Transformers: More than low budget Japanese S&M porn

transformers_movie_poster_interestplus_prime.jpgThere will never come a time when I will tire of the constant stream of thoughtful friends, family members and neighbors unexpectedly stopping by the house to drop off arbitrary gifts for Jack and Adam. I don’t care if they are hand-me-downs or store bought, from FAO Schwartz or The Dollar Tree, from yard sales or tag sales, picked out of roadside garbage cans or dumpsters, or even cheap knock-offs selected from the breakaway card tables of illegal street vendors… I say keep them coming.

A regular contributor to the Jack and Adam’s toys coffers is Uncle “Bri-guy” Brian who recently presented Jack with a vintage Transformer he’d picked up at garage sale. Being a recovering child of the 80’s I’d like to think know a thing or two about Transformers. One would be that when it comes to a Transformer there is more than meets the eye. Another would be that Transformers are really nothing more than robots in disguise. From the way this particular Transformer’s back and neck twisted and the manner with which all its joints swiveled and sounded like the wheel at a Vegas roulette table I’m certain that it was Chiropracticon. What became quickly apparent though was that my encyclopedic knowledge of Transformers is more conceptual, more “big picture”, than it is practical as Jack and I unsuccessfully tried to decipher the damn thing’s transformative secrets. For hours we folded its hands backwards into its elbows, dislocated its shoulders, rotated its waist 180 degrees, and bent it’s legs back to the point where it felt like we were making low budget Japanese S&M porn. That is until Jack touched something on its head and its eyes glowed, its breast plate opened and it shot him in the chin with a three-pronged yellow cylinder and then I was certain that we were making low budget Japanese S&M porn. In the end, we succeeded in transforming it from a robot into a robot in the fetal position…pretty much how most of those movies end…or so I’ve been told.

Since Jack is now obsessed with discovering the “secret of the transformers” I took him to see the new Transformers movie last night. Going to the movies with Jack is always an adventure since he’s only been to a handful of films in his life not counting low budget Japanese S&M porn. This time we arrived at the theater a few minutes early and no sooner had we stepped into the ticket line did he tell me he had to go poop; I should have expected this since he has a fondness for crapping in public bathrooms. It never fails. At the house before we leave we ask “Jack do you have to poop?” to which he’ll say “No”. Then the moment we’re out in public he’s all “I have to go poop.” He probably would have gone in the ticket line if I handed him an empty box of Goobers and a couple napkins. So I brought him to the bathroom, then returned to the ticket line, bought some popcorn and soda and went to the theater showing Transformers.

The theater was strangely empty of other moviegoers so after finding seats in the last row and acting responsibly for about 30 seconds Jack asked me if he could run up and down the aisles. Being a sensible adult and mindful of being a good example for Jack I told him I would time him. Once he got to the screen he banked hard left and came back up to our seats by snaking back and forth through the rows in a game I think is called “Next in line at the DMV”. When he finished I took off and followed the same course he had just pioneered and when I finished it was again his turn. This back and forth continued until a couple more people came in the theater just as the movie was starting. Jack returned to his seat, out of breath and panting and said, “Daddy I have to go poop again.” Not willing to take the chance that he was lying we raced to the bathroom where he once again somehow pooped and we got back to our seats just as the previews were ending. If they make them in kid sizes I’m considering a colostomy bag for him.

The movie had it all. All the major Transformers were in it like Kegatron – the commander of the Defectacons, Interestplus Prime, Peloton, BarryBonds, Gluteus Maximus, and GymLock, there was non-stop action and amazing special effects and most importantly it revealed the secret of the Transformers which is apparently formulaic Hollywood writing. Every time pointless lengthy dialogue, plot holes or gratuitous back story caused Jack and I to resort to popcorn fights to pass the time a car, a truck, a radio, an electric shaver, a food processor or an iPhone would suddenly transform into a robot and launch missiles at the awkward teenage boy who is slowly discovering himself and his over-the-top hot girlfriend with the Juvenile criminal record and a heart of gold who recently dumped the dumb jock because she wanted more out of a relationship and who, along with awkward teenage boy, despite only being in high school are more intelligent, more courageous and more clever than the Secretary of Defense and a team of secret military agents trained to protect the country. Plausible and brilliant…how do they do it?

The movie ran almost 2:30 hours and with about an hour left Jack told me he was ready to go. I had to use the, “There’s like five minutes left, it’s almost over.” 3-4 times until he just got completely out of hand and I shot him in the chin with a three-pronged yellow cylinder.

It was nearly 10:00 pm by the time the movie left itself open for a sequel contingent on total box office gross and we were both ready to get home. Even though we were only a few miles from the house Jack was asleep within minutes of leaving the parking lot. At one point he woke up and said he had to go potty again. I handed him a box of Goobers.

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Mary Lou Wettin

retton_mary_lou.jpgLast week Jack fell out of bed again although from our room it sounded more like he attempted a Yurchenko on the vault and over-rotated the double salto triple twist layout dismount. As any father who is jolted from sleep by a mandatory one-point deduction coming from his child’s room would do I jumped out of bed, stepped on the cat, pinballed against our bedroom door jam and stumbled into Jack’s bedroom where I found him crying on the floor next to his bed. After scooping him up, checking him repeatedly for any sign of injury, hugging him and telling him that “Daddy’s Here” then tucking him back under the covers he was back to sleep in less than a minute. Conversely, I was wide awake as my heart hammered out Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher drum intro, grateful to have purchased the night light with the optional defibrillator attachment.

When we first converted his crib to a twin bed Jack had a removable bed rail with mesh netting that prevented him from falling out or from migrating upstream in his sleep. A few months ago though, after he stopped sleeping the entire night with his face pressed against the mesh, we removed it from his bed; partially because we believed he’d fully made the transition from crib to big boy bed, but mostly because some of our neighbors were accusing us of beating him with a badminton racket.

Now, if third shift gymnastic floor routines weren’t enough to make us sleep with one eye open, Jack recently took up sleep walking. A couple weeks ago Kathleen nudged me awake in the wee hours of the morning and whispered, “Is that Jack crying downstairs?” As any father at that moment would do I jumped out of bed, stepped on the cat, pinballed against our bedroom door jam and stumbled down the stairs and into the kitchen where I found him crying in the dark. I lifted him up and hugged him tightly while he sobbed and kept saying that he couldn’t find us. How terrifying it must have been for him to wake up alone, in the unfamiliar darkness of a strange room. How helpless he must have felt when he thought he was lost and alone. How much I wish he had gone potty before he went to bed instead of waiting for me to pick him up so he could write his name on my shirt.

Though he possesses very little recollection of these post-midnight incidents, I now lie awake in bed at night convinced that every creaky floorboard is either Jack tumbling to the floor or Bella Karolyi going through our cabinets. Just last week for instance I thought I heard Jack whimpering downstairs again only to end up comforting the coffee maker. If he continues to sleep walk and fall out of bed we’re going to start beating him with a badminton racket again. I don’t care what the neighbors think.

No Primordial Soup For You

sein_soup_nazi.jpgIt’s a classic American scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Christmas morning, a child in pajamas crouched in front of the tree bursting with anticipation. His weary bath-robed parents smile in the background as he tears opens a gift wrapped box then beams with pure delight as dozens of prehistoric sea crustaceans leap from the box and lick his face.

For centuries parents have been giving their children aquatic arthropods from Earth’s Devonian period so why should we be any different? So, after carefully discussing with Jack the responsibilities that come with being a pet owner Kathleen and I thought he was ready to experience the joy that can only come from successfully growing your own living fossils. When asked what type he wanted he surprised us with how specific he was with the details. “They have to have flat heads, three eyes, a skeleton on the outside of their bodies, sharp lateral fins, forked tails and 140 legs.” There was no question about it; my son wanted Triops Sauncauditus or what are more commonly referred to as Aquasaurs.

After taking the Aquasaur box down from his closet where it had been hidden for the last two years we began unpacking its contents and reading the directions. We discovered that the Aqausaur is cousin to the Trilobite (twice removed on their mother’s side and the Trilobites only really come around or call when they need bail money or when they’ve concocted another get rich quick scheme). Thankfully, we also quickly determined that the good people who created the Aquasaurs habitat made certain it was a child-centric activity that required only minimal help from an adult like finding a stable surface with a moderate temperature where the cat or Adam couldn’t knock it over, sticking the adhesive thermometer to the tank, rinsing the tank, slicing your finger open with a steak knife trying to open the plastic gravel bag, spreading the gravel on the tank floor and not the kitchen floor, pouring in the water, repeatedly asking your child not to touch or pull on the towel the tank is sitting on, slicing another finger open with a steak knife trying to open the plastic egg bag and finally, gently putting the eggs in the water In other words, kids should observe from a safe distance preferably from another room or, if possible, a friend’s house.

A few more facts that perhaps you didn’t know about Aquasaurs is that they 1) are unaffected by extreme heat, frost, drought, nuclear holocaust, Mongolian Warriors Biblical wrath, plague, pestilence, the vacuum of space and liberal politics, but apparently vulnerable to the deadliest of all the man-made and natural elements: tap water. The contract rider in the directions clearly stated spring water only and also required us to stock the habitat with M&M’s but to pick out all the blue ones first. 2) As they grow, the larger Aquasaurs can eat the smaller ones. Now here’s a teaching moment for Jack as he begins kindergarten next year. “Remember Jack, listen to your teachers, raise your hand to ask a question and only eat the kids that are smaller you.” 3) The water temperature of the habitat must be kept between 72 to 80 degrees. To keep the temperature up the directions recommend placing a desk lamp next to the habitat or for faster results try dropping a plugged in hair drier or toaster into the water. 4) By shining a flashlight into the habitat the Aquasaurs will swim towards it and then lie about how many drinks they have had that night.

After we finally got the contents of the box unpacked, inventoried and spread out on the kitchen counter, the gravel soaked and spread on the bottom of the habitat and the habitat filled with natural spring water and situated safely on a towel on top of the fireplace mantel it was finally time for the big moment where we pour the eggs into the water and set back in motion the circle of life that began in the primordial waters of an ancient ocean over 350 million years ago. Had the packet of eggs not looked like a dime bag filled with pencil sharpener shavings it might have actually been a pretty cool moment and worth the trouble.

It’s a classic American scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Mid-summers night, a father and son stand before a flimsy plastic aquarium with an erupting underwater volcano model. What could be either sawdust or oregano floats stagnant on the water’s surface while the father and son wait eagerly for cheap imitation sea monkeys to hatch and cannibalize each other.

It’s been 48 hours and there isn’t a single Aquasaur baby doing laps around the tank as the packaging promised. Jack is beginning to lose interest and due to evaporation most of the “eggs” are in fact now stuck to plastic just above the waterline. I’m beginning to think that back at the ol’ Aquasaur Factory someone is filling the egg packets with the contents of Lipton Tea Bags and if that’s the case then in another day or two the water in the tank is going to look like Jack’s pee when he’s dehydrated.

Hey Dad, want a Hertz Donut?

taffy-pull.jpgAm I the only father out there who is intimidated by a 9 month old baby? Not in the “Am I being a good father and am I doing all the right things to ensure my child will grow up happy, healthy and well-adjusted?” sense but rather in the “I’m afraid to pick up my son because he’s going to treat my neck skin like a Taffy Pulling contest” sense. At first I thought that it was just that Adam was learning to communicate with us through touch, facial expressions and his voice, but after repeated contusions, lacerations, bite marks and two for flinching I’ve come to realize that I am being bullied by my son.

How could this happen to me? Here’s the Tale of the Tape: I’m a formidable 6’0” while Adam can still stand under the dining room table without hitting his head. I tip the scales at 190 lbs and compete in the Cruiserweight division while at 21 lbs Adam barely falls into the Butterball Oven-Roasted Division. My 74 inch reach supports a devastating jab-uppercut combination yet while during a rendition of the YMCA at a recent wedding Adam had to conveniently “get some air” rather than embarrass himself by spelling out Y-M-C-Y with his stubby arms. Why is it then that the sight of him Terminator crawling towards me across the living room floor yelling like Howard Dean at a Democratic Caucus makes me break out in a cold sweat?

In my defense, it should be noted that Adam was born with a rare affliction where instead of finger nails he has Gillette Quatros while the clamping torque of his hands has been measured at 5000 psi or equal to the pressure of a junkyard car crusher. Even early on when I was holding him, when he wasn’t squeezing my larynx in his kung fu grip or shredding my eyelids, he would beat me repeatedly with a right arm that moved like a subway turnstile during the morning commute. Blow after blow after blow until my collar bone snapped and or I switched arms and let him pummel the other half of my body that I hadn’t lost all feeling in.

Now if the physical abuse wasn’t bad enough, Adam’s verbal abuse is a constant reminder of what he’s capable of if I tell anyone where my bruises actually came from or if I don’t do his math homework for him. Fists clenched, jaws set, veins popping from his neck and forehead he berates me with a succession of guttural yells that rival the audio from the Keg Toss portion of a Strong Man Competition.

Daddy: (Lifting Adam from his crib) How’s Daddy’s big boy doing this morning?
Adam: (kneading my upper lip like pizza dough with both hands) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Daddy (Fumbling for pepper spray) OW …OK …let go of Daddy’s face.
Adam (Convinced I’m wearing a mask and determined to prove it) AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Daddy (getting dizzy from blood loss) Kathleen …can you… help me… with Adam?
Adam (Giving me a Nikita Khruschev shoe beating) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I am the Millhouse Van Houten to my son’s Nelson Muntz. I’ve tried to talk to Kathleen about it but she just says things like, “He’s just a baby. Why would he try to hurt you?”, “He’s just discovering his voice.” and “Adam, stop giving your father swirlies.”

On the surface Adam appears to be an average Zwieback sucking, peach puff inhaling, breast milk guzzling, onesie sporting, belly laughing baby, but you don’t know him like I know him. Am I alone in this paternal victimization? Are there any support groups out there for BFS (Battered Father Syndrome)? Will ice help reduce the swelling from a purple nurple?

Sir, you’ve been selected for a Random Security Check.

massage.jpgRecently I had to travel to Atlanta for a conference. My flight was at 6:00 am so I awoke at 4:00 am, stumbled to my car in the pre-dawn darkness with a traveling mug of coffee and drove myself to the Albany Airport. At the security check in I was chosen for what I was told was a random security check. The guard approached and informed me that if I’d feel more comfortable he and I could go into a private room, which honestly unsettled me more then the imminent public pat down. After being wanded and given what could only be described as a deep tissue massage I was allowed to proceed to my gate. A stop at the coffee shop for breakfast only further unsettled me as even though I asked for a receipt I, in my post-security rub down glow, left it on the counter. “There’s $5.87 I’ll never see again. Damn receipts.” I mumbled as I settled into my aisle seat. “This is your Captain.” a crackling voice came over the intercom “Due to ground traffic in Charlotte our take-off is going to be delayed for 20 to 25 minutes.” Ground traffic in Charlotte? Maybe I don’t understand the finer points of aviation, but why would planes on the ground in Charlotte have any effect on a plane taking off in Albany? With no further explanation from the disembodied voice we sat, as it said we would, for 25 minutes on the runway before we took off.

Evidently the ground traffic problem cleared up and sometime around 8:45 we landed in Charlotte. Two incidents occurred in the Charlotte Airport that nearly prevented me from making my connecting flight. Well, three actually. The first being that the gate I had to reach was not quite the “two hops, a skip and a jump” away as the flight attendant had so colloquially told me it was. In fact, two hops, a skip and a jump only got me about 14 feet from the gate. I immediately decided to instead use a combination of walking and running to make it to my connecting flight and to save the hopping, skipping and jumping for my next double-dutch competition. The second incident was an advertisement I passed while I was sprinting down the middle of a moving sidewalk. It was a Geico Ad that showed some hipster doofus wearing a black suit with an open collar shirt in front of a laptop computer with copy that read, “Geico Insurance: So easy a Marketing Coordinator can do it.” A quick call to my therapist calmed me down enough for me to make my gate just as they began boarding. Here is where I ran into the third incident that nearly prevented me from making my flight. In short, I was again “randomly” selected for a security check for which I again decided to be publicly humiliated rather than opt for a more intimate exploration of where my bathing suit covers and was allowed to board the plane without further questioning.

The flight to Atlanta was uneventful; however once in the Atlanta Airport I could not have felt more bewildered. As I left the gate I, as any air traveler might, began searching for the baggage claim, or a maybe a sign for the baggage claim, or perhaps even a sign that told me where I could find a sign that told me how to get to the baggage claim. After wandering for a few minutes I found myself in what appeared to be some sort of futuristic subway terminal with pods rocketing through pneumatic tubes. A sign suspended from the ceiling of the depot read among other things, “Baggage Claim 5000ft/1500m” I actually said out loud, “One Mile? One Friggin’ Mile? They couldn’t have landed the plane closer than one mile from the Baggage Claim?” I decided rather then begin marathon training I’d take my chances with the subway. Minutes later I arrived at the last stop which I was told was baggage claim. Upon exiting the train car I came upon an escalator so magnificent in its size and elevation that the top was obscured by a radiant glow. Stepping onto the bottom step I had the fleeting thought that I’d died and was now ascending an escalator to heaven. The unanswerable question of whether or not Led Zeppelin has toyed with alternate versions of there signature song occurred to me. (There’s a lady who’s sure, all that glitters is gold and she’s buying an escalator to heaven. No, that doesn’t sound right. Maybe she’s buying an elevator to heaven? No, that doesn’t make sense. How about if she was buying a moving sidewalk to heaven? It’s so easy a marketing coordinator could do it.) Well, the glow turned out to be nothing more than a ticket counter and thankfully my brother, who lives in Atlanta, was there, as he said he would be, to pick me up. We grabbed my luggage and I finally escaped the airport.

(Side Bar: While I was down there I had a chance to catch a baseball game with some colleagues. In the eighth inning we actually made it on to the jumbo-tron; and by “we” I mean our shin bones. Even though the camera was more interested in a group dancing a few rows below us we were fortunate bystanders and got to see what our tibias looked like on the 71′ by 79′ HDTV that occupies center field.)

The next day after the conference finished I caught a cab to the airport. Once inside I was once again chosen for a “random security check”, again declined the private room option and again made the acquaintance of yet another security guard. I then descended the ethereal elevator, took one of the pneumatic tubes to my gate, then boarded the plane. Oh wait, what’s that? I’ve been chosen for yet another random security check? How thoughtful. Oh, I can board the plane without some tension releasing hot stone therapy? Are you sure? Once on the plane we sat at the terminal for an extra 20 minutes while the flight crew tried to match the number of people on the plane with the number of people on the manifest. Each flight attendant counted heads and each came up with a different number. How? There were 67 people on the plane. How do you miscount 67 people? Then they decided to count empty seats and subtract that number from the total number of seats on the plane, compare that to the manifest, take the square root of that number, divide by two …it was somewhere around the time they tried to apply Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz’s Sum of the Reciprocals of the Triangular Numbers Theorem that they gave up and took off for Albany.

The plane arrived in Albany just after 11:00 and as I left the plane I was stopped by an airport official. I dejectedly asked if I had been chosen for a random security check. The official said, “No, but you look so familiar to me. Did I see your shins on TV the other night?”

Does the Number #1 come sweetened or unsweetened?

iced-tea.jpgParenting, whether we’re talking about the things we give up for our children or the blood of the virgin albino goats we offer to the Gods in return for the patience to be parents and of course a healthy crop, is about sacrifice. For us, like many other parents, it meant surrendering some of the smaller luxuries of life like disposable income, a single moment of privacy, use of our legal first names (as Ronald Reagan as it sounds I actually refer to Kathleen as Mommy even when the boys are asleep and we could speak to each other as adults), all but a handful of our friends, 8 consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep, shoes without toys in them, the capacity to have children without other people telling you how to raise them, and the ability to stay awake beyond 10:30 just to mention a few. However, the one thing I never thought we’d have to give up is flushing the upstairs toilet between the hours of 8am and 8pm.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean we don’t use the upstairs bathroom between the hours of 8am and 8pm, just that we can’t remove the evidence. (It should be noted that we do have a ½ bathroom in the basement in the event that the imminent bodily function is of a more solid matter.) The Non-Flushing Edict (Screaming Baby vs. Questionable Hygiene, 2002) passed legislation when Jack was born. His bedroom shares a wall with the bathroom and it became evident early on that he woke up every time we flushed. Though we had lived in the house for almost two years before we took Jack in as a boarder we never realized that the upstairs toilet was actually the mouth of a traversable wormhole that connected to the Gamma Quadrant on the other side of the Universe where members of a life form whose intelligence far surpasses our own keep asking, “Where the hell does all this toilet paper keep coming from?”

Now with Adam renting the room that shares the opposite wall of the bathroom, the deafening whoosh from the thousands of gallons of water and the tsunami of pressure the toilet uses to flush, and also the subsequent appearance of a gasping Shelley Winters emerging from the bowl with a rope asking me to tie it to the base of the sink, has only reinforced the court’s earlier decision.

As with anything you do habitually for a period of time, living in a No-Flush Zone has become normal for us. While I was in the shower this morning though I was reminded of the levels of absurdity our lives have seamlessly absorbed over the past 5 years. Half way through my lather, rinse and repeat shampoo routine Jack knocked on the door, came in the bathroom, and said, “Hi Daddy. I got to go potty.” Moments later Kathleen came in the bathroom, was quiet for a second then asked me, “Did you flush the toilet yet this morning?” I didn’t remember so I told her I didn’t remember. “Well did you go to the bathroom before you got in the shower?” What was with the third degree interrogation? Backed into a corner, albeit a corner with a delightfully scented pomegranate body wash, I fired back, “Why?” Unfazed by my answer a question with a question style of debate she said, “Because the pee in the bowl looks like iced tea and I want to make sure Jack’s not dehydrated.”

And there is was …Rock Bottom. We were comparing Jack’s urine to iced tea. Before I could respond with a smart ass comment she activated the worm hole and escorted our ginseng infused son from the bathroom. I’m expecting a warrant for my immediate arrest is forthcoming.

My Name is Hurl

slime.jpgAdam was diagnosed this week with yet another nasal infection and was subsequently prescribed two full weeks of Amoxicillin. For anyone who has never tried to syringe 1 ½ teaspoons of medicine that looks like Pepto-Bismol, smells like cotton candy chalk board erasers, tastes like a Rolaids Flurry and has the consistency of warm yogurt into an 8 month old I can only use the following analogy.

Imagine you need to administer antibiotics to your car’s windshield wipers. These just aren’t any windshield wipers though; you actually gave life to these windshield wipers. In fact, you love these windshield wipers unconditionally and you would do anything to make sure these windshield wipers were safe, healthy and protected. The problem is that these windshield wipers are set on high and every time you are actually able to get an ounce of medicine in them they either immediately spit it back out or it causes them to throw up their entire lunch of Oatmeal and Gerber Summer Squash.

The post-dinner open fire hydrant vomitorium, or “complete and total barfarama” as expressed in the movie Stand By Me during the Lardass Pie Eating Contest scene, happens with such regularity that it has become almost routine. Last night, for example, I was reading to Jack at the dining room table while he was nibbling at his dinner when suddenly Kathleen spoke a single word from the kitchen and it’s only after being together for 17 years that we could be so telepathically connected and in tune with each other that I could ascertain from just that one word that she was in distress and in need of immediate my assistance.

“HELP!?”

Upon entering the kitchen I felt like I’d instead walked on to the set of You Can’t Do That On Television and Kathleen had just uttered the phrase “I don’t know.” If Jackson Pollock used puke as his medium and mothers and their babies as his canvas Kathleen standing in front of the sink holding Adam doused in antibiotics, Garden Vegetables and Mixed Cereal with Applesauce & Banana could have been his piece de resistance. “My son is a prodigy! Even his barf has its roots in abstract expressionism.” I proudly thought as I intuitively did what any concerned and queasy father would do at that moment and that was to avoid actually touching the regurgitated baby food and instead make a bee line for the paper towels. “Oh just take the baby for Christ’s Sake, I’ve got throw up in my bra.” Kathleen said thrusting Adam into my hands before running upstairs to empty the stomach contents from her brassiere and rinse off in the shower.

When she returned a few minutes later Adam and I were still in a Rafiki holding Simba at the edge of Pride rock Lion King pose; Adam kicking his legs and laughing while I avoided stepping in his congealing Hakuna Matata. She motioned for me to hand her the baby and no one would get hurt; which I gladly did. Then, while she was upstairs cleaning him up, I used ½ a roll of Bounty: The Sicker Picker Upper to wipe up the masterpiece on the floor.

We only have a few more doses of antibiotics so this exhibit will be ending early next week. The art gallery and Adam’s esophagus open nightly at 6:30. There is no admission charge but two-ply donations are gladly accepted.