by Bo McMillan
There are times when I really appreciate not having kids, and Discovery Place's Animal Grossology exhibit is one of them.
The exhibit, which features attractively-named highlights such as "Dookie Lovers," "Slime Makers," and "Vomit Munchers" is an easy and effective way to get the clearly targeted audience of young children into a learning environment. But as an adult, it's not the most appealing thing to do.
I remember when I was in elementary school and the book Grossology (the origin of the soon-to-come exhibits, TV series, etc.) by Sylvia Branzei came out. Everyone who wanted to be anyone in the microcosm of the school playground had to have it. A delightful ode to the world of pee, poop, blood, puke and anything else that would make normal people cringe, the book was essentially my education on how to be an annoying, "Why the hell would you tell me that, and in public?" kind of child.
In retrospect, I think that Branzei, must have written the book with a wicked sense of humor (there's no way she couldn't know the torture she'd inevitably be putting parents through). Don't get me wrong; I applaud her for coming up with a subject (despite its putrid nature) that draws kids to reading, quite appropriately, like flies to ... shit. But I'm also old enough now to feel the nausea that comes with thinking about such subject matter. Exhibit continues through Sept. 2. Museum admission: $10-$12. Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon St. 704-372-6261. www.discoveryplace.org.