I work at a museum. It’s not always easy. I don’t just lie around fondling expensive stuff. I think of creative ways to help people connect with my museum’s collection. For example, during our Alice in Wonderland exhibition, I wanted to re-create Alice’s croquet match at a Philadelphia park.
The Scenario in my Mind
We hire actors to portray Alice, the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, etc and rent some whimsical tables and chairs. Perhaps live hedgehogs can be the croquet balls if it’s legal?
What Actually Happens
I wake at 5 am on the day of the program, put my Queen of Hearts costume from Ebay on for an appearance on Good Day Philadelphia to advertise Croquet in Wonderland. After the show, I pick up my rented Ford Transit van and drive back to the museum to load 10 shitty looking tables and 30 chairs (trying not to smear my face paint) and transport them to the park. With the help of my stalwart co-workers, we unload the far from whimsical tables and chairs. I compliment one of my colleagues on his Mad Hatter costume, then it’s back in the van to look for parking. I quickly spy a spot on the street and expertly maneuver the transit van into place. But then it occurs to me that I’m probably not going to be able to get away from the croquet game to move the van when the 2 hour parking limit is up. So, I pull out of the spot and drive over to a garage near the park. But the van is too tall to fit into the low ceilinging garage. So, I try the garage under Macy’s. It seems like the ceilings are high enough. But it’s hard to tell because there’s no hanging bar. There’s just a “vehicles taller than such and such will not fit” sign. And I don’t know how tall my rental van is. It’s at this point I ask myself, what would the Queen of Hearts Do? She’d keep driving. So I do. I descend the ramp and quickly realize that the van is about half an inch too high. I can hear the scrape of van top on garage ceiling. I drive slow. I am sweating. Now there’s a guy behind me in a little sedan. I can see him in my side view mirror. I read his lips. He’s saying what the fuck? I pull over so he can pass me. I feel really bad. I try to arrange my features so that he see how sorry I am. And as he drives by, I twist towards the window of my van so that he can see my apologetic face. As he drives past, he looks pissed, then he looks startled, then he looks like he’s in fear of his life. And it dawns on me, he’s just seen the Queen of Hearts in full makeup ineptly driving a Ford Transit van through a parking garage.