There are too many museums

I came across a Snapple factoid printed on a pack of vitamins this morning. Before you make fun of me for being a lib, it’s not my vitamins. It’s the vitamins of a woman who thinks it’s not a scam. Of course we know that vitamins go right through you. You just pee them out. So said crazed coachbuilder Steve Michalik (dead, shot himself).

Or at least Stu Feiner said that’s what Steve Michalik said. Stu Feiner is basically just saying shit. After about 10 seconds of research, I came across this article about Steve Michalik’s training methods. It sounds like he was taking vitamins for a pharmacy every day.

Physical Culture Study – “He takes a liquid protein supplement and a meat protein powder that he mixes with orange juice. He also takes 1,000 units of vitamin E, 5,000 mg of vitamin C, 100 liver tablets, and a B-complex and mineral tablet. These are taken every day.”

Who knows. Maybe Steve eventually saw the light and kicked the habit. The jury is still out on vitamins. But anyway, even if vitamins are a scam, I don’t think they would lie on their packaging. Plus a quick Google search confirms it’s true.

11,000 Starbucks
14,000 McDonald’s
35,000 museums

117,341 libraries (irrelevant, but damn)

Assuming museum statistics are accurate, I think America needs to reevaluate what qualifies as a museum. It’s hard for me to believe that an average of 700 places per state is worthy of museum status. The percentage of them that are profitable must be insanely low. Is that where my tax money goes? To museums? Thanks Biden..

I bet a number of museums are just passion projects. A man in a rural town rents out a small space for $400/month to store his collectibles and decides to charge people to see them. I imagine that’s the case for a lot of weird things. Take The only Mothman museum in the world’ for instance. This is clearly a person who has a deep passion for Mothman and wants to share it with the world.

It’s smart that they specify’‘world’s only’in case someone drives by thinks, “No thanks, I’ll wait until I come across the next Mothman Museum.”

Then you have places like the Moist Towelette Museum in East Lansing, Michigan. The Moist Towelette Museum is located in the Michigan State University Planetarium. The man who “runs” the “museum” happens to work there. He spent 20 years of his life collecting damp hand towels, and one day he decided to put them all in the corner of his office. That is it. That’s the museum. I doubt he even got permission. I assume he did it one day and no one in the planetarium bothered to stop him. If this man could be given official museum status, we clearly need stricter guidelines.

There are plenty of other bizarre museums across the country. In Austin, Minnesota, you can visit the SPAM Museum to learn fun things like “What is SPAM?‘ and ‘How many SPAM cans are you?‘.

My favorite thing about the SPAM Museum is that when you go to the website you can click in the bottom right corner of the screen to Chat with a SPAM expert. I wanted to ask a funny question, but I didn’t have the heart to mess with Alyssa the SPAM expert. I’m sure she got a lot of serious questions. You don’t have to SPAM her.

Unless they don’t lead an honest existence. Come to think of it, museums sound like the perfect money laundering front. You don’t really have a stock to deal with. You can simply claim an increase in the number of visitors. I imagine you could claim donations. People like to donate to museums. That could very well be what Barney Smith of the Barney Smith toilet seat art museum is on was going to (he is no longer with us). Are you telling me now that this man had no side business?

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the capital of silent museums (e.g. Titanic Museum, Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum, others). It’s the capital of stupid things in general. The whole city is a kind of museum. I really shouldn’t belittle Gatlinburg. It’s actually a pretty awesome place. I can appreciate somewhere with an identity, and Gatlinburg’s identity is’Tourist attraction’. It is the ideal place for a Midwestern family with young children to vacation.

They have the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum ($20 for unlimited pinball), a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, AND a ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Putt Putt Course’. It’s the perfect place for any child who hasn’t quite reached puberty yet.

Unfortunately, most museums don’t have an abundance of bizarrely niche collectibles. If it were, museums wouldn’t have such a bad reputation. Most museums are MUCH more boring than that. Museums attract the most boring members of society, and the majority of them are wildly awful places to spend a day. Think of the Dialysis Museum in Seattle, Washington. There you can visit some of history’s most iconic dialysis machines such as the Kolff-Brigham Rotating Drum Kidney, the Mini-I & Mini-II, the Drake-Willock Dialysis Machine, the Suitcase Kidney and the Boen Home Peritoneal Dialysis Cycler. Look how boring this picture is. I’d rather be hooked up to a dialysis machine than spend a day in this museum.

As horrible as that sounds, the Dialysis Museum is probably still in the top 10% of most interesting museums. I’ve found that just about any home or building where a historical figure has ever lived or worked qualifies as a museum.

“In this room we have the desk that Abraham Lincoln’s brother-in-law sat at three days a week from 1855 to 1858.” (things of that nature).

Wikipedia has a list of every museum in every state. Here’s Ohio’s list. A large number of museums in Ohio fall under the “Historic Homes” category. There’s the Austintown Log House, Benninghofen House, Blakeslee Log Cabin, Chrisholm Historic Farmstead, the Cooke-Dorn House, and that’s just 3 letters in the alphabet. Look at the size of this bitch.

If you put all 35,000 museums on a wheel and give it a spin, you have about a 1% chance of landing on something interesting. Or maybe that’s just me. Some people like history, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of them for that. Plus, schools have to take bad field trips somewhere. Some may like to spend a day at the Glendower Mansion operated by the Warren Country Historical Society. Or the John Smart House. Or the Kennedy Stone House. Or the Samuel Spitler House Community Museum. Or if you’re not into historic homes, you might enjoy the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. Or the Dayton International Peace Museum. Or Joshua Reed Gidding’s law firm (picture below, yes that really is a museum). You get the point.

I’m not even sure what the purpose of this blog was. I just saw a fact on a pack of vitamins and went down a museum rabbit hole. I think my original point was that America needs to redefine what a museum is. But I guess if you don’t call them museums, then what are they? As long as it has things to look at I think it should count. I wonder how long it would take someone to visit every museum in the country. Is that even possible? It’s probably one of those things where by the time you’re done there are 500 new museums you have to visit. Maybe Barstool will pay me to try it. I could run for the crown for the worst Barstool content ever produced.

There are too many museums

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