Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Artistic Display of Dirt

            “Hey, Chris, look at this! It’s an article about a new museum exhibit that just opened in London. I want to go.”

            “Of course you do. The fact that it’s a 7 hour plane ride doesn’t bother you in the least, does it?”

            “So not. I have speed-packing down to a science and I simply adore the TSA and Delta Airlines.”

            “That’s a lie. No one adores the TSA and Delta Airlines.”

            I waved my hand. “That’s irrelevant. Don’t you want to go to this new museum with me?”

            “Is it an art museum?”

            “No, not exactly.”

            “Historical artifacts?”

            “Um…not really.”

            “Dinosaur bones?”

            I shook my head.

            “OK, I give up. What’s in this museum we have to cross the Atlantic to see?”

            “Excuse me?”

            “The Wellcome Collection in London is exhibiting a show called Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life. We should go see it before it closes.”

            “You’re making that up.”

            “I am not. You can see stuff like secretions from cholera victims and historic diagrams of weird looking bacteria. They even have a display of bricks that the Dalits of India made out of human poop.”

            “That’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard. I wouldn’t walk across the street to see that.”

            I frowned at him. “It would be educational. Dirt is part of our lives, and we should understand the importance of it.”

            “You certainly don’t have to travel to see dirt. We have an interactive dirt display right here in our house. You can even touch it without anyone yelling at you to stay behind the display ropes.”

            “That’s really quite amusing.”

            “I’ll give you a free tour. Over there,” he pointed to the corner of the kitchen floor, “are tumbleweeds made out of dog hair. Just around the corner, there’s a lovely display of pink mold at water level in the toilet.” He moved a large planter and waved a hand so I could see behind it. “And there you’ll see a fine exhibit of dead American cockroaches."

            “You’re not going to take me to London to see the dirt exhibit, are you?”


            “Fine.” I smiled and handed him a bottle of Lysol cleaner and a sponge. “Then you can get rid of the pink mold display in the toilet.”

            “Hey, wait! Where are you going?”

            “Starbucks. You don’t expect me to work in this filthy house, do you?”

            “What just happened?” Chris asked our eldest son as I tucked my computer into my backpack.

            Pete laughed. “You got played, Dad.”

            “Help me clean?” Chris asked him.

            “You're kidding, right?”

            Chris sighed and looked at the cleaning supplies in his hands. “Well, shoot.”

If you happen to be in London and want to see the dirt exhibit, you can get more information at the following website:  http://www.historyextra.com/gallery/dirt-filthy-reality-everyday-life

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