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unpacking instructions


You know that exciting feeling you have when a package arrives? That feeling of anticipation after tracking it across the country on the UPS site? That box in the front entry when you get home from work? Imagine how it must feel to have several dinosaurs delivered. (This is a multi-part order...)

These crates now stand near the entrance of what used to be Dinosaur Hall, and will soon be the expanded Dinosaurs in Their World. I think that these are the fossils just back from a restorative trip to New Jersey - soon to be reinstalled. I look forward to sketching them... Meanwhile, I offer the unpacking instructions, in case anyone ever sends you the 4th dorsal section of an apatosaurus:

Step #1: Remove all #1 screws on lid. Remove lid.
Step #2: Secure specimen - someone should be holding specimen upright before #2 screws are disengaged.
Step #3: While specimen is held securely, remove #2 screws. Remove facing.

(It's as easy as that. Some assembly required.)



I like this one, and it's very funny, but I also have to say--it also gives me a chill because the directions are probably not dumbed-down enough.

My mother paints on unstretched canvas, and then she sews borders on the paintings so that they're rather like tapestries. (See http://tinyurl.com/ymnbhm) Through years of trial and error, she devised the safest method of shipping them: on large (8 inches or so in diameter, very thick) cardboard tubes, rolled firmly but not too tightly, paint-side out, and wrapped in bubble-wrap. She writes instructions in Sharpie on each piece of packing material, and she also supplies a typed, multipage set of instructions, which I believe includes diagrams.

Despite all her precautions, some respectable museum still managed to do the worst possible thing when sending back a piece of work: rolled it paint-side in, with the bubble wrap either around the tube or between the layers, cinched tightly with tape on the outside. The painting cracked in a million places, of course, and Mom had to have it mended by a conservator and stretched permanently on a wood frame. It was on the museum's dime, but it broke her heart to have to do it.

I can only imagine that the instructions for dinosaur unpacking have been honed through years of trial and error, but they just don't look idiot-proof enough to me.

Posted by: India at October 15, 2006 05:21 PM