‘Welcome to the museum of the impossible and the improbable,’ writes curator Shona Tell, ‘here our exhibits, many of them based on a feline theme, are mainly of an implausible nature. Many of our treasures are difficult to display owing to their impossibility; by definition an impossible object just cannot be, making it contentious as whether or not it can be possible to show it off to our visitors. Many of our more improbable objects produce a unique challenge when it comes to their display. Sometimes when we think that a piece is on show we find that owing to its improbable nature nine time out of ten it’s a fifty-fifty chance whether or not it’s visible.Take the Cheshire Cat for instance. We’re never sure what our visitors are going to see. Will it just be a big moggy, a grin fading into the aether, or nothing at all?’
‘You can likely understand the difficulties we face when we attempt to catalogue our collection. How do you ascertain if Schrodinger’s cat is in its box? No curator wants to be accused of terminating the animal through the simple expedient of opening up the box and finding it dead.’
‘And talking of cats, have you seen our perpetual motion exhibit? A very popular display consisting of a cat with a piece of buttered toast, butter side up, strapped to its back rotating just off the ground demonstrating the twin paradoxes of a cat always landing on its feet and that toast always lands butter-side down.’
‘Anyway, unless you have any questions, it’s time for me to go. Before I close the museum I have to round up all the exhibits for the evening. How many job descriptions do you know that include the phrase, “Cat herding experience essential”?’
Written in response to the Microcosms 300 word competition number 123 with reference to the prompt: Curator; Exhibition Hall; Comedy.
This piece won the community pick and a Special Mention by the week’s judge.
This was a cleverly written and amusing piece. I enjoyed the curator’s name, the engaging tone, the hints of possibility offset with the prospect of probability and the thought experiment being a nuisance. There was a fantastic suggestion of familiarisation jading the curator even as she bolstered the theoretical into something fit to display.
Excellent concept and piece.