I went to an art gallery once.

My father used to live in Ottawa and the military used to have a bus that you could take from Petawawa to Ottawa for free.  A family member in the military could put your name on a list and you could get a free trip to the city.  My buddy Chris and I decided to go and spend a couple of days in the city, so we got on that bus and went to stay at my dad’s place downtown.  This was awesome, we spent the day walking around going to magazine and record stores, hanging at the mall and the culmination of this trip was the idea that we get tickets to the National Art Gallery.  This felt like a thing that I should be into seeing, and I am not sure that either of us knew what to expect, maybe we wanted to go so we would feel “intelligent” or some dumb thing like that.  But we go into this place and I immediately feel out of place.  I am this kid dressed like I am some damn grunge band.  I have 8 hole Doc Marten’s on with ripped jeans, a plaid shirt and long greasy hair.  I am sure that people must have thought we didn’t pay for a ticket to get in.

They gave us these big plastic tokens at a coat check, as they didn’t want you to carry large backs around with you through the gallery.  This fucking token was going to be the source of much frustration for poor Chris.  I am somewhat of a fidgety person by nature and I tend to play with things when they are in my hands.  As we are walking around this gallery I am flipping and twirling this token around in my hands.  The gallery is a VERY quiet place.  People are staring at pictures trying to discern great meaning from all of the beautiful paintings and scupltures.  twirl, flip, toss, CLANK……..

I drop this large plastic token onto the hard wood floors in this church to modern and classic art.  The sound from the hard plastic hitting the bare floor echos off of the walls and reverberates down the hall.  No less than 10 people turn and look at us….

I sheepishly pick up my token and do I put it in my pocket?  NOPE….. right back into my hands it goes and I start fidgeting with it again.  Chris is laughing at me, for now…

I proceeded to drop this fucking token in basically every single room of the gallery.  Chris starts giving me shit in a hushed voice so as not to disturb the other patrons of this establishment.  I drop the thing again, as he is telling me to just put it in my pocket.  I swear I didn’t even realize that I had the thing in my hands most of the time.  But eventually I started to find it hilarious.

After many hours of these shenanigans we finish up with the art gallery and leave.  This was one of the last times I have ever been a patron of the arts.


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