#10 The Fish Dissection
I got to dissect a pickled crawdad in 4th grade as a part of a science program offered over the summer called Bugs, Guts and Microscopes. The teacher was a really nice middle school teacher who new my mum, but you don't care about that, you want to hear about the crawdad. The crawdad was very tricky to dissect. Its feathery gills were falling apart in the formaldehyde and leaving greyish-brown fishy chunks all over the baking pan filled with wax that served as a dissection tray. Man, those things were foul. Smelly wax filled with punch-holes with chunks of organic debris clinging to their sides. I wondered how they got them clean, or if they even bothered, and who the lucky shmuck was who had the job of cleaning up after us. Anyway, the worst part of the crawdad was that your hands smelled like a truly ghastly combination of dead fish and formaldehyde for days after.
In college, I graduated from crawdads to normal fish. Not even sure what kind of fish it was, but you could tell that it was "fish day" in the biology labs halfway accross campus from the stench. I think in the nine years between fourth grade and college that animal pickling technologies had improved to be less...err...pungent, but preserved dead fish will never be anything but overpoweringly vile.