Today is the day that we stood next to greatness and reveled in the glory that defined the wondrous Benjamin Franklin. We're practically platinum members in The "I Love Ben Franklin" Fan Club, you know. The Houston Museum Of Natural History and Science has a new exhibit featuring our friend, Ben, and we traveled there with our homeschooling group thanks to mega, super-duper reduced price group discount tickets.
We waited until the unruly masses of public schoolers on their field trips evaporated around lunch time so that we could truly savor the many remarkable items and documents on display. Ben Franklin revolutionized the printing world, devised ways to thwart counterfeiters, started the idea of volunteer firefighters, devised the charitable contribution/corporation match program to build a hospital in Virginia, invented windsurfing(for real, ya'all!), harnessed the power of electricity, wooed French royalty to rally behind America, and that's just a pittance of his many storied accomplishments. We spent a couple hours mesmerized and immersed in all things Ben Franklin. At the exhibit exit, one of the teenagers wrote a short entry into the mounted comment book. We chuckled as we read the vernacular used but then realized it was a moving tribute to Ben in a fun way. It read: "Wat Up Ben??!? Thanks a lot for all your awesome inventions. Turns out they were really useful. Peace out, Ben Dawg! R.I.P" Sometimes teen boys really surprise me.
On the way back home we talked about the last time we went to the museum during their "History Of Chocolate" display, and how my kids Mayan ancestors worshipped chocolate and used it as offerings to the gods. We're totally keeping the chocolate worshipping tradition alive in our very own home. My oldest daughter, Sunbum, didn't recall the exhibit and commented that she would have only remembered it if they gave out free chocolate samples. To which, I lamented that she won't remember Ben Franklin's exhibit since they weren't giving out any free samples of him. I imagined a silver platter with little toothpicks on it. Ben Franklin.......the other white meat! We laughed stupidly all the way home. Probably due to reading tiny print display case label fatigue.
Lest anyone thinks I've gone all reverent, here is Ben Franklins actual privy pit courtesy of my friends at Toilets Around The World. All that genius and he couldn't channel it into creating a decent indoor crapper. Oh well, I guess he had leave something behind for others to discover.
We also learned that he was considered a hunky ladies man, making women swoon wherever he went. I'm thinking he told them, "Hey baby, this is the 1780's and B. Frank is down with the ladies!" Awesome.