Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Museum Memories

I was just talking to my sister and she brought up all the strange museum exhibits we have seen over the years. I grew up in Northern California and went to the museums in Golden Gate Park at least once a month. I don't remember all the names of the places we would go but my absolute favorite was the De Young Museum. It used to have the best exhibit on the Far Side (funniest comic EVAH!) but it was recently renovated and I haven't been back to see how much has changed.

Anyways, on to the strange stuff. I remember going to a Mongolian exhibit, complete with a full-size yurt that you could go inside and see how Ghengis Khan would have lived. My sis and I went inside and ooh-ed and ahh-ed and then noticed a blonde museum employee lounging on her side and wearing a face veil and mongolian hat...but also wearing a pink dress. She was fanning herself and we (my sis and I) assumed she was part of the exhibit - in fact I remember thinking that she was supposed to be some foreign princess that had been captured by the mongols.

And then the security came rushing in.

I was just so very wrong about it all. That was not a museum employee. That was not even a woman. When they got him out of the yurt I could see that he was wearing a blonde pageboy wig, the pink dress, and saddle shoes...and he was at least 6'5". So I had just lucked out that the day I was there, this crossdressing man had decided to pretend to be a mongolian princess for a few hours and made a mock-yurt his home.

I remember an egyptian exhibit too where I had the headset that told you where to walk and turn and stop and look. I was looking at a mummy and next to it were a few black cork/plug things. The headset said something like "the ancient egyptians plugged all the holes of the body, the first two for the ears, the second two for the nostrils, the next for the mouth...and now please turn to your left." Now people, there were SIX plugs, not five and if you read what I just wrote only five plugs were accounted for. The tape just skipped over that LAST plug, the biggie - which my 14 year old self immediately realized was a friggin' ancient.egyptian.butt.plug. hee hee...that still makes me laugh!

There were so many other exhibits that are stuck in my head like the one that featured 1,000 buddhas and hindu gods. Each one was the same as the other but like, a pinky would be curled differently so that one was the buddha for farmers and the one with the straight pinky was for fishermen...you get the picture. Museums really were a big part of my life and it is so sad now that I haven't been to one in over 5 years. I'm feeling very un-cultured (not that I ever was cultured) so I'm going to make this a new priority in my life and get to know the museums down in Los Angeles.

Well I'm sure I've thoroughly bored anyone that bothered to read this far so I'll reward you with this lovely picture of the inside of a yurt...you'll have to use your imagination and to picture the humongous man lying inside, dressed up as a 5 year old girl, pretending to be a mongolian. Memories....


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