The bio-scanner company sales rep came around again. Having nothing better to do, I let him give me his pitch. He likely never suspected that I had a degree in microbiology, and he was definitely sweating a bit.

“So people get sprayed with these signal pheromones?”

“Yes, at a low concentration. Then you pass a wand like this over the person, which has a spectral sensor array that picks up the response of the bacteria. In under a minute, it identifies 95% of the microbes that live on your skin, and more importantly for a laboratory like yours, it can detect contamination by other organisms.”

“I want to see.” I called over two employees who were on lunch break as he turned on his demo unit.

It worked as advertised. Soon we were looking at the microflora profiles of the two.

“That’s odd,” the sales rep said, “they seem identical. That shouldn’t happen unless…”

“They’ve been sleeping together, according to rumour. I think we might have to buy one of these things. It’s going to be a great gossip machine.”

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