I was walking to work this morning when I noticed a new sign in the hallway: DANIEL’S MUSEUM, OPEN 24 HOURS. I had a few minutes to kill and I am always up for a little culture. I knocked on the door and asked what it was all about.
“It’s fifty cents,” Daniel replied. I balked at the price and the curator cut the price of admission down to a penny. Daniel tossed my coin in a plastic bucket with a hollow thunk and went back to sit on his bed. At first I thought the museum was just a ruse to not clean his room, but then I noticed a certain order to things. The first display had a stack of Lego buildings. I recognized Daniel’s milieu; there was an “industrial” and a “residential” (Daniel is a big fan of SimCity). Next to it was a building made from the plastic girder set we got him for Christmas a couple of years ago. He had built the floors wider at the top. They spread out like fingers from a narrow base. Each finger held a memento from Cub Scouts: his trophy from the Pinewood Derby along with the prize winning purple car. There was a new wooden car sitting in the middle that I didn’t recognize.
“Where did you get that one?” I asked. No answer.
“You only paid a penny, Dad,” he said finally. “You only get the tour if you pay fifty cents.” I balked a bit more and got him to answer a question for free. It was his grab bag Christmas gift from Cub Scouts. Daniel had put it together earlier. Getting in my learning experience for the day, I looked at the final exhibit. There was a pile of stuffed animal pets, most of Daniel’s favorites. Most of them.
“Where’s Woof?” I asked, looking for his stuffed gray wolf. No answer. I didn’t press my luck; I was out of pennies. I finished up and headed for the door. Daniel perked up from the Highlights magazine he was reading.
“What did you think?”
“It was a nice museum, Daniel, but a bit small,” I said. “It was worth a penny, but probably not fifty cents.”
“I’m only nine years old,” he replied. “You should come back to see it tomorrow when I’m older.”