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An Editorial by Dr. Ray, Sting

I graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS in Marine Biology. I earned an MS and PhD in Ocean Biosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. But now, as a Marine Biologist at the Marine Mammals of Massachusetts, my colleagues constantly chirp me with stingray jokes, and I can’t f***ing take it anymore.

The bullying started my first week. On Fridays, we get free lunch. The HR person, Lydia, bought pizza for everyone except me. For me, she brought a plate of worms, snails, and shrimp. I said, “What’s this?” She said, “It’s what stingrays eat!” Everyone laughed. I said, “No thanks, I’ll have pizza.” She said, “No, you won’t. Eat this and like it, fish-boy.” Then she slammed her fist on the table. Everyone glared at me. I was flustered. I didn’t know what to do. So I ate it. All of it. The worms. Snails. Shrimp, normally I love, but not mixed with worms and snails! Every Friday Lydia buys me this disgusting meal and I choke it down. I hate it. It’s ruined the taste of shrimp forever. Now, when I eat shrimp on its own, I also taste the worms and snails. After every Friday lunch, I try fruitlessly to expunge that nasty taste from my mouth, brushing my teeth so hard that my gums bleed.

Then came the pancakes. I didn’t even get it at first. I’d open my desk drawer – pancakes. My office door – pancakes. My car door, pancakes! Then I’d go home and open my apartment door, my fridge, crawl into bed – pancakes, pancakes, pancakes!!! How are they getting into my car and home?!?!!! And why pancakes?!?! I finally figured out the pancakes were referring to the shape of the stingray. Stingrays have flattened bodies and are nicknamed the “sea pancake.” But COME ON. EVERY F***ING CHRISTMAS, the other employees get sweet gifts, like generous gift cards and at-home gym equipment and new video game consoles and tortilla blankets and space heaters and liquor and what do I get? PANCAKES!!!! It’s not funny!!! It’s NEVER been funny!!! I’M A DOCTOR!!!!!!

But the last straw? The pee-sentation. The f***ing pee-sentation. We had a mandatory all-company meeting, right? In person. Every employee filed into the auditorium. Then the Founding Director of the Marine Mammals of Massachusetts, Victoria, walks out, and gives a presentation about ME! What to do if I STING someone with my TAIL!!!. I shouted, “I DON’T HAVE A F***ING TAIL!!!” She replied, “YES, YOU DO, FISH-BOY!” Then these actors came out and performed a scene where one of them was me and stung the other one with his tail and they cried out in pain and a third actor came out and peed on them and then the crowd caught mass hysteria and carried me down to the stage and made me eat a plate of worms, snails and shrimp and threw pancakes at me and peed on me and oh, it was horrible! It was so, so horrible! I thought, I spent 12 years in academia for this?!?!?!

There was one good thing, though. Before they peed on me, they gave me a REAL gift. Not pancakes for once! A pair of fun, fashionable, functional, ‘ffordable Dr. Ray, Sting PHG glasses.They didn’t slip or bounce while I wiggled and cried on the floor, trying to avoid the streams of urine bursting like water from fire hoses. Anyway, I’ll cut to the point: I’m giving you ONE MORE CHANCE, Marine Mammals of Massachusetts. You have ONE MORE CHANCE to treat me with respect and not childishly mock me because of my name! I didn’t choose to be named Dr. Ray, Sting! It didn’t cause me to pursue a career as a marine biologist! It’s just a name! So stop with the f***ing stingray jokes. Thank you.

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