Tempus Fugits

Wax Museum

There was a famous inscription on an ancient sundial that read “I mark the passage of time: do you?”. I got a reminder of passage of time one day last week when we were in St Augustine, Florida. We had stopped by to thank several people who had helped with the background information for my new book, Death in Unlikely Places, (See a couple of blog posts back.) and we were walking through the main square by the cathedral in the center of town and noticed the wax museum on the other side of the street. The wax museum had been a fixture ever since we have been coming to St Augustine and we always enjoyed seeing what figures they had displayed in their show windows. The last time they had the Beatles and the time before that it was the cast from Seinfeld (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) We could make out this year’s figures, but from the distance, could not tell who they were, so we crossed over to get a better look.

As we got closer, the figures we could see in the window became more distinct, but we still couldn’t recognize any of them. They didn’t seem to resemble anyone famous.

“Who is that one supposed to be?” I asked.

“I have no idea,” said my wife Barbara, “and why are they all sitting at tables?”

“That one looks a little like Krushchev,” I said. “Hey, he moved!”

It was then we realized that the figures we were staring at were not wax dummies at all, but real people sitting at tables.

The wax museum had been converted into a restaurant.

“I mark the passage of time; do you?”

At least we realized it before we went inside and started pinching them.

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