McWhat?

The airline industry is pretty big here in the Pacific Northwest. I pass by one of Boeing’s fields quite frequently. (It looks like a graveyard for 737 MAX’s at the moment, since they’re grounded.)

So it didn’t surprise me to discover that a portion of the local Highline Heritage Museum is dedicated to the aircraft industry. It’s part of the reason that this region has been able to thrive. Folks around here are quite proud of that.

But there was a little something nestled within this display that I suspect its curators didn’t look at very closely. Hiding amongst some pins that were supposedly given out as gifts by airlines was something quite unexpected. It was a McDonald’s pin, with its distinctive golden arches.

Innocuous enough, one would think. But rather than saying McDonald’s it said… wait. That can’t be right. Was I really seeing what I thought I was seeing? Doesn’t it say “McShit”?

McShit

What do you think? I had to ask my husband to confirm, as my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Yup. It says McShit.

Needless to say, this raised a lot of questions. Why would anyone mass produce such a pin? Would an airline give this out to people? Surely not.

So I Googled it. So you won’t have to. You’re welcome.

The Urban Dictionary claims that about 30 minutes after eating at this fine establishment, you get McCramps, which then evolve into McFarts, and then… well, you get the picture. It also talks about the phrase “McShit with Lies” which is, apparently, when you ask a cashier for the bathroom code, assuring him that you’ll be back to purchase something afterward, but, in fact, you leave without doing so. (I’m guilty of that. Sometimes you do what you have to do to stay healthy.)

In my search I also came across several McShit t-shirts, so apparently it is a thing. But one suspects the pins were not given out by the airlines. Corporations tend to stick together.

Am I going to point out this little historical error in their exhibit to the museum? Nah. It makes me happy to think about that pin being on display, and only being noticed by an observant few.

For once, I’m in with the in crowd.

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Megalonyx

One of the very first things you see when you enter the Highline Heritage Museum is a replica of a Megalonyx skeleton that was found when they were constructing a runway at the Sea-Tac Airport south of Seattle, Washington.

At nearly 10 feet, it towers above you. One of its claws is as big as your hand. It looks quite fearsome, but in fact it’s a giant ground sloth, and it ate only plants.

When Thomas Jefferson was presented with a few of the claws from one of these creatures, he assumed it was a large lion and named it Megalonyx, which is Greek for “Large Claw”. He also assumed that these animals were still living somewhere in the wilds of unexplored America, and asked Lewis and Clark to keep their eyes out for them during their travels (as if they didn’t have enough to stress out about).

Thank goodness Megalonyx actually lived 13,000 years ago, because if I saw something like this wandering about in my back yard, I’d freak out. My little dachshund would probably attack its ankles, and the thing would look at him quizzically and slowly, very slowly, flick him aside like a gnat.

Check out this little video about how sloths evolved from being these giants to the cute little guys we see today. It makes me wonder what the world will be like 13,000 years from now.

Megalonyx
Megalonyx replica at the Highline Heritage Museum

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Highline Heritage Museum

I had the opportunity to visit yet another small-town museum, this time in Burien, Washington. The Highline Heritage Museum highlights the Highline region, which comprises the cities of White Center, Burien, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and part of Des Moines, Washington.

I’m always delighted by what I learn in these earnest little museums, but this one was particularly impressive. First of all, the displays were extremely well crafted and kept my interest. They were fun, colorful, and interactive.

They had displays relating to the region’s archeology, indigenous history, war efforts, pioneers, aircraft industry, school histories, and the Highline Times newspaper. And that list barely scratches the surface. I learned so much there that it’s potentially going to generate 4 more blog posts.

Museums of this kind make a community more vibrant. They allow you to gain a deeper understanding of a region’s culture and history, and that provides you with a stronger sense of place as you walk the streets. I highly encourage you to visit your local museums and support them.

This museum, in particular, is even more remarkable when you consider that the vast majority of it is run by volunteers. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop by for a visit. Also purchase something from the gift shop and/or make a donation. Consider it an investment in the region.

Tradewell, 152nd and Ambaum, Burien, 122000-0190
Highline Heritage Museum back when it was Tradewell’s.

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