"Even the cow was smiling."
Eldest son was working on a biology lab last night, and the manual explained "this is part of the fun and challenge of science". This is always a warning sign.
It reminded me of the line above, in James Herriot's All Creatures Great And Small, when he reflected on the laboratory-clean, straightforward version of calving in his vet school textbooks. At the moment, he was laying face down on a "muddy" barn floor struggling with the inner workings of a straining heifer.
Apparently Ivory Towers also have Ivory Barns, as well as an Ivory Laboratory.