>To fact-check my story on the new evolution exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, I headed over to see it myself. Since I was comped a ticket as a member of the press (that makes me giddy to think about), I had to enter at a different entrance than the main one to pick up my ticket at the will-call desk. This entrance was located right next to where the school buses pull in and drop off their loads of fresh minds that are eager to learn.
Initially, I didn’t think anything of the hordes of school groups, but after I picked up my ticket and discovered that I needed to walk down a hallway where the various kids line up, I worried for a few seconds. See, I discovered that I blended in almost too well with the junior high kids. Not because I necessarily look as youthful as an eighth grader, but because I was shorter than most of them. By a lot. And wearing jeans and a North Face coat that made me blend in if you saw me from behind. At least I didn’t have a ginormous backpack with me. I feared getting yelled at by museum personnel for wandering away from my school. Fortunately, my hideously unstylish hat that no kid would be caught dead wearing in public seemed to expose me for the “journalist” I am, so I was able to move about without arousing suspicion.
Speaking of arousing, one of the things that amused me most about the evolution exhibit was the reactions of the junior high and high school kids who were in the exhibit at the same time I was. Most of the dioramas featured extremely mature, naked figures covered with body hair. The kids of course found this hilarious. “Ooooh! Look at how hairy that chick is!” one teen boy screamed to his mixed-gender posse. Good natured ribbing ensued. I wondered what they would do if I demonstrated that a “modern” species of woman in that very exhibit also had an enormous quantity of leg hair by pulling up my pants leg a bit, but just chuckled to myself.
Shockingly, none of the kids made any cracks about the hairy boobs, tiny penises, or extremely hairy snatches on the human ancestor. I was impressed.