/ Boulder

Body Worlds -- NOT!

So, Brenda & I headed to Denver today to see the Body Worlds exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This is an exhibit of real human cadavers that have been "plastinated", their solidified remains exposed to reveal the amazing complexity and beauty of the human body and its systems. The show is so insanely popular that they sell tickets to the show and have staged fifteen-minute entries. With the show closing next weekend, I was excited that we had tickets for the exhibit today.

Brenda read in the paper this morning that since there was a power failure in Denver yesterday -- the result of the brutal temperatures we've been experiencing here lately, no doubt -- the ticketholders that were turned away from a dark museum yesterday afternoon would be honored today as well. Great. Thoughts of overly-crowded museum galleries in New York and the attendant hassles of being stuffed into small rooms with large people, long lines and general annoyance with humanity filled my head. But I've moved far away from New York City, and surely this experience would be different, right?

We left at 3PM for a 3:45 entry slot, arriving with a nice ten minute cushion. The parking lot was packed, the end result of the anticipated crowds, and we descended to the lowest levels of the parking garage to find a spot. With the car parked, we headed for the doors of the museum. They had kiosks where we could retrieve our prepaid tickets, which was nice for avoiding the lines. We checked in, and the kiosk cheerily printed out one ticket for the two of us, which obviously wasn't going to work, so we ended up on line anyway. After getting a second ticket, we headed for the ticket takers, just a few minutes past our expected 3:45 p.m. entry time. The gentleman asked: "Body Worlds? What time are your tickets for?" 3:45, said I, and handed the bloke our tickets. He gave us directions for the third floor, and said we were to present our tickets later. On the way to the escalator were were brusquely accosted by a woman in a museum staff shirt, hand out with the universal "halt" signal, and asked us the following question: "Body Worlds? What time are your tickets for?" 3:45 was my answer again, and again I offered the tickets, but we were simply waved through. We entered a doorway, into a darkened gallery, and I thought surely we had arrived at the actual entry to the much-vaunted exhibit. Instead, a long gallery ended with a doorway that had a Body Worlds sign in front; surely that was where we needed to go. We made a beeline for that door and as we passed an older woman who I thought was a patron she shot an arm out with another halting gesture and said: "Excuse me! Body Worlds? What time are your tickets for?"

It was an interesting moment, because I realized how easy I've had it for the last year since moving to Boulder. I used to be accustomed to people making me want to kill them, but that had subsided since moving out here. But here was a nice old lady who I wanted to kill with my bare hands. THREE FOURTY FIVE.

"Jesus Christ, how many fucking people are going to ask us what time our fucking tickets are for before one of them actually fucking takes the goddamned things", I asked my wife, who was growing unhappy with my increasingly intolerant mood. Luckily, shortly after running the ticket time gauntlet (four askers, total) we ended up on the end of what appeared to be a very long line, the Body Worlds Line. But it was moving along pretty well, and as we were actually snaking through a natural history gallery, the exhibits themselves were interesting enough. As we approached a display with a stuffed mountain lion chasing a deer, the lights dimmed a couple times and I thought "uh-oh". In the next instant, we were in the dark.

Now, I know a thing or two about blackouts, and as soon as we were plunged into darkness I know full well that Brenda & I have should have made a beeline for the car, but we waited. We stood there like idiots, with all the other idiots, hoping the power would magically come back on and we could resume telling people what time our tickets were for. But after about five minutes or so we came to our senses and started heading out the door. Unfortunately by this time a lot of people had the same idea, and worse, the security guards had started to feel the need for taking control of the situation, which of course made everything worse.

By the time we got to to the car, everything was all fucked up, and as an added bonus I could tell that the power had come back on (all the garage lights were on instead of every fourth fixture or so). We tried to leave, but the traffic didn't move, so we got out and walked around the park surrounding the museum. Still delusional that we were going to see this fucking exhibit today, we walked back to the museum entry only to hear that the museum was now closed for the day. We went back to the car and waited out the Bataan Death March out of the garage.

Finally speeding home to Boulder, we decided to eat at one of our favorite restaurants in town. Turns out we missed happy hour by three minutes and all I wanted a this point was the burger they serve on that very menu. Getting them to serve me one of those burgers was like pulling teeth, but they did comply and I tipped accordingly. Unfortunately the assholes seated next to me ruined everything by being assholes. The one chick had a shrill voice that could remove old lead paint from the side of a barn, and she was stupid and rude to boot. Anyone who mistakes a plate of complimentary cornbread for the shrimp ceviche she ordered (oh, is this the se-veech-eee??"), and then stares at her phone for three really loud and annoying rings as she squints and struggles to figure out who is calling her, and then takes the call at the table, is a stupid asshole, and I didn't want stupid assholes seated next to me after all we'd been through.

I managed to enjoy dinner and ignore the assholes next to us, but I'm afraid I annoyed Brenda as much with my complaints as the assholes at the next table annoyed me. So in the end, we lost half our Sunday to a crappy museum and a flaky power grid -- and my inability to deal with assholes and stupidity. Oh well, some things never change.

We're gonna try and get tickets for Body Worlds before the thing closes, but I think I'll wait till the temperature drops below 95 degrees (which may be a few days yet).