How about that, y’all? Right off the bat I’ve got the tri-level “old” joke:
- Level 1: This happened over the weekend, so is officially old news.
- Level 2: Jeff is old now.
- Level 3: My dad has always been old. VERY old.
I know, it’s difficult – and quite impressive! – being me. Be jealous. 😛
On Saturday afternoon we went to the Missouri History Museum, so Dad could see the Real! Spirit of St. Louis and the Real! Jefferson memorial (not that one. A smaller and much less impressive St. Louis one.). And so on and so forth. Jeff and I had been there before, and I was really excited to show off the authentic antique plane (they call this “foreshadowing”, kids…)
Little did I know that we were being set up for massive disappointment.
First of all: This is not the Real! Spirit of St. Louis. IT’S JUST A MODEL.
Disappointment of my life? Yes, yes it was. Stupid Missouri History Museum. And stupid Smithsonian, for hogging all the good stuff.
Secondly, the big exhibit – the one I really wanted to see – had a $20 admittance fee. Now, I’m all about supporting preservation efforts, and public education, and so on and so forth. But doesn’t that seem just a weeee bit excessive, for just one tiny little exhibit? Maybe if it were “Come see the Pope!” or “We packed up the whole darn Vatican and rebuilt it here!” I might consider the price. I’d *definitely* pay $20 to see something like, “World’s Cutest Animals With Big Sad Baby Eyes” or even the more generic “Assorted Awesome Things”. But I’m not forking out a skein of sock yarn* just to look at some cardinal’s platinum water cup or whatever.
Actually, I think church attendance/participation would go up in general if they turned it into a sideshow. Maybe I’ll start my own religion. And people will tithe with sock yarn.
So as we heretically turned our backs on the Church, we decided to see what else the Museum had to offer, in their 1904 World’s Fair exhibition. And as it turns out, the answer is “not much.”
Except this! A pin!
Jeff had excitedly called me over – “Hey Katie! Come look! It said BLOG SUPPORT!” Of course once I saw it and we ascertained that it did not indeed say “blog support” but actually “building support”, I became quite crestfallen.
Just one series of disappointments after another, isn’t it?
The museum had some of those “put your head through a hole and look like a cartoon figure” things, only with mirrors instead of holes. LAME.
But I took a picture anyway, ’cause that’s how I roll.
The effect is rather reduced when half your face is obscured by a mysterious greasy blob on the glass.
There were also lots of Fun! Interactive! Activities! For Kidz! which were neither fun, nor interactive.
Now I know we’ve already established that my dad is not a kid (and that he is, in fact, unbearably old), but that doesn’t negate the fact that A ROPE ON A NON-FUNCTIONING PULLEY does not fall under the umbrella of “interactive” and certainly doesn’t count as “edutainment”**. One needn’t be six – or sixty – to figure that out.
Now, this was just a mean joke on the curators’ part. Displaying a “typical” 1904 Chinese chair alongside a “typical” 1904 Irish chair.
It’s like in middle school when you made friends with that girl who looked like a horse, just so you’d look prettier in comparison.***
I really did like one small part of the exhibit, though – they had several photos on display from the actual World’s Fair, which at the time were intended to showcase the world’s various native and indigenous populations. This child’s photo really grabbed me:
In addition to his/her resemblance my adorable cousin Jenna, I was really captivated by the child’s expression. Of course, from a sociological standpoint I have to bemusedly wonder about why this kid was draped in all sorts of beaded jewelry with (probably styled) “wild” hair and then plopped on an Edwardian table for display. But early-1900’s xenophiliac commentary aside, I just love this kid’s expression and innocence. Absolutely amazing.
Who the heck puts a child seat (yeah, that’s the wire basket thing on front) on a fixie?
So if you’re in St. Louis anyway and have a couple hours to kill, go check out the Missouri History Museum. It’s air conditioned! And…umm…it’s free! (Wonder why?)
*That’s how currency works in my brain – “skeins of sock yarn” are my units. It goes like this – “Hmm…these boots are 10 skeins of sock yarn, but these are 12 and they’re sooo much cuter.” Or, “How on earth did I rack up a 2-skein-of-sock-yarn texting bill this month?!” Puts things into perspective.
**I just died a little bit, inside.
***It’s OK for me to make that joke; I’m probably part Irish. I also don’t look like a horse.****
****Except when I gallop through fields with the wind in my mane hair.