July 9, 2014

I *HATE* mannekwins

Under some obscure legislation, it is now mandatory for every museum in Britain to include the following:-

  • Dinosaurs
  • Lego models (often of dinosaurs)
  • A thing where you have to build a bridge out of wooden blocks
  • A treasure hunt whereby you have to find pictures of something (usually dinosaurs) blu-tacked to the exhibits
  • Interactive screen-based exhibits that don’t work
  • A quiz with a really crap prize, such as a plastic dinosaur
  • Waxwork models.

Unfortunately Bernard has taken against waxwork models. I’m not sure whence this originated, but it might have been the annoyed-looking waxwork man in the privy at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. HMS Belfast has waxworks undergoing dentistry. The Smugglers Adventure in Hastings has waxworks in dungeons, which are definitely the worst kind of waxworks. Waxworks, in dungeons, with a soundtrack of groans and rattling chains. This is probably why the child is such a big fan of science museums, which generally put more emphasis on the wooden bridge building, and less on the lifesize model of Darwin stroking his chin.

His automatonophobia means we will not be visiting the York Dungeon or the Jorvik Centre next week. (I’m glad, he says, leaning over my shoulder as I type).

Why don’t you like them? I ask. I dunno (this is his answer to most of my questions). They just make me feel scared. I hope he will grow out of it, because like any good middle-class parents, we feel obliged to drag him round educational tourist attractions at every opportunity, and you never know when a creepy face is going to be lurking around the next corner, causing him to screech, cling to my thigh, and demand to go home.


5 thoughts on “I *HATE* mannekwins

  1. Even the pencil museum in Keswick, of all things, had a mannekwin.

  2. I have a similar issue with stuffed animals. The taxidermy kind rather then the cuddly toy kind. I just about resist demanding to be taken home when I find some (and like waxworks they get everywhere), but only just. If asked why I would also have to go with ‘I dunno’. Sadly I don’t have the excuse of being 8 to justify this.

    Ms Gammidgy on July 10, 2014
  3. Life is hard when you’re 8. I believe it’s because most well brought up 8-year olds haven’t learned to swear properly.
    If Bernard had a good working knowledge of Anglo-Saxon, he’d look the abomination in the eye and say “What evil fucker made that creepy bastard? Fuck ’em!”, and he’d be happier for it.
    Swearing gives you power.

    Gammidgy on July 10, 2014
  4. I hate them too. I still have to scan each room in a museum very carefully from the doorway before I venture in. The worst is where they’re on both sides of the room, so you have to stand with some behind you. And the ones that suddenly start moving or talking to you? *shudder*

    And I’m with you on taxidermy Ms Gammidgy. So creepy! And almost always displayed in low light levels, making it far far worse.

  5. In November 2003, H and I visited Copenhagen and went to the big winter garden displays at Tivoli. They had an amusingly atrocious display of automaton elves, doing Santa’s-little-helper type stuff. We laughed until we had tears running down our cheeks. About 20 minutes later, I asked her to marry me and she said yes. So, bad automatons are not all bad.

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