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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Fall's Well That Ends Well

Most of us have made fools of ourselves in public.

Maybe you uttered something during an important meeting that you shouldn’t have let slip out. (Consider me guilty.) Possibly you walked into a party with your buttons unbuttoned, your belt unbuckled, or your zipper unzipped. (Very, very guilty.)

Perhaps you even admit on your blog that you listen to cheesy 80s hair metal. Way too often. (No comment.)

But I’m betting that you didn’t (A) trip on your own shoelace, (B) fall down a museum stairwell, and (C) shatter three near-priceless Qing Dynasty vases.

So let’s just say your day wasn’t as bad as this guy, who certainly wishes he had worn slip-ons, sandals, or even full leg casts last Wednesday while visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The Chinese artifacts that he reduced to fragments had been crafted in the late 17th or early 18th century—making them older than the Rolling Stones.

Yes, ALL of them. Combined.

The museum director was gracious about the “regrettable accident,” emphasizing that he and his co-workers were simply “glad that the visitor involved was able to leave the museum unharmed.”

Translation: The clutz hauled ass before the curator could beat the crap out of him.

This story bring to mind some other historical stumbles with memorable results:

Michael Jackson. The King of Pop faced criminal charges because he was seen getting too friendly with the youngins. But remember that he always wore moonwalk slippers, and those things are damn slippery. He doesn't have the moves he used to, so perhaps he just fell a lot—and always found himself grasping for anything to break his fall.

Conveniently, he always had those little boys around.

The atomic bomb. We didn’t really mean to drop it, you know. We just wanted to open the airplane's big doors and show it off. Let the Japanese SEE it and panic. Then, we planned to fly away in peace and accept their surrender later that day. Those airmen just lost their grip, that’s all.

Oops. Our bad.

O.J. Simpson. Everybody suspects that he killed Nicole. Few people realize that he didn’t really intend to hurt her … he merely slipped and fell because he couldn't see in the dark, dark night. Oh yes, and he just happened to have a big-ass blade in his hand.

If he put a knife in her throat because the sidewalk wasn’t lit, you must acquit.

As for the unidentified man who staggered into the Chinese vases, he wishes he weren’t part of this sordid history.

He is probably going over that unfortunate moment again and again in his mind. Could he have tied his laces more tightly? What prevented him from keeping his balance? Why didn’t he grab on to a rail, or stair, or a fellow museum visitor?

At least he could have taken some e-vase-ive action.

41 Comments:

At February 01, 2006 7:34 AM, Blogger Steph replied to my musings ...

Wow, you should be a defence attorney or something! haha i read about that dude at the gallery. What a clumsy bastard. Poor thing will never live it down i'm sure.

 
At February 01, 2006 7:56 AM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

I heard about that guy in the gallery...and thought, "Yeah, sounds like something I'd end up doing." I'm EXTREMLEY dopic.

I freak out if I'm wearing a skirt and the wind blows it up around my head and people see my panties...so I can just imagine smashing all those priceless artifacts.

 
At February 01, 2006 8:37 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Steph: I'm sure he will be razzed about this for the rest of his life by his friends. Especially his Chinese ones.

Stacy: The story didn't indicate if the fall exposed his undergarments, or if he was wearing panties. Now THAT would be embarrassing.

--david

 
At February 01, 2006 10:01 AM, Blogger LocuTus of Borg replied to my musings ...

LOL thats funny David .. "e - vase - ise action" haha. How many of those things in life happen that are just "accidents" - likes ooops she accidentally got pregnant, like he had nothing to do with it. Or I swear my reflexes are great being intoxicated - they ran their car into me - its not my fault. Geez some people.

 
At February 01, 2006 11:07 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Speaking of museums-- One of my college history professors went undercover for the FBI to bust the curator of the Smithsonian's Air & Space museum who was selling pieces from the Smithsonian's collection to private collectors.

This was in the mid 90s. He told the tale in class and mentioned that was rather odd to be given a private tour of the Smithsonian as if it were a showroom floor with everything for sale. It gave the museum a rather different perspective. He was approached by the FBI to do this because he was a collector of military artifacts and he was known in collector's circles. The FBI didn't want to arouse suspicion with the curator so they approached him as an outsider.

He left the college after my sophomore year because he was "sick of being poor." He was British, so it was really interesting taking a US history course on Colonial America from him.

 
At February 01, 2006 11:58 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Locutus: Chance is a funny thing, whcih peopel usually take credit for or deny mattering at all. Rush had a lackluster (for them) album on the topic of chance and accidents, Roll the Bones. I think that the Alan Parsons Project's The Turn of a Friendly Card addressed the gambling side of chance, but that's a bit outside my musical taste.

Perplexio: What a great story--that's a guy I'd like to have dinner with. The professor, not the sleazy curator.

-- david

 
At February 01, 2006 12:02 PM, Blogger Ben Heller replied to my musings ...

"It was a most unfortunate and regrettable accident, but we are glad that the visitor involved was able to leave the museum unharmed," museum director Duncan Robinson said.

That's just a typical English reaction. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr Robinson apologised for putting the vase in the way of his fall.

 
At February 01, 2006 12:15 PM, Blogger Bruce replied to my musings ...

That's why I don't go to museums...My balance is terrible.

 
At February 01, 2006 12:36 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

I'm not sure where he is or what he's up to these days. He left to go back to law school. I remember reading the newspaper articles (in the NY Times) about his undercover experiences.

 
At February 01, 2006 12:44 PM, Blogger KC replied to my musings ...

Poor guy! He'll never live it down. I wonder if this accident will bring about an increase in traffic for the museum? People will be on the look-out for other things they could bump into just to see if the curator will continue being so nice about losing priceless works of art.

 
At February 01, 2006 12:57 PM, Blogger Tai replied to my musings ...

A proverbial 'bull in a "CHINA" shop", eh?

Damn, that would be horrible.

 
At February 01, 2006 1:18 PM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

I say they should make the guy pay for the vases. How many thousands would those silly things go for? That'll teach him.

 
At February 01, 2006 2:22 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

One possible theory--maybe this is an Ocean's Eleven-style subterfuge--and the guy really stole one of the vases, replacing it (kind of) with shattered pieces of a decent replica.

(Not that I would know anything about such chicanery myself, of course.)

-- david

 
At February 01, 2006 3:05 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn replied to my musings ...

Very clever & funny post!!

That famous presidential tumble down the airplane stairs came to mind. Poor Gerald Ford!

 
At February 01, 2006 3:32 PM, Blogger Kitty replied to my musings ...

I, sometimes, have a tendency to be, oh-shall-we-say, not as graceful as I should be . . . so, I can understand how this poor fellow might be feeling - although, not on as grand a scale as he probably is (i.e., $$$$$).

When it isn't happening to me, I can find the humor in it; when you are telling the story, it is absolutley hilarious!

 
At February 01, 2006 3:35 PM, Blogger none - ya replied to my musings ...

I think I would cry. And I'm pretty sure that my friends would never let me hear the end of that one. I once slipped and fell on someone's dick, but that's a story for another day.

 
At February 01, 2006 3:40 PM, Blogger Bar Bar A replied to my musings ...

HA! I love the point you make and agree.

The OJ thing still makes my blood boil. Nicole happens to be burried a few graves down from my dad and whenever I visit his gravesite (not often) there are always tons of flowers on it.

Remember when Michael J's hair caught on fire during a Pepsi commercial.

 
At February 01, 2006 3:49 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Keep this guy away from the master tapes of Her Satanic Majesty's Request!!

Like, especially if he's got MAGNETS in his pockets!

He's already destroyed one ancient artifact, that's enough...

 
At February 01, 2006 4:33 PM, Blogger ticharu replied to my musings ...

Have you ever lept down a full flight of stairs? (When I was Jackie Chan in a former life) The momentum when you hit the bottom is incredible! Dude was lucky it was just some old jars...

 
At February 01, 2006 5:01 PM, Blogger Kid Jacque replied to my musings ...

oops.

 
At February 01, 2006 6:38 PM, Blogger Metal Mark replied to my musings ...

Sounds like the plot for a bad sitcom. Are you sure that this didn't happen on Sanford and son?

 
At February 01, 2006 7:00 PM, Blogger .: raven :. replied to my musings ...

ya know .. i'm always the one that spills a glass at a restaurant or trips and falls walking across the street in downtown Denver at mid-day lunch rush ....

however, i feel much better now.

LOL

 
At February 01, 2006 7:55 PM, Blogger LostInTX replied to my musings ...

I actually ran into a wall carrying a tray full of drinks once.

Quite embarassing, even at 10. It was my parent's restaurant so it technically it wasn't child labor. And I didn't get fired.

 
At February 01, 2006 9:12 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

At the least none of my clumsy moments have made it on the news. There is a silver lining to everything I suppose. Thanks to this putz for making the rest of us feel better about ourselves.

 
At February 01, 2006 9:55 PM, Blogger kim replied to my musings ...

I'd heard about the Ming vase incident and it made me ill. Because I could totally do that myself and WOW all that pricless gorgeousness smased to itty bitty bits. I can't believe they had them out like that! I bet the poor fellah feels just awful.

 
At February 02, 2006 8:03 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

It's amazing what confessions an event like this brings out. Kitty's, Fuzz's, and Kim's lack of grace ... Raven's and Lost-in-TX's restaurant woes ... Mack-n-z's fascinating "accidental" penetration ...

Something tells our collective stumbling stories might top this clutz's antics!

-- david

 
At February 02, 2006 10:57 AM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

If that would've happened in America, the Museum Mafia would have beat the living crap outta him.

It sounds like the museum director was being extremely cordial about the whole mess.

Reminds me of that British guy in the movie "European Vacation" when Chevy Chase runs him and his bike over with his car, breaking his bones. But the Englishman is ok, it's just a scratch.

 
At February 02, 2006 11:04 AM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

One day not so long ago, I was prowling a wine store in search of good cheap wine (there is such a thing), and my cart (with me driving it) knocked over some expensive wine on display. A wine bottle, like a vase, is not the most stable thing. I felt a little guilty, but only a little. Why was it left in so precarious place?

 
At February 02, 2006 11:12 AM, Blogger TheChurchMilitant replied to my musings ...

Dear Citizen Amulet,
Your comment on the hijacking of the word "gender" by the Word Nazis brings the total of such comments on my blog to two. I fear this battle has been lost, as has the one over the wonderful little word "gay".

Since your blog isn't nearly as ignorant as most (mine included, of course) I will be happy to post a link to it.

Anyway, thanks for visiting and for the kind words as well.

 
At February 02, 2006 11:39 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

The curator truly was cool about the whole thing, much more so than I would be if Godwhacker destroyed my wine!

I mean, a near-priecless Qing Dynasty vase is one thing ... but good wine is in a different league--that's a serious fight you're asking for.

-- david

 
At February 02, 2006 1:25 PM, Blogger RT replied to my musings ...

Ha Ha Ha ...e-vase-ive action.

Actually, that was pretty good, lol.

I would say 'poor guy', but if you think about it, he's going to have some serious bragging rights for the rest of his life. I mean, how many people around the pickle barrel are going to be able to top that story?!?

It's genius, pure genius.

 
At February 02, 2006 3:27 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I think they are also glad he didn't pull the "reverse" thing and sue them for "negligence".

 
At February 02, 2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Sar replied to my musings ...

Wow, sucks to be him! The worst I ever did was trip on my stupid graduation gown on my way up to the podium to give a commencement speech.

Btw, David, excellent post. I love your writing style and of course your pun at the end. :)

 
At February 02, 2006 8:47 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

RT: Did you really just type "pickle barrel?"

Angel, Jr.: If it were the US, I'm sure the guy would have personal injury lawyers stalking him.

Sar: Thanks for the compliment. And I love the red and black shoe. Too bad I don't wear heels.

-- david

 
At February 02, 2006 8:57 PM, Blogger Canadian Dude replied to my musings ...

I enjoyed how you've taken a mediocre news article and turned it into an amusing and entertaining post.

 
At February 02, 2006 9:48 PM, Blogger Video X replied to my musings ...

wow that's so me and my luck.

 
At February 02, 2006 10:26 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

I appreciate that, Great White North Dude. I encourage you to check out some of my archives to see if (a) you find other posts equally amusing, or (b) I've simply progressed from meaningless schlock to entertaining schlock.

Thanks for dropping in.

-- david

 
At February 02, 2006 10:44 PM, Blogger Anhoni Patel replied to my musings ...

OMG. That is horrible.

 
At February 03, 2006 12:59 AM, Blogger Laura:) replied to my musings ...

Wow, that is funny. Poor guy. Its one of those nightmare where you just want to wake up but can't.

 
At February 03, 2006 7:33 AM, Blogger siren replied to my musings ...

I feel sorry for the guy, but at the same time feel a little more graceful :)

 
At February 19, 2006 8:22 PM, Blogger Leah replied to my musings ...

Too freaking funny... I've had those moments where the guards thought I was about to touch the painting...but I wasn't. I mean....my finger was inches from being pressed up against it... but I wasn't realllllly going to touch it. Or the time when my bag almost knocked over the vase on the table behind me and they kindly asked me to check my bag at the front desk.

Oh well...we can't all be perfect.

 

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