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Write every day no exceptions – No, you may not purchase the Hindenberg June 12, 2010

Posted by Conventioneering in Job Get!, write every day no exceptions.
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One day, a kid tried to buy the Hindenberg from me.

It was a pretty slow day in the National Air and Space Museum book store, which meant that I was walking the floor, adjusting books and DVDs on the shelf. I start walking to round the corner to re-stock the space pens when a kid stops me.

“Hey,” he says. “How much for that?”

I look around and I can’t tell what the heck he’s talking about.

“What?” I ask.

That!” he says emphatically, once again failing completely to indicate what ‘that’ is.

“… I’m not quite sure I’m understanding,” I say. To me, it looks like he’s pointing into empty space, not at any book.

“That! That Nazi balloon!”

I finally see where he’s pointing, and it’s at the model of the Hindenberg.

See, there’s a model of the Hindenberg right outside of the bookstore. It’s one of the few examples we have at NASM of lighter-than-air flight (the Stephen F Udvar-Hazy center has considerably more). It’s pretty clearly one of our artifacts, given that it hangs outside the store and has a sign on the wall indicating what it is. To be more specific, it’s the model used in the film Hindenberg by Universal Pictures, and is on loan from them. I didn’t know that it was on loan at the time, but I did know perfectly well that it was one of our artifacts and therefore not for sale.

So, I looked back at the kid, a strange ‘are you kidding me’ smirk on my face, and asked,

“Are you serious?”

He nodded emphatically. “Yeah, I want that Nazi Balloon!”

“You mean the Hindenberg.”

“Whatever it’s called, I want it.”

“Kiddo,” I say, laughing a little, “I’m pretty sure that’s a little out of your price range. It’s one of our museum artifacts, you know. It’s not for sale.”

“So? I’ll pay you right here. I’ve got a hundred dollars, and I’ll give it to you for that balloon.”

Now I really am laughing out loud. I can’t help it; this is about the most absurd thing that’s happened to me today. “Dude, I can’t sell you that. If you want to buy it, you gotta talk to the museum director. Also, it’s probably a lot more than a hundred dollars. I can sell you a book about lighter-than-air craft though if you’re interested, and we’ve got some smaller models downst-”

“I want that one. How do I get hold of the director?”

I can’t believe this kid. “Go down to the information desk by Independence Avenue,” I say. “Tell them what you want.”

I dunno if he did, but he certainly didn’t manage to buy the Hindenberg, because it’s still there, outside the entrance to the store.

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Comments»

1. Patrick - June 12, 2010

WIN


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