La Crosse Times Year In Review – September
ONALASKA, WIS — A temperature screener in Onalaska is now admitting he pretends his handheld reader is a little ray gun.
Dylan Pants, 23, works at the entrance way to Gundersen’s Onalaska clinic. He is tasked with making everyone feel safe by checking for just one of the fifteen symptoms coronavirus can cause.
“On average, I have to test two or three hundred people a day,” Pants said from behind completely fogged-up glasses and a face shield. “After a while, it gets pretty tedious and the mind wanders.”
His reader, or infrared thermometer, uses infrared thermal radiation in a focused beam to measure temperature. The beam hits a sensor, converting into an electronic signal which calculates the readings on a handy display.
“So basically, it’s a ray gun,” Pants said. “My childhood just took over. After about 20 minutes of testing, in my mind I was back in my grandma’s basement playing Goldeneye 64. And this time I got the Moonraker!”
Pants now passes the time during his shift silently using various laser gun onomatopoeia.
“‘Pew! Pew!’ is one I use a lot,” Pants said, “though, sometimes it’s fun to pretend it needs to warm up like that big Death Star laser from Star Wars which is something like, ‘zzzzzhhhhhhhheeeeeew POW!’”
Pants reportedly still lives in his grandmother’s basement, but he now has an Xbox in addition to his somehow still working Nintendo 64.
Reporter Sam Shilts contributed to this article.