Thursday, March 4, 2010

the aquarium for adults

There's a pretty cool aquarium in Atlanta, which I visited during my recent swing through town. I can't remember the name of it (Atlanta Aquarium?), but it's right next to the Coca-Cola Museum. Anyhow, I digress. I came up with a great idea during my visit: aquariums for adults.

You see, I've visited a decent number of aquariums over the years, and the one consistent theme (other than fish and sealife, ha ha) is kids. They're usually crawling with kids! I have a theory about why this is, which I won't elaborate on now, but which I do have a name for: the "Nemo effect." And don't get me wrong, I think it's great that kids are showing an interest in marine biology. Hopefully, the next generation will discover all kinds of new and exciting tropical fish to add to our home aquariums. But still ... wouldn't it be nice to enjoy the fish, once in a while, without getting overrun by rugrats?

Here's what I'm thinking: a place with no child-oriented displays like starfish petting areas and penguin feeding times. This would be strictly about serious fish, like hake. And there would be docents from nearby universities to give insightful, detailed talks about various topics that kids might consider too boring, like the importance of kelp in marine ecosystems. And Jacques Cousteau! There'd be plenty of memorabilia and tributes to the late, great oceanographer. Most kids don't know JC from SpongeBob, which is probably why you don't even see a picture of him in most aquariums. Also, anyone who yelled excitedly at anything in an exhibit, or moved around at anything faster than a brisk walk, would be escorted from the premises. The aquarium for adults would be as quiet as a library.

And finally, instead of a family-themed restaurant, there'd be a lounge where you could get a couple stiff drinks and a lap dance. Because why not? This is an aquarium for adults, after all. And after listening to a bunch of talk about kelp, you'd probably deserve some kind of award.

All right, just throwing it out there. Testing the waters, so to speak. Keep in mind, though, that a lot of great ideas start small. And if in 10 years, you find yourself milling around in an adult aquarium, just remember where you heard the idea first ...

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