While beetling about Manhattan I ticked something off my bucket list. I went to see Ripley's Believe It or Not.
It’s not very well known over here, indeed I had no idea what it was about. My previous trips to NY had been with a very sensible friend who writes musicals- if that is not a contradiction in terms. ( If you think crime writers are bizarre trying spending a week with a man who lives and breathes musical theatre. They dance a lot and count A 1, a 2, a 3, a 4 . He did that on the steps of the Public Library in New York ). He had pronounced Ripley's a load of rubbish, maybe because Barnum got there first.
His attitude made me want to visit even more.
His attitude made me want to visit even more.
So four days before Bouchercon, we got off the boat at Manhattan Cruise terminal after failing to explore Nova Scotia and totally failing to write the 30 000 words I had intended to while on board. Nothing kept still for long enough. Hurricane Joachim was to blame. Scots pronounce that joc- heem but it should be pronounced .. what? Whack eem?
Anyway whatever he was called, he sent us some very big waves which made our very big boat seem very small and very bouncy. I would like to point out that I am 'qualified competent crew' so these are the correct nautical terms. It was very shooglily.
Sick didn't cover it. To be truthful there was quite a lot of stuff on the boat covered in sick but that is not a subject to blog about.
The day after we got back on terra firma, on our first full day in Manhattan, we were still very dizzy and wobbly. We spent my birthday money and visited Ripley's.
We were in there for HOURS. It was funny, informative, gruesome, at times just plain odd. But somewhere at the back of it was a lesson on exploitation, political correctness, the human genome and the sense that human kind will survive. No matter what sensible people do to cause war, there will still be those building huge scale models of the Titanic out of match sticks and making it their life's ambition to pogo stick over a Mini Cooper.
Doing something that has no point whatsoever has to be admired.
Why would anybody spend months putting unopened decks of cards into thin-necked wine bottles ? Emptying wine bottles I do understand!
The pretty whirlpool at the front door.
The famous Correyvechan Whirlpool that some relative of my Dad's lost a fishing boat down. Not in Ripley's but you can believe that or not.
Alan standing beside the tallest man who was the tallest before that Chinese bloke grew taller. Shame that they die so young due to the human heart's inability to pump hard enough to get blood through the capillary bed back up to the lungs. Hormone excesses like this (Growth Hormone I presume) are now picked up and treated in childhood.
A genetic mutation.
No jokes about mother in law.
A two headed calf, or is it the end point of twins conjoining in the womb?
Genetic mutation of a cow with another leg growing out of its back. It lived a normal life.
Alan legless- like he was after drinking the blue Japanese stuff recommended by Susan!
If Jeff makes a comment about me having a big gob I will refer him to this pic.
A picture of the lady described below
Somehow I found her more disturbing than the mule headed woman above. Strange but each to their own.
The cage from Jaws with a wee guy in it to make the shark look bigger.
This is the caption for this below, carved as it says from one piece of jade.
It looked like filigree lace.
A alligator that dined on golfers- should be more of them around, it might make the game more interesting.
Alan in a snout mask- a punishment for gossiping women or men who keep trying to explain the offside rule.
Yip, I was interested in this and look at the date - scientists are still doing this but with MRI scanners.
Obama in M&Ms I think.
Lennon in feathers?
Elephant with two trunks.
Huge model of....not sure really...
Albino giraffe but you can see the faint pigmentation on its coat.
Peace at last.
Why didn't I get the crime writing equivalent of that...
And something beautiful to end with.
Our visit was nearly ruined by one of the optical illusions. It's a tunnel to walk through with a lava lamp type of moving mural either side and overhead. The walkway (15 feet long, two feet wide) has a handrail on either side so anybody entering knows what to expect. The circular movement on the walls gives the illusion that the ground is sliding up to the right, so you will fall off. And will need to hold on.
Well that is what happens to a well set semi circular canal in the ear, where balance and upright is well established. The brain simply takes time to calculate what lying sods the eyes are and that the ground is still really 'down there.'
Walking through that with disturbed balance after the boat, had quite a different effect. Our stomachs, even now - have not fully recovered!
Caro Ramsay 13/11/2015