This is the sixth edition of Drunk Girl/High Guy Cultural Reviews wherein Sarah gets really drunk, Noah gets really high, and then they go to an event and talk about their vastly different experiences. You may also read these reviews on Sarah Walker's blog here and Noah Garfinkel's blog here. Here, they go to the Bodies Exhibit at New York's South Street Seaport where they display actual preserved human bodies.
How We Decided To Go
Sarah: Noah wanted to do this one. I went to the Bodies Exhibit about four years ago (humble brag?) and I really disliked it. There’s something about skinless humans splayed apart to reveal their dried out muscles and organs that doesn’t do it for me. I’m not squeamish, normally. And I eat meat, which for some reason I would think would make the exhibit less uncomfortable. Give me a big chunk of raw red meat any day. I'll tear it apart, Rosemary's Baby style, sans devil spawn. OBVIOUSLY I wouldn’t eat human meat. Though…I can’t say with full certainty what way I would have swung if I had been in the Donner Party. But at this moment, I have never eaten human flesh (to my knowledge). That being said, I think that Hannibal is a romantic movie and that the song “Skulls” by The Misfits (“I want your skull/I need your skull”) is super romantic to the point where I have a t shirt with those lyrics on it (I recommend purchasing one if you enjoy receiving horrified looks and/or compliments). Honestly, without social taboos and laws, who the hell knows what I’d do. Felllaaaaas!!
Noah: I suggested we go to the Bodies exhibit because SCIENCE! I love science. And anatomy? Get outta town; that stuff is great. I even get excited when I see one of those cow diagrams that shows you where the different cuts of meat come from. And those are free to look at. So, I was pretty revved up to see what a $30 dollar version of that with real live dead people (real live dead people?) would be like.
How Sarah Got Drunk
You know how once something, no matter how fun, becomes sort of like a job it starts to suck? I use the term “job” very very loosely, but after a while, getting drunk with a specific motive in mind, namely, writing an Internet column for free (Who has four thumbs and are awesome? Noah and Me!) gets sort of taxing. If I were just going out on a regular night and ended up at The Bodies Exhibit (I don’t know how that scenario would play out, but I imagine it sort of like the movies The Real McCoy or Entrapment) that would be one thing, but getting drunk specifically to go to The Bodies Exhibit just seemed like a pain in the ass. Super tough life I lead, I know. I’ll shut up now. Anyway, this is me drinking my first beer for this outing.
But once I had a few beers I started playing 90’s Modern Rock, namely “Got You (Where I Want You)” by The Flys, which, as we all know, was the song in 1998’s Teaching Mrs. Tingle, starring Katie Holmes (“Katie Homies was in this video!”-Noah). As I normally do when I start listening to 90’s Modern Rock and drinking (which happens far more often than it should), I can’t stop talking about how it’s my favorite genre of music. I love it so much. I wish I had lived as a 20 something in early 90’s Seattle or Portland. Give me STP, The Toadies, Screaming Trees, make Mark Lanegan my boyfriend, and do it NOW. (Kurt Cobain crush=Too easy). That being said, I want professional soccer player for the Seattle Sounders, Jeff Parke, to be my for real, present day boyfriend. Jeff Parke, TEXT ME. I promise I look at least 2% better than the above photo and 5% less drunk/crazy than this article might imply.
I asked Noah what era he would live in if he could live in any time and he responded with “Boston.” No time, just “Boston.” Then he got on my skateboard and rang a bell.
Now was as good a time as any to go.
How Noah Got High
One thing that’s always been a little unfair about Drunk Girl / High Guy is that Sarah gets to go buy a cheap bottle of something down at the corner store while I have to literally commit a crime and spend $50 dollars. Why $50? Because $50 worth is the minimum amount I can buy from the delivery service I use which, by the way, is saved under my phone as Hehateme. Why is it saved as Hehateme? Because the first time the guy came to my place I made a joke and he stared at me blankly and said, “Okay.” So, why do I keep ordering from them? Because my last delivery service was unreliable. And what were they saved in my phone as? “Be Cool.” Why “Be Cool?” Because when my friend, Bob, gave me the number I asked him if there was any code word I had to say or anything like that and he said, “Na, man, just be cool,” and I wanted to remember to do that. And what was the delivery service I used before that one saved in my phone as? Dels McBlazer (Because they delivered, and I got blaaaaazed!).
ANYWAY. This time Sarah had weed. Yeah, guys. Sarah’s cool, too. “Cool.” She “parties” on occasion. So, that was convenient and great. She even had joints pre-rolled. I smoked ‘em!
Sarah: A quick word on the weed. I had it because a friend of mine wanted some, so I had Noah give me the delivery service number. When you call the service you have to page them, which I have never done, not even in high school. So I called like three times and finally they called me back and were like, “You’ve paged us three times. Chill.” Then the delivery guy came over and I felt like I had to come clean. I was like, “This is my first time buying weed I don’t know what to do what’s good also here’s some cash, I don’t know.” Good thing he was the nicest man on the planet (Stoners! So nice!) And then my friend rolled the joints...I don’t know why I just insisted on straightening the record in terms of looking far less cool than Noah made me out to be.
Noah: And just so you know. Sarah likes to do cocaine and also roll her face off. She’s the coolest.
Sarah: NO-AH. He’s lying. Mom, Dad, Everyone, he’s lying. I only do those things on Christmas, like everyone else.
Sarah: The exhibit is in South Street Seaport, so we walked the half hour down there. On the way we saw a building that made Noah laugh. Noah can tell you about that. We also walked by several school playgrounds, which in the city just look like prison yards. There were even kids shaking the locked chain link fence as we walked by, like tiny inmates. We strolled along the river, which was very nice. We saw this sign. I was confused, because he looks much older than one year old.
We decided to look up the name of the disease where you age really quickly. If you type “Disease where you age…” the second search that comes up is “Disease where you age backwards.” After seeing that I had to rant for a while about how clearly a significant amount of people are THE DUMBEST and think that Benjamin Button disease is real. Then I drunkenly paid thirty dollars to see an exhibit that I already had seen and disliked. So smart! Oh, the name of the disease where you age quickly is Progeria.
Noah: Well, first off, I lost my ability to say “South Street Seaport” out loud. I would ask, “which way is the South Side Street Port?” And then Sarah would correct me, and I would have no idea I had said anything wrong. Then I saw this building that blew my mind.
The Hamilton Fish Play Center. I cracked up. You know, cause I was all high. Was it a center Alexander Hamilton set up so fish could play with each other LOLOL?!?! Sarah was not as impressed with it as I was. She flatly replied “Pretty sure it’s just named after a guy named Hamilton Fish.” We continued our walk down to the Stout Mouse Tee Port or whatever where I totally got my blown AGAIN.
“Is there also a guy named Fulton Fish?!” I ask-yelled in Sarah’s face. I was having such a good time.
We eventually found our way to the exhibit where we paid to see dead bodies. It was like a really adult and boring version of Stand By Me. Or Lean On Me. Whichever Motown song was the movie with River Phoenix. Bernadette maybe?
The Bodies Exhibit
Sarah: We got down to South Street Seaport and we were really hungry after the trek. I wanted a burger. But we decided to just go see the fucking thing. I also thought that if Noah were hungry on top of being normal stoned hungry, he’d move through it quicker. They call me Sarah “Strategy” Walker. I’m available for political campaigns and drunken outings.
Before we walked in we went to the bathroom, and there was a sign above the mirror that said, “Your Body Is Amazing.”
Fun fact: “Your Body Is Amazing” was the original title for “Your Body Is A Wonderland,” which John Mayer wrote after attending the Bodies Exhibit, but he changed it because he didn’t want people to know that the song was specifically about necrophilia.
That’s completely 100% true.
Four years had not changed how much I hate the exhibit. I did not see the majesty of the human body and all of its intricate workings, I saw dry corpses and wondered where they came from yet at the same time didn’t want to know at all. I sped walked and when I was about halfway through I looked to see where Noah was. Maybe twenty minutes had passed. He wasn’t in the room behind me. Nor in the room behind that. I had to walk back TO THE FIRST ROOM where he was reading THE FIRST SIGN. I chastised him saying, “We NEED to go faster than this.” And he was all, “This is really interesting!” And I was like, “No, it’s not interesting, you’re WRONG.” For example, there’s a the part of the exhibit that reads, “Your bones are stronger than Mild Steel.” Ooo! Mild Steel! Impressive! They might as well have written, “Think of the weakest steel possible. Your bones are slightly stronger than that.” Cool fact, Bodies Exhibit. Mild Steel is like Mild Salsa. No one gives a shit.
It appeared that the bodies were in poor shape, like they hadn’t really been maintained since the last time I had been there. In the room where they show bodies just made of veins, a lot of the veins had disintegrated onto the bottom of the glass case. Where the hell was my thirty dollars going? Preserve the bodies, Bodies Exhibit! Had the exhibit been five dollars, sure, fine. I still wouldn’t like it, but I would understand it. My mind set had changed from being a reluctant drinker to getting the hell out of there and downing a double whiskey. So I basically pulled Noah by the arm through the rest of the rooms.
At the end a sort of Daria-esque girl with a nose ring in a lab coat (sure) sitting behind a counter said to us, “Want to touch it?” And I looked down to see that she was pointing at a brain. Noah said, “Lick it!’ and she said in her deadpan Daria manner, “Please don’t.” And I jokingly said, “Never mind then.” And she gave me an annoyed look. I assume Daria girls get jokes, as they and the English invented dry humor, but she was NOT HAVING IT. Sorry my joke didn’t meet your standards, DOCTOR DARIA (did you detect THAT sarcasm??) (P.S. I’m not that mad, we’d probably be friends if it weren’t for The Bodies Exhibit coming between us). She said the brain was covered in silicone so I just basically touched silicone. Big fucking deal, Bodies Exhibit.
Noah: Immediately upon entering the exhibit, I stopped by the bathroom where there was a mirror that was I think was, like... being a sarcastic asshole?
Fun Fact: We are licensing out this photo to be used as the cover for one of those books about going through puberty.
Unsure whether to feel confident or insulted, I left the bathroom to join Sarah and begin our journey through the dead people museum. An important thing to note about the Bodies Exhibit is that when you’re high and you see enough signs that say “Bodies,” you start reading it as the plural form of Bodie. Like Bodie from The Wire. The one who shot Wallace, but then later you like him, but then later he also gets got. You remember. Bodie. So I went into the exhibit imagining that every Body was Bodie which made it even more fun.
But what makes the exhibit less fun is that the whole thing is fucking disgusting. Now, you would think it would be gross because everything would look wet, almost as if you would get gunk on your shirt if you accidentally brushed up against one of the bodies. But it’s the opposite of that. Everything looks dry and crusty. It seemed as though Bodie had been completely dried out from standing on the corner for too long in the hot, hot Baltimore sun. But what’s he gonna do? Tell Avon he’s not going to stand out on the corner? Ha, I don’t think so! He’s a Barksdale soldier.
A few seconds into my weird The Wire / Bodies Exhibit conflation, Sarah burst back into the room I was in and informed me I had actually been in there for 20 minutes. Sarah then walked behind me shooing me quickly through the rest of the exhibit. Somewhere along the way there was a room with a bunch of fetuses in jars. The room was dark, and the fetus jars were lit directly from the top, so basically, it was set up exactly how a mad scientist would set up a creepy fetus laboratory.
Nobody puts baby in a corner. But somebody definitely puts fetuses in jars.
Eventually we made our way out of the exhibit and back out into the land of people with normal wet gooey muscles.
Sarah: We decided to walk to Jeremy’s Ale house on Front Street to get food for Hungry Noah and whiskey for Annoyed Sarah. We started singing “Jeremy’s Ale House” to the tune of “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam, which was a nice framing device, 90’s Modern Rock-wise, to the adventure. Then Noah revealed that he had never seen the video for "Jeremy," which was, like, the only video people talked about in Connecticut (where I’m from) in the 90’s. So that blew my mind. Then, for some reason that made sense at the time, over my whiskey I had Noah tell me the plot of The Legend of Bagger Vance: “Will Smith is Matt Damon’s caddie and I think the name Bagger has something to do with him being a caddie. The end.” Then we ate some DELICIOUS onion rings and I had some bites of Noah’s Philly Cheese Steak. Surprise, I didn’t have the hankering for a burger that I did pre Bodies Exhibit. Ugh, boooooooo Bodies Exhibit! Yay, Jeremy’s Ale House! Seriously, go there. It’s great.
Noah: By the time we left I was so sleepy and hungry. We went to a place called Jeremy’s Ale House where you wait in an unorganized line, order food, and then realize that the grumpy men who run the place are in no mood to answer your questions about where exactly you pick up your food when it’s ready. I made Sarah go ask because it seemed like they would be nicer to a girl. They were indeed nicer to her, and the food was great. If someone ever gives you the option of eating at either Jeremy's Ale House or the Bodies Exhibit, definitely go to Jeremy's Ale House.
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @swalks
Follow Noah on Twitter: @noahgarfinkel