The sum of their parts

“Good afternoon, everybody! Welcome to the Museum of Celebrity Relics. My name is Devyn, and I’ll be your tour guide this afternoon. Before we start, does anyone have any questions?”

“Yeah. Like, seriously, why are we wasting our time and money looking at a bunch of old body parts? Isn’t that, like, borderline necrophilia?”

“What a precocious child! Don’t kids just say the wackiest things, folks?”

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“Dude, I’m 22.”

“Maybe a little history will shed some light on the subject. You might recall that, back in the dark ages of society – specifically, early 2018 – the Catholic Church staged a tour of the forearm of St. Francis Xavier. It proved to be so wildly popular, particularly in the ancient civilization known as ‘Antigonish,’ that pretty soon everybody was jumping on the beloved body-part bandwagon, so to speak.”

“Man, that’s gotta be one ugly bandwagon.”

“Before you knew it, there were so many limbs and lids and larynxes going around the planet that the worldwide transportation system ground to a halt due to a global fuel shortage. As a result, we’ve decided to house the most heavily-worshipped and game-changing anatomical artifacts here at the Museum of Celebrity Relics.”

“Mommy, this is creepy.”

“That’s the spirit, folks! Now, let’s start the tour with our first exhibit, the teeth and jawbones of former Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. See how they still shine after all this time? Those pearly whites starred in thousands of selfies with Canadian voters, who just kept re-electing him, happily distracted from his spotty track record.”

“Ow! My eyes!”

“Oops, my bad. I should have reminded you to put on the protective glasses that we handed out at the start of the tour.”

“Are there any more Canadian body parts here?”

“Oh, certainly. We’ve got Senator Lynn Beyak’s empty skull down the hallway, and the hands of Auston Matthews, which were worshipped extensively by a misguided tribe dressed in blue and white. We had hoped to have a body part from Mr. Trudeau’s father, who apparently also served as Prime Minister for a couple of years. But the fingers on the elder Trudeau’s forearm kept readjusting themselves into an unfortunate shape every time our museum had visitors from western Canada.”

“Daddy, I’m bored.”

“Yes, this IS exciting, isn’t it! Speaking of world leaders, here’s the latest addition to our ‘Digital Wing’ – two of the most powerful appendages in our planet’s history: Donald Trump’s thumbs.”

“Donald who?”

“Yes, today you might well say ‘Donald who.’ But during his tumultuous time in the White House, Mr. Trump delivered his own brand of wisdom and diplomacy to the masses with these very thumbs. Perhaps you might have heard your history teachers talking about the now-defunct social media platform known as ‘Twitter.’”

“Oh, yeah! They used Twitter back in the olden days, before the government cut out the middleman and installed microchips in everyone’s brains. Good times.”

“What’s that, on the wall, next to his thumbs? Is that the chair he used to sit on. in the Oval Office?”

“Good guess, young fellow. Every king has his ‘throne,’ and that was the seat from which President Trump used those incredible thumbs to defend Nazis, insult political rivals, and even start a thermonuclear war. What a marvelous half-term it was!”

“Can’t we see anything exciting? Like, have you got any parts of movie stars or Hollywood types?”

“We’re still working on that portion of the museum, young man. We recently received a donation from the descendants of Harvey Weinstein, but I don’t think anybody wants to see that anymore. After all, far too many people saw it when he was alive.”

“What’s with those two sets of legs over there??”

“Those are the knees, calves and feet of American figure-skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. Please note the misshapen knee on the Kerrigan relic.”

“Why are THEY here?”

“You know, son, I’m stumped by that one, too. Neither of them won a gold medal at the Olympics, and yet we couldn’t stop talking about them and their ugly rivalry. Nearly a quarter of a century later, North Americans were still obsessed with their story, making movies about them and devoting countless hours of airtime and conversation that could have been better spent feeding the hungry or curing diseases. It baffles me every time I pass by this exhibit, or whenever I see the arm of O.J. Simpson featuring a bloody glove holding a golf club.”

“Man, this place is depressing.”

“Oh, don’t be such a Gloomy Gus! We’ve got much more well-preserved excitement to go! Now, don’t fall behind, or you’ll miss Justin Bieber’s sneer, Gordie Howe’s elbows, or Kanye West’s ego!”

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Adam Cooke has been a staff writer and columnist for The Reporter since 1999. A native of L’Ardoise, Adam lives in Port Hawkesbury with his wife Cathy.