Monday, October 15, 2007

Calling Independence Hall

Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a nationally registered historical landmark. That means all you American taxpayers out there are funding conversations like this one:

Most Unhelpful Tour Guide EVER: Independence Hall Historical Site. Hel—(phone cuts out for a second, Nicki looks at it to make sure it’s still working) He-looooo? Helloooo?

Nicki: Hello? Hi—I’m doing research for the play 1776 and I was wondering if you had any information about, um, like, Philadelphia in that time period, or the men who attended the Continental Congress or anything about that era?

MUTGE: That’s a pretty big chunk of time, you should start by doing some research, that’s a lot of information.

N: Well, I have some information, I’m just looking to fill it out.

MUTGE: I think you need to do some research on your own. I mean, there were 56 guys who signed the Declaration of Independence.

N: Well, there’s only 24 characters in the play—(rising, thinking she’s going to give this woman some names)

MUTGE: Yeah—that’s like basic American history, you should look in a history book or do some research on our website, I can’t really help you.

N: (sitting back down, confused) Yeah, I got your website, that’s how I got your number, but there’s not really a lot of information there. Do you have any info about, like, the time period, or?

MUTGE: See, that’s like, what I said, it’s basic American history. I don’t have time to sit here and give you a history lesson—you need to read a book or something.

N: Okay, seriously? I have, like, a stack of books here that comes up to my waist. I know what happened—what I’m looking for is insider information about Philadelphia during that time period.

MUTGE: This is just basic American history.

N: No, I got that—I got all the facts, but I’m looking for more specific things. Like, do you have any brochures about Independence Hall?

MUTGE: Only what we have on our website.

N: Yeah, but your website isn’t very helpful. I clicked on the link that said “Pictures and Multimedia” and all I got was a schedule for the powerpoint presentations that are available in Philadelphia, but I’m in Chicago, so…

MUTGE: This is basic American history. I mean, I’m sitting here at a visitor’s center desk, I don’t have time to give you a history lesson.

N: I’m not asking you to give me a history lesson, I’m just wondering if you have any additional information, or any brochures you can send me.

MUTGE: No.

N: No brochures?

MUTGE: Not for what your looking for.

N: Okay, well, thanks.

MUTGE: *hangs up without saying another word*

3 comments:

Chris said...

Nicki-
i have some pictures of Independance hall from when I went there. The thing is that it is set up for the Signing of the Consitution not the Declaration. I'll get them out to you asap.

Bil said...

Woah, this is about the funniest thing I've read in a long time. You wanna know something? Sometimes I wish I could be that person on the other line who just won't help.

Laura said...

Wasn't one of the 56 guys who signed the Declaration of Independance Josiah Bartlett who was the great grandfather of President Josiah Edward Bartlett, our 43rd President?