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It’s Friday afternoon, and scores are in for the Erlenmeyer Flask vs. Fossil Fuels game at Chemical Arena.

i-520815142aea838d02c3709ebc772030-flask.jpgErlenmeyer Flask went into the first quarter hoping to contain Fossil Fuels. The team (sometimes known by its nickname, Conical Flask), clearly—and of necessity—adheres to the philosophy that the best offense is a good defense. As long as it could keep Fossil Fuels from getting out there and running amok on the court, Erlenmeyer Flask had a chance.

The strategy worked like a charm for Erlenmeyer Flask for the first three quarters of the game. Fans in the stands—including a dazzling array of labwares like Bunsen burner, autoclave, fume hood, volumetric flask, and cuvette in courtside seats—expressed pride at Erlenmeyer Flask’s dominance, while at the same time admitting that watching a flask full of amber-colored liquid sit in the middle of a basketball court, while surreal, was also “about as interesting as watching paint dry.”i-704539a923c09d26a73f2924aa6a448b-sparklighter.jpg


At the start of the fourth quarter, though, a meteoric comeback by Fossil Fuels was sparked by, well, a spark. Spectators from the back of the arena believe that the spark originated from a striker or spark lighter seated with the rest of the laboratory equipment, not far from the action (or inaction) on court. Somehow, the errant spark made its way into Fossil Fuels’ vicinity. As luck would have it, the spark traveled into the mouth of Erlenmeyer Flask, provoking an explosive reaction from the Fossil Fuels team. With a cinematic flash and a loud report (fans later described it as having been a deep “KABOOM!” followed by a sizzle), Fossil Fuels awakened from its placid, liquid state and literally shattered the Erlenmeyer Flask team to pieces. Referees, while not admiring this as good sportsmanship on Fossil Fuels’ part, also appeared too cowed and charred to protest.

i-4c8eb7ce318dacfe236c3fa9ef66a4d1-fireball.jpgThe result?

Erlenmeyer Flask: 0
Fossil Fuels: 2

Provided that the team can collect itself after this startling win, Fossil Fuels advances to the championship round in the Mortar and Pestle division of the Science Spring Showdown!