A positive staph infection graces this agar plate of more recent vintage.
BUGS ABOUT HER
Deadly Germs Form Valentine
He’s “bugs” about her – that’s what Dr. Rudoph Kouchy, fanciful University of Minnesota bacteriologist, apparently meant in a valentine to one of his students, Geraldine Lundquist.
The whimsical doctor constructed his missive of love from pure culture germs on a blood-covered agar plate, and placed it in the incubator.
In the morning when his student removed it, it had turned into a large, white heart with a lacy border and on it was inscribed – in germs – “Gerry,” and “Be My Valentine.” The doctor had inscribed his design with an inoculating wire.
The doctor was sure of his recipient, because only a trained technician could handle such a missive, because the concentrated fluid of deadly germs might be fatal if touched by hand.
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The Minnesota State Fair has featured many unusual attractions in its 150-year history: death-defying aerial acts, colliding locomotives, freak shows, live animal births, the Minnesota Iceman and premature babies in incubators. Wait … what? The Minneapolis Morning Tribune was there:
"We're more popular than Jesus now," John Lennon told an British journalist in 1966. A year later, the Monkees' Mike Nesmith, in the Twin Cities for a show at the St. Paul Auditorium, humbly explained his band's place in the cosmic pecking order.
A musically inclined vagrant known as Banjo Ben walked the streets of Minneapolis in the city's early days. His weakness for alcohol and penchant for strong language landed him in court with some frequency. In February 1876, for example, he was sentenced to 20 days in jail for spewing obscenities at the St. Paul and Pacific depot. Later that year, he walked into the Tribune newsroom and issued an invitation to witness a spectacular feat at the new suspension bridge under construction nearby.