A few weeks ago I went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas. The first thing I could not believe was the price of an admission ticket. The second thing I could not believe was that I bought one.
Mr. Ripley’s chain of museums is touted as a collection of “the odd, the unusual, and the unbelieveable,” which is similar to how an ex-girlfriend once described me.
If you have never been to one of these fine establishments, you are in luck. Today I will tell you what I saw inside the museum and charge you only half the price I paid, which will still allow me to pay for a 50-foot yacht, one year’s docking fees, and a wide range of PEZ candy dispensers for my collection.
I should note that there were actually three attractions under one roof from which to choose: Louis Toussad’s Palace of Wax, the Enchanted Mirror Maze, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. I decided to check out what was behind door number three, the Odditorium.
One of the first “unusual” items I spotted was a real, dead shrunken head. It seems there is a genuine art to shrinking someone’s head, and I now know the technique. I am not sure when I will need to put this knowledge to use, but it is good to know that I possess that skill.
By the way, I do not recommend trying this at home, especially if you are a novice. Your older brother will suffer greatly when his classmates notice him wearing a size one stocking cap.
The next grotesque display involved a video featuring people’s unusual talents. Is that man really blowing up a balloon using his eye? I asked myself. Indeed, this was not an optical illusion, and the man in the video could do still more. His next feat was to place a cigarette in the side of his eye socket and smoke it there. I’ll bet it’s been a while since you saw anybody blowing smoke out his eye. The gentleman’s risk of lung cancer was probably not all that high, but I’ll bet he had to call in a chimney sweep every weekend to clean up the backsides of his eyeballs.
The weirdness went on and on: artwork made from toast; sculptures created from overgrown fingernails; a steam-powered rocking chair; a video featuring the proud owner of the world’s longest earlobes (he can cover his eyes with them); heathen worship items too repulsive to mention. Indeed, Mr. Ripley’s collection met the criteria of being odd, unusual, and unbelievable.
It amazes me what some of us consider to be “entertainment.” It’s especially pathetic when you stop to remember what’s ahead for Christians.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”
(1 Corinthians 2:9).
Robert Ripley spent most of his life searching for strangeness. I think my time is better spent searching the Scriptures. In the world’s eyes, that may seem odd, unusual—maybe even unbelievable to some. But what’s on the other side of heaven’s pearly gates is going to be pretty astonishing. Not in the Ripley’s sense, but in the sense that it’s going to take our breath away with its awesomeness and beauty.
Yep, on Calvary Jesus bought you a ticket, and He wants to spend eternity with you in this amazing place—believe it or not.