Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Humpty Dumpty Has Nothing On This Guy

The other day, 42-year-old Nick Flynn was visiting Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (UK), tripped on his shoelaces, fell down a flight of stairs into some late 17th century Chinese Qing dynasty vases. According to the article, museum director Duncan Robinson said "It was a most unfortunate and regrettable accident, but we are glad that the visitor involved was able to leave the museum unharmed." That is a nice PR way to hide the anger shared by the museum's staff and vase collectors around the world. The vases had been on a window sill along the stairs for 40 years - a "touchy" location, but that's no excuse for breakage. Officials believe they can put the vases back together.



Flynn said disaster struck after he realized he had gone up the wrong staircase and swung around to come down. He trod on his untied shoelace and fell forward. "I was trying to grab hold of something but the walls were smooth marble and I couldn't stop myself."

Fortunately museums don't have a "you break it you buy it" policy.

I'm sure the director really thought something like, "who was the f-ing idiot who couldn't walk down a flight of stairs? And of all the stairs in which to fall, he fell down this one? You've walked down stairs before so there's no reason for you to suddenly forget how to balance yourself. It couldn't have been that hard to double-knot your laces. Go learn how to tie your shoes and don't come back here. Oh don't worry, we'll clean this mess up right away. It's just like when there's a call for a cleanup in aisle 6 at the supermarket, except we're dealing with $175,000 artifacts that'll never be the same, but don't feel bad or anything."

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