It is, in fact, quite funny.
And then I remembered a shockingly similar incident from my own past. So I stopped laughing.
And now I feel the need for a penitential confession of my own stupidity. Here goes.
In a far away land, long ago, or, once upon a time, or, whilom, I got myself an internship through a friend's connection and my surprisingly gutsy willingness to walk into a stranger's office and offer to work for free for the experience. Just as surprisingly, the stranger accepted my offer, no doubt because of the connection, because I can't have inspired any confidence whatsoever.
I was totally out of my league. Let's be clear. Completely, and totally out of my league. I was the softball player on a tennis court or something, yes, that far out of my league.
The first day was an absolute whirl of confusion. The bossguy, let's call him Bossguy One (there was also a Bossguy Two), was an incredibly brilliant guy who spoke so softly I could barely hear him.
He gave me a book to read, which would provide background for the research project I'd be helping on, and which was WAY more appropriate to someone doing a post-doc in the field than to my first year in college stupidity, which I'd like to call innocence, except it was stupidity.
Then he handed me the computer manual to read. It was clear that he expected me to read them both, and to be pretty much up to speed and quickly.
He showed me the computer, which took up most of a wall, and taught me how to boot it up by using toggle switches to enter a series of numbers in base 7. He had to remind me of base 7, but at least I'd heard of it.
The second day, the real work would begin.
The next day, the real work began indeed. I'd spent the night reading, pretty much, and got there bright and early in the morning.
A very basic part of my work involved taking the rectal temperature of a cat. I'd never had a cat in my life, and hadn't spent much time looking at the backside of a cat. And did I mention my stupidity?
I lifted the cat's tail. And there were two holes. I stopped. And then because I was more willing to let my stupidity be known than to mess up a cat (or other people's important work), I asked...
With WAY more kindness and gentleness than I deserved, Bossguy One explained which hole was the rectum, and that the other was the vagina. Because, really, I was that stupid.
So I shouldn't have been laughing so hard at the poor intern guy in the linked post, except, well, I'm a cruel, heartless, horrid person. I only wish I had half Bossguy One's brilliance, patience, and gentleness with students.
I learned a LOT from that internship. The most important thing I learned, though, was what I didn't want to do with the rest of my life. That's a damned important lesson. Even more important, I think, than how to take a cat's rectal temperature.