Screened For Bad Language

| Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Right | June 15, 2016

(I’m the bad guy here. This happens in a science museum in Edinburgh that’s quite interactive and popular for young children, which I visit with my fiancée. We approach a large screen with an animated palaeontologist character standing idly. I look up and see a small sensor above the screen, and a marked floor area, and realise it’s an interactive display. It’s the middle of the week and we are the only ones in the exhibit.)

Display: “Hi there, are you having fun today?”

Me: “F*** off, witch.”

(I turn to walk on.)

Display: “Well, that was unexpected.”

(We stop and look back.)

Me: “What?”

Display: “I’ve never had anyone swear at me before!”

(Actually panicking now.)

Me: “Wait, you’re REAL?”

Display: “Yep, and quite surprised!”

(Turned out there was a staff member assigned to the screen and the sensor was a camera. She was quite forgiving and informative, but it was quite funny watching as people behind us ignored the screen and she started throwing sarcastic comments out to try and get their attention!)

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A Pornucopia Of Art

| NY, USA | Working | May 19, 2016

(My art class goes to New York for a field trip, and allows my mom and 12-year-old brother come along. We step into this small museum that’s dimly lit and in the first room, we see a woman on a screen walking up to us and getting bigger and bigger and screaming.)

Mom: “Well, that was weird.”

Brother: “Why was the lady screaming?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

(Then we walk into another room where there are binoculars on the walls. And nothing else. I peer into one of them.)

Mom: *looking and frowning* “What is it?”

Me: *blinking* “I don’t know, I— Oh, my GOD! It’s PORN!”

(There were tiny pictures of naked people having sex on the walls! My mom tries to pull my little brother away, but too late.)

Brother: “Mom, why are there naked people there? What are they doing?”

Mom: “I don’t know! Let’s get out of here!”

(I agreed and we ran for it! The volunteer, a lady, gave us funny looks as we booked it. Never went back. There really ought to be a warning.)

Barking Mad

| VA, USA | Right | May 5, 2016

(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!)

The Power Of The Penis

| Seattle, WA, USA | Friendly | February 25, 2016

(The local art museum is running a special exhibit on Pompeii. The group I am in includes two very well-dressed elderly women, probably in their late 60s. As we are going through the exhibit, there is a Y in the path, with a sign explaining that any younger or sensitive guests should bypass the next section, due to the sexual nature of that section. Most people went on instead of bypassing, and I ended up right behind the two older women. This section turns out to be VERY graphic, with scenes of a brothel, erotic artwork, and a lot of large phallic sculptures. A sign explains that the people of Pompeii considered the phallic symbol to be good luck, and a protective omen. The two ladies read the sign, and one turn to the other.)

Elderly Lady: “Oh, NO! The volcano is erupting! SAVE ME, PHALLUS! SAVE ME!”

(I seriously came so close to breaking a rib trying not to laugh…)

Vegan La Revolution!

| MA, USA | Right | February 23, 2016

(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.”

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