The Oransky Journal

Interesting stuff that doesn't fit on Embargo Watch or Retraction Watch

I wrote a play about the immune system when I was 11. Really. Here it is.

with one comment

This guy, I'm not.

This guy, I’m not.

For several years, I’ve been in search of a play that I wrote in the sixth grade, circa 1984. (Strictly speaking, it was a short story, but my class performed it as a play.) I was reminded of it by an event, perhaps something that was part of EST/Sloan’s project on plays involving science, and earlier this month, my mother texted me to say she’d found it her house.

Some background: My father was a pediatrician in private practice, and he was frequently beeped — yes, this was the early 1980s — in the middle of family meals. So, inspired by a case of strep throat that interrupted dinner one night, I wrote a short story/play on the immune system.

As far as I know, this was uncharted territory for playwrights, although the Nobel Prize Committee has had similar ideas, as you’d expect from such a work of genius. The three-page play, which is apparently untitled, or has a title page lost to antiquity, has characters whose names are plays on words for immune system terms and contains such classic lines as

When the battle is over, come to my private resort in the spleen, and we will party with some extra protein.

and

There’s a lattice formation in the Zone of Equivalence!

My interest in the immune system didn’t flag, I should note. I worked in an immunology lab in college, and then in a pediatric infectious diseases lab in medical school.

I don’t mind saying that I see musical possibilities here, although I’d need to come up with a proper ending first.

You can read the whole thing here.

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Written by Ivan Oransky

November 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Ivan, this is too cute. Glimmers of the science writing genius to emerge! Just one question… What’s a cacrophage? 😉

    Miriam Gordon

    November 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm


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