I don’t know why my museum hasn’t made me their spokesperson…
On Friday, I wore brown coveralls, a bandanna, a hard hat (the exhibit is still under construction), and a tool belt to clean the dust, dirt, gunpowder, horse poop, blood, dried fruitcake, and Silly String off artifacts. As the day wore on, I became covered in most of what I removed from the objects, including one incredibly unfortunately positioned smear of rust on my backside that no one thought was worth mentioning.
In that getup, I wandered throughout the museum, dragging a little vacuum cleaner behind me that looks like a Dalek wherever I went.
Just like this, only more interested in vacuuming artifacts than in exterminating you. For now...
Everything was going swimmingly (except for the aforementioned rust smear), and then this happened:
Setting: The elevator
Cast: Me, my Dalek vacuum, and Sandra Fluke, visiting for a luncheon (and, surprisingly, not dressed like an extra from Doctor Who)
Me: “Good afternoon,” angling my body to hide the butt rust
Sandra: Trying to decide whether or not to say something, and deciding…not.
Me: “So…I bet you’re wondering why I’m all dressed up.”
Later that day, I found myself standing on tip toe, leaning down into a 5-foot tall 19th century cast iron ore bucket with a vacuum hose in one hand, brush in the other, and flashlight between my teeth.
I was cleaning the inside of the ore bucket, listening to my 90′s dance party mix on my Walkman, when I lost my footing. Down I went, tumbling into the ore bucket, legs akimbo and flailing up in the air.
After several minutes of struggling to the soundtrack of “MmmBop,” I righted myself, dusted myself off (oh look, more rust), and realized my impersonation of an incredibly untalented synchronized swimmer had taken place in front of a security camera.
Setting: The security desk, which I avoided for five hours after the “incident,” hoping there’d be a shift change
Cast: Me and “Freckles” the security guard
Freckles, obviously holding back laughter: “So…how’s it going?”
Me: “Oh, just fine. How are you?”
Freckles: “Good, good. How’s the exhibit coming? You must be excited for it to open. You know, head over heels.”
Me: “I certainly don’t know what you’re talking about…”
Freckles: “Don’t worry, we have it on video. We thought about coming to help but, but then we thought, ‘No, let’s wait and see how this plays out.’”
Five bucks says I show up Monday morning and discovery my access badge has been deactivated.