norwegians, the yellow bellied sapsucker, and, of course, a deer

November 18, 2005

A couple of days ago I had plans to attend an early evening meeting and then stop by the Hirshhorn for cocktails and a gander at the Gyroscope show. I took the Metro, so you already know that I’m about to tell you that wackiness ensued.

I ended up playing tourguide to a Norwegian soccer team. I think they were a soccer team. Their English was only slightly better than my Norwegian (read: nonexistent) so it’s entirely possible they were just telling me they like to kick small dogs. They kept saying the word soccer a lot, so I’m going to go with my original assumption – my friends in highschool were Norwegian and used the term soccer instead of football so I think it’s a safe guess. But I digress…

To make a long story short, I took them to Natural History to see the Spirit of Ancient Colombian Gold exhibit (splendid), the hall of mammals (we took a group picture with the taxidermied deer), and, of course, the yellow-bellied sapsucker (to prove there really was such a thing).

As an aside, may I just say that the new(ish) Hall of Mammals resembles the interior of an REI store. It’s really rather, well, wrong.

There’s an exhibit of photos of Norway in the hallway leading to Baird Auditorium. It looks very cold in Norway. My new friends were very keen on the idea of migrating to La Florida until they saw the bizarre little display case just representing the Everglades. The case is just before the entrance to the insect zoo and it shows a small gator and 4 snakes in a space that is maybe 15 square feet. I tried explaining that snakes are not herd animals like reindeer, but that seemed only to frighten them further as for a while they thought I was explaining that we eat the snakes just like they eat reindeer.

I left my new friends at the Museum and went to my Artomatic meeting, expecting to never see them again since I was fairly certain my explanation of the Hirshhorn’s evening programs was lost in the (lack of) translation.

Amazingly, we were reunited at the Hirshhorn to consume lovely rum drinks and view the Gyroscope exhibit, which was also quite good. You have to watch out for the combination of intoxicants and works by Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, and Willem de Kooning as that way lies really strange dreams. If you have even the slightest interest in Contemporary and Modern art and you haven’t seen this show you should scurry down there and check it out. And if you don’t have any interest, you should go anyway. It’ll be good for you.

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