After a long day at work, Markus felt like a champ when he discovered an entire bus seat for himself. It was a short lived victory. A guy dressed in a lumberjack shirt and jeans sat beside him.
“Did you ever hear about the scientific study that proves people are healthier when they spend time petting a dog?” asked the stranger.
“That’s the rationale behind therapy dogs, isn’t it?” mumbled Markus. He was silently beating himself up for replying.
“Exactly,” said the excited stranger. “So here’s the weird part. Somewhere, some scientist got paid to do that research.”
“So?” asked Markus.
“Someone came up with an experiment to actually prove it. Crazy, eh?”
“Huh. That’s actually a good point,” mused Markus.
“It begs another question,” said the stranger.
Markus wasn’t going to reply, but the stranger kept looking at him expectantly.
“What’s that?” asked Markus.
“Some fields of scientific study are sexier than others.”
“I’ve never thought of science as sexy,” said Markus.
“Oh, it’s true. There’s a hierarchy, you know? Follow the money. That’s what I’m saying.”
Markus rolled his eyes. “Are you saying there’s a conspiracy behind research and development?”
“Hey, man. I’m just saying there’s no such thing as science for science’s sake.”
“Who’d pay for something without expecting something in return?” asked the stranger. He stood up to leave. “Think about it.”
Markus shook his head as he watched the stranger slip into the busy street. At that moment the only science Markus was interested in was the technology of noise canceling earphones.