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Barking Mad

| VA, USA | Bizarre

(I work in the back offices of a museum. While this area is technically not off limits to the public, I seldom see anyone other than coworkers because this section of the building only contains offices and classrooms. A jingling sound comes from hallway, followed by “yip! yip!”)

Me: *to myself* “What on earth was that?”

(An elderly woman carrying a small dog on a leash suddenly peers into my office.)

Woman: “Where can I mail this?”

Me: *staring at shock at the dog inside a museum* “I’m sorry, what?”

Woman: “This. Where can I mail this?” *waves a stamped envelope at me*

Me: “Um, at a post office?”

Woman: “Where’s that?”

Me: *still eyeing the dog* “Outside somewhere? This is an art museum.”

(With a “Humph!” the woman put the dog down and walked indignantly away. I still have no idea how she got that dog in there or why she thought she could mail a letter!)

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Vegan La Revolution!

| MA, USA | Bizarre, Pets & Animals

(I’ve worked at several museums relating to the Revolutionary War, so I’m used to people coming in wanting me to affirm their various political agendas about firearms. This threw me for a loop though, as I was cornered in a completely unrelated exhibit about nature and philosophy.)

Patron: “Hey, can I ask you a question?”

Me: “Of course.”

Patron: “What exactly is transcendentalism?”

(This is a pretty common question, and I do my best to explain it for him.)

Patron: “Oh, okay… So, like, are YOU a transcendentalist?”

Me: *laughs* “Well, to be honest, a lot of their talk goes over my head. But I guess I’m a bit of a tree-hugger like Henry Thoreau.”

Patron: “Tree-hugger? What’s that supposed to mean?”

Me: *a bit taken aback* “Oh, you know, just that I’m inspired by nature. Not that I chain myself to trees or anything.”

Patron: “Oh good, I thought that meant you were a vegan or something. I’m a hunter.”

Me: “I’m not vegan; that’s fine.”

Patron: “But I make sure to use every part of the animal.”

Me: “That’s good. I respect responsible hunters.”

Patron: “And the gun is good for self defense, of course.”

Me: “Okay.”

Patron: “Because the Revolution is going to happen again, you know.”

Me: “Sorry… I need to go help those people over there now.”

Do You Wanna Build Biomedical Technology?

| Cleveland, OH, USA | Family & Kids, Movies & TV

(I work at a science museum. One of the exhibits has paper for visitors to write on, asking what they would like to know about biomedical technology. Since much of our visitors are children on field trips, not all the comments are related to medicine. My coworkers take delight in collecting the funniest ones. One day, my coworker comes in with a stack from the exhibit. After showing people, she hangs it in her cubicle. Curious, I look at it.)

Paper: *in the tell-tale scrawl of a five-year-old* “Hi, I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs. – [Child’s Name].”

(The child even drew a snowman!)

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