We finally would get a glimpse at what Luc did for a living. We pulled into the gated parking lot of an ivy-covered brick compound. Luc explained how it was originally a brewery that was remodeled to facilitate his lab.
Beyond the paned glass front door was a professionally decorated lobby with hardwood floors. Luc lead us to a meeting room where chairs had been set up lecture style, He passed out brochures and it suddenly seemed like a sales presentation. He explained that his company specialized in breeding animals all over the world. “Let me show you.” He said, inserting a tape into a video player.
I anticipated the kids to see some exotic things in Europe, but nothing like this. The video was graphic showing “hubba hubba” between everything on four legs. At one point, two rabbits unite for no more than three seconds. Luc leaned forward in his seat behind us “This is where we get the term quick as rabbit”
The kids avoided eye contact with us as we climbed the staircase to the sterile surroundings of the lab. We all felt leery about what awaited us there. Luc seemed almost child-like, enthusiastically showing off various instruments and equipment including a special scale. “So sensitive, it could weigh an eyelash.” In another section he pulled out a small plastic box. With a playfully sinister look on his face, he motioned for Jill. “My assistant has gone home, so I must administer your test.”
“Test?” she asked.
He opened the little case, exposing a collection of hypodermic needles and rubber tubing. “Your blood test.”
Jill laughed nervously. Luc held up his hand and assured that he’d done this many times and was an expert – even thought his assistant was “better”.
“Why do I need a blood test?”
Luc got a wild look in his eyes and began banging his head against his palms like he did at lunch. “Remember? The Vodka?” We broke out in relief-inspired laughter as he snapped the lid shut.
Our host walked across the room and slid a giant canister out from under a stainless steel counter. He unscrewed the lid and motioned for everybody to move back. He ladled liquid from the can then spilled it onto the floor, creating a quiet, smoky explosion.
“Dry Ice?” Alex asked.
“Liquid Nitrogen.” Luc handed him the ladle. “Negative 190 degrees.”
The kids took turns making explosions on the floor. They’d never seen anything like it, nor had we.
“What do you store in there? “ I asked.
Luc pulled out a small plastic tube, about the size of a coffee stirrer. It was capped off at both ends.
“Semen.” He proudly affirmed. “From a racehorse.“
“Eeeeeww” Jill sneered.
Luc pulled out another one and offered it to her. “It’s yours.” He proclaimed. “A souvenir from France”.