Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bodies: The Exhibition

Yesterday, I went to see “Bodies: The Exhibition,” the popular exhibition of bodies advertised on most phone booths here in New York City. As hinted at in the name, “Bodies: The Exhibition” is totally an exhibition of human bodies only instead of being made up of wax figures like at Madame Tussaud’s popular wax museum or mannequins like in the 1987 box office hit “Mannequin” starring Hollywood’s Andrew McCarthy in the role of Jonathan Switcher, a young artist with a penchant for mischief, the bodies at “Bodies: The Exhibition” are made up of actual human bodies that are all chopped up and preserved using a futuristic process that none of the guards will talk about. The bodies are then brought into the museum- probably at night, I’m guessing- and propped up into all sorts of exciting and lifelike poses. One body is playing football, another is playing basketball, and another is conducting a world-class orchestra that exists only in our minds, a task that requires as many as two-thirds of the bodies approximately 6,459 major muscle groups to accomplish. Still other bodies are sliced up in a way that showcases just the digestive system, just the nervous system, or just the skeletal system for example. The one thing all the bodies at the museum have in common is that pretty much none of them saw it coming.

As is usually the case whenever any public display of the human anatomy takes place, the big question on everyone’s mind at “Bodies: The Exhibition” has to do with whether or not they are going to show the privates. And fortunately for me and everyone else who paid twenty-five bucks to get in yesterday, “Bodies: The Exhibition” does not disappoint. Since it is a show for the whole family though, no mention is made of the donger the first couple times we see it (like we weren’t gonna notice or something). But then after you get through a couple of rooms full of bodies, the voice on the little handheld earpiece thing they give you on the way in finally gives in and says “And this is the human reproductive system.” Then everyone gets excited and the mysterious voice goes on to talk about everyone’s goods for a while. And as if all that weren’t enough- they even show a dead man’s wiener all split right up the middle so you can see what it’s actually made of, thus finally solving one of life’s great mysteries and also cutting my average shower time in half in the process.

It’s hard not to wonder what everyone featured in “Bodies: The Exhibition” did back when they were alive and not propped up in a museum at the South Street Seaport with their dingle dangles all hanging out like that. Were they astronauts or sea captains or were they totally just hanging out until one day some weird blue van pulled up to them on the street and they decided to get in just to break up the day a little bit? I especially wonder about the fat lady who is all sliced up from head-to-toe like a giant ham just so everyone in attendance can see what a plus-sized person looks like on the inside. Maybe if they would have given here the heads up on how she’d be spending the afterlife she would have started ordering her dressing on the side or signed up for tennis lessons or something. Oh well, at least she is not conducting an orchestra with her nuts hanging out. That guy is just asking for it.

Dave Hill


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