I started Museum Mishap Mondays in 2012. I’d written a Gashlycrumb Tinies parody of things in a museum that could kill me, and decided to write out each letter of the alphabet as a flash fiction playing out some of these hazards. I’m really glad I eventually finished. I think I’ve learned a lot in the process, including that I don’t particularly enjoy killing myself in fiction. Starting next week, I’ll be taking the time to explain what really goes on behind the scenes in museum collections. No museum fiction for awhile, but plenty of non-fiction to come.
And now, to commemorate finishing this series I’d like to post what started it all. Some of these changed when it came to writing fiction, many did not.
A is for arsenic which coats taxidermy
B is for botulism in old jars and cans
C is for carbon tetrachloride, which turns to nerve gas
D is for dry cleaning fluid in old mayonnaise jars
E is for ethyl alcohol specimens which stink and can spill
F is for firearms with still chambered rounds
G is for gravity, it’s quite the bitch.
H is for haunted museum, or at least some people say
I is for insecticide sprayers with pesticides historic
J is for jabbed by an old rusty nail
K is for knives found in surprising dark places
L is for lead, its corroded powder easily inhaled
M is for Mold, black and quite toxic
N is for negatives that spontaneous combust
O is for ordinance unexploded and still live
P is for picric acid used to treat burns and explosive when dry
Q is for questionable donor who wants to meet in secret
R is for radium, they painted on all sorts of things
S is for shelving and its trend to tip over
T is for thermometers and other mercury devices
U is for uranium, found unexpectedly
V is for veterinary equipment coated with pathogens
W is for waste once used medically
X is for x-ray machine still irradiating
Y is for your own carelessness– most dangerous of all.
Z is for zapped by old wiring you meant not to touch
If you’d like to read them all again- Museum Mishap Monday can be found in its entirety here.