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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Our big children’s museum is called, MOSI in Tampa. It’s a massive facility, very well funded and one of the best kids museums in the world. We even have a zipline where you can soar 700 feet in the air and pretend you’re Superman.
I imagine that the job of “Children’s Museum Director” must be quite fun. I’d probably take that job if offered the opportunity — create amazing learning experiences for little kids, big kids and adults who love being a kid. So I’m guessing it’s a highly coveted position, probably one that requires top-notch education, experience and sense of humor.
Earlier this Spring, I took the kids there and a couple of exhibits made me wonder if the Museum Director was just having a bad month or had a warped sense of humor that I just didn’t quite get.
Anyone care to ride the Birth Canal Challenge? The small text says, “Steep descents with slippery slides and no hand-holds are obstacles cavers often face.”
Wait. Perhaps the name of this ride was just a mistake. Clearly, they must have mean “Cave Climbing Challenge” right?
Nope. It was really a Birth Canal. I wonder what the “slippery” substance that they used really was. No – I did not even want to stick my arm in the hoo-hoo to find out. What EXACTLY was the challenge? What if a kid got stuck in the birth canal? No thanks, been there, done that. Not so much fun, quite traumatic, actually.
Well….maybe I’m judging too soon – perhaps it’s one of those new age therapeutic experiences – back to the womb thing. Revisit the moment of first breath thing. I don’t know….I still don’t get it.
Okay, so the next exhibit I thought was strange was this Freaky Bed of Nails. So you lay down on this cold metal table. Then push this button and thousands of super-sharp nails raise up from underneath you. You’re supposed to lie very very still. VERY STILL.
The sign says, “Don’t worry. The nails will not stick to you.”
UNLESS YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY 2,967 UNSUPERVISED CHILDREN…..who all think tickling you while the nails are up is really funny. Ha. Ha. Thanks for the nail tattoo on the backside of my body. I still look like rammed by the dude in Hellraiser.
At the very end of the museum, I thought, “Oh fun! A tribute to the sunny state of Florida!”
I was very. very wrong.
Wow. Forget the lovely beaches, perfect winter weather, the gorgeous views…..let’s learn about how HEROIN is made!!!
Complete with step by step diagrams (<– no joke) and an actual realistic exhibit.
Someone actually got paid to build a facade for an Afgan heroin processing facility. Fun times at MOSI.
So, tell me….is your children’s museum as nutty as ours? I wonder if the Birth Canal Challenge is one of those traveling exhibits where they tour children’s museums around the nation. First person actually get in the birth canal, make it through and YouTube the experience gets a prize from me.