We Can't Do It, Captain. We Don't Have The Power! Part 1

Today, I had hoped to write a little about our wonderful trip to the Museum of Nature and Science and the BodyWorlds exhibit there. But I’m not going to. I’m not going to tell you about how wonderful it was, not because it wasn’t wonderful, but because we didn’t make it into the exhibit. BodyWorlds is an exhibit where they have dried and preserved human bodies (real ones) with the skin and sometimes outer muscle removed so the viewers can see the internal organs and muscles. In a real body. That was once alive. Creepy, yet scientifically intriguing.

It is a very popular exhibit, and to control the number of people in the displays at any one time, you have to have a specific ticket for a 15-minute window to enter. Once you’re in, you can take as long as you like. The website says to buy tickets ahead of time. The newspaper ads say to buy tickets ahead of time. The museum phone operators tell you to buy tickets ahead of time.

This is not the reason we did not see the exhibit. We had tickets reserved in advance. Apparently not everyone got the message.

Little Girl: “Daddy, when do we get to go in that room?” Dad [slightly irritated tone]: “We don’t honey, because we can’t go in today until 10 pm and you have to be in bed then.”

Is it too bad that you can’t show up and buy a ticket the day of? Yes. Did we wait until the last 10 days the exhibit is in town like a lot of other people? Yes. Did they try and hide the fact that some times may sell out early? No. I feel very little sympathy.

So we, along with our reserved tickets, went to the museum yesterday. We saw some of the permanent exhibits. We went to an IMAX show on the human body. We were sitting on a bench eating contraband Chex-Mix in front of some dead stuffed animals when the power went out.

The power went out Saturday at the museum for 4 hours. On the way there, I commented that it was a good thing we didn’t go then. There was no wood in the car. My mistake.

Apparently record high heat and an overcrowded building put a little too much strain on the transformers for the facility. Sunday’s record of 103 broke a record set in 2005. The previous record was from 2003. Either July 16th is just a hot day in Denver or there might be something to that global warming idea. (And what was 2004 doing? It was probably only in the mid 90’s. What a lazy year.)

So we sat in the dark room with the dead animals and the glass eyes and the one little emergency light and looked at the few hundred people still in line for BodyWorlds and we finished our Chex-Mix. That was gone and the lights still hadn’t come back and the crowd was growing rather restless.

I tried to send my brain waves out into the surrounding area to will the problem to magically fix itself.

A strobe started flashing and an alarm went off, followed by some muffled loudspeaker announcement. Stupid brain waves never work like they’re supposed to.

Rhiannon looked and me and suggested perhaps we should meander out and see what the muffled words were saying – it was an evacuation order. As we made our way out down two stories of stairs with a few hundred other people, someone behind us commented that it was a good thing it wasn’t a real threat or we would all be in trouble. I looked around and noted the looks ranging from disappointment and disgust to boredom on people faces. If there was a real emergency like a visible fire, I highly doubt that that many people would proceed in a calm and orderly fashion to the nearest exit.

Once outside we learned that the same transformer that went the previous day had gone again. We hung around for a little while and let the traffic clear from the parking garage and went home. Powered was restored a few hours later but we decided to just reschedule our tickets for next weekend.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of We Don’t Have The Power. If we still have power, that is.