmes to solve this mystery. This investigation used to automatically stop as we finished our lunch and go back to our labs!

We started with some suspects….2 postdocs who literally live in the labs, 2 professors and athe_inspector_with_magnifying_glass_and_big_eye_mousepad graduate student who were on vacation…but we immediately ruled out the people who were on vacation because if they knew they were going on vacation why would they buy that much ice tea…and given the ‘history ‘ of graduate students they would keep their packs in cupboards where no one can see them…so now we concentrated on the 2 post docs…One day one of the ‘brave’ students asked those 2 postdocs if these cans belong to them? and to our surprise…the answer was NO!

One week passed by…now the suspense was killing everyone! NO one was drinking those cans and the cans now started to tease us. We even thought of patrolling at night to find out the mystery owner.  Someone came up with an idea that we should put a note on the cans and see if anyone claims them. A note reading” Whose cans are these?” was posted on the cartons. But no answer…It turned out the owner wanted to play with us and replied on our note “Mine :)” We were getting played! Now instead of wondering about our mystery owner, bets were placed on how long it will take before people give up on finding the owner and start drinking those cans :).

Second week…we were losing our patience…Oh come on…either take them home or drink! One can was already gone.  Meanwhile I was on a week long vacation and during this time I completely forgot about those cans. Last week when I joined after my vacation, to my surprise, two of the cartons were already empty. I knew the mystery was either finally solved or people had simply given up! To satisfy my curiosity I asked my friend about them…It turned out it was a free gift from the water company as we were their most valued customers… 🙂 Ha ha…


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