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Charlie Hatton
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Wherein I Patronize the Arts

Yesterday afternoon, the missus and I escorted her mother to a local museum. The mom-in-law was in town for the weekend, and we wanted to give her the impression that we’re all cultured and shit. Possibly, the dinner of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Schlitz malt liquor gave us away, but we get an ‘A’ for effort. I even used a salad fork to eat my French fried pertaters. Fancy.

“Mostly, though, I got the impression that Paris around the turn of the nineteenth century was a lot like the Paris of today — full of smokers, poodles, and people who really know how to use a salad fork.”

At any rate, we stopped by the museum to catch an exhibit titled ‘Americans in Paris‘, featuring mostly artists who emigrated from the U.S. sometime after the Civil War, and who had the good sense to die before World Wars I and II got rolling in earnest. It was a very specific artistic niche, I suppose, but how else are you supposed to support ‘the Arts’ in Boston on a drizzly weekend afternoon? The Red Sox were rained out, and most of the booby bars are closed on Sundays. Truly, our hands were tied — and not in the good way.

Determined to feed our inner aesthetes, we ventured into the murky weather. Upon leaving the house, my mother-in-law asked:

Don’t you want a jacket? It’s misty outside!

Misty? Clearly, the nice lady doesn’t know who she’s dealing with. I laugh at ‘misty’ weather. Maybe for a nor’easter, I’ll wear a jacket — you’ve got to give props to any weather system that rates an apostrophe. It’s so scary, meterologists won’t even say the whole word!

But ‘misty’? I don’t think so. I’m not altering my plans, or my wardrobe, for any kind of weather that sounds like a stripper. That goes for ‘balmy’, ‘hazy’, ‘sunny’, ‘stormy’, ‘temperate’, and ‘windy’ with a stupid little heart where the dot over the ‘i’ should be. And yes, it goes for ‘misty‘, too.

(‘Blustery’, I’m not so sure about. That one scares me a little. If ‘blustery’ were a stripper, she’d be that girl with the weird rash and one leg longer than the other who goes out after last call to scare everyone off. They send her out in granny panties and a sweatshirt to limp around to Stairway to Heaven until the place clears out. That’s ‘blustery‘; I’m telling you.

Meanwhile, back at the museum…)

There’s not too much to tell about the exhibition, really. They did have the original ‘Whistler’s Mother’, as it’s known, and a few other recognizable names and paintings. Mostly, though, I got the impression that Paris around the turn of the nineteenth century was a lot like the Paris of today — full of smokers, poodles, and people who really know how to use a salad fork. And it’s not for pommes frites, I’m afraid.

Our last adventure on the trip came on the way home. The MFA’s in a tough section of town, parking-wise, so we took advantage of the adjacent garage when we entered.

And when we left, they took advantage of us, right back. Our bill at the garage was twenty-one dollars. We were there for an hour, maybe an hour and a half.

(Twenty-plus bucks to stare at paintings for an hour? Pffft. I could gawk at ‘Misty’ for half that price. Of course, we’re still not allowed to touch the artwork.)

(Wow, three stripper references in a post about an art museum. I am blowing my ‘cultured’ cover, eh?

I’ll be good for the last few paragraphs, I promise. I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea. If I’m not careful, you’ll be thinking Winslow Homer gets me horny or something.

Lord knows I don’t need those rumors flying again. Let’s just get back to the story. Yow.)

I’m not typically surprised by a garage tab — parking around Boston is a cutthroat business; it just is what it is — but charging an Andy Jackson for sixty minutes of, ‘Hrm, nice brushstrokes on that one‘ is getting just a little crazy. And that’s on top of the (reasonably-priced) tickets to actually get into the museum, mind you. That’s side-of-the-highway robbery, right there. For that kind of money, I expected to receive one of the paintings as a parting gift:

Here, have a Sargent; it’s the least we can do. Leave your car here overnight, and we’ll throw in a Mary Cassatt — once your loan papers clear, of course.

Sheesh. Word to the wise and culturally inclined: take the subway to the MFA, if you decide to go. Or go ahead and park in one of those no parking handicapped bus lane hydrant tow zones near the museum — even if the cops impound your car, it’ll still be cheaper than the garage fee. I may not know art, but I know when I’m being shellacked.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Wherein I Patronize the Arts”

  1. kerry says:

    this is why i don’t go to things like that. i’m all for museums and shit, but i’m not paying twice for the privilege! that’s just outrageous! hope your mother-in-law appreciated it.


  2. Roofie Raccoon says:

    Limp around. Nice.

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