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Meet the Nieratkos - Bears Are Not Dinosaurs

This week Nieratko went to a dinosaur exhibit to see dinosaurs, because that what you'd expect to see. Instead, he saw a stuffed bear.

by Chris Nieratko
Feb 16 2012, 5:00am

New Jersey has been on the shitty end of the public relations stick for a few years now. That’s not true, it has always been on that end of the stick, but these last few years, what with all the TV shows about the human sludge that washes up on our shores each summer from Staten Island and the mob wives and the asshole hair dressers with cartoon accents, it really has become the butt of every joke. Right now people think less of New Jersey than even, I don’t know… Idaho. Does anyone even live in Idaho anymore? I think they just bus people in to pick the potatoes. Idaho should just get absorbed by Nevada; people actually give a shit about Nevada.

My point is that, with Jersey taking such a beating in the caucuses I try my best to never say anything negative about New Jersey. I’m proud of the state. I’m overjoyed that Hoboken wouldn’t allow those pieces of shit guidos to film a season there, and I genuinely love our beaches, mountains and farmlands. But I’m here today to say fuck Morristown, New Jersey. I don’t care how long George Washington was holed up there or that Tim O’Conner is from there. Fuck it. Fuck it in the ear. Fuck it in the other ear!

Maybe fucking the entire town is a bit much. My beef is with the Morristown museum. Yesterday we took my two-year-old son to a specialist at the renowned Morristown Children’s Hospital. We’ve been dreading the day since before Christmas. I knew it was going to be a heartbreaker of an afternoon, so I wanted to find something fun to do after our hospital visit to get him stoked. I started searching around and saw The Morristown Museum has a dinosaur exhibit. Christopher loves dinosaurs. I am Daddy Dinosaur and he thinks that when I roar I can shoot lasers out of my fingers into his neck to tickle him. LASER NECK!

When we got to the museum they had a sign saying they were closing early. We had 15 minutes to see the dinosaurs. It was like that scene from National Lampoon’s European Vacation.

Well, it took us 15 minutes just to find the dinosaurs. Want to know why? BECAUASE THERE WERE NO GODDAMN DINOSAURS! See this photo of me and the kids in front of the dino mural? Well, then you’ve seen the entire dinosaur exhibit at the Morristown Musuem.

Here’s what their website says: Visitors can touch a real dinosaur egg, follow dinosaur tracks, and hear the simulated sound of a honking hadrosaur. Using various clues and fossils, such as footprints, fossilized eggs, and dinosaur teeth, you can become acquainted with the creatures that lived in New Jersey during the Age of the Dinosaurs.

Truth is everything was fake, plastic bullshit.

Follow dinosaur tracks? Those were the stickers on the ground in the photo.

Hear the simulated sound of a honking hadrosaur? It was a tape recording of some asshole who does a shittier dinosaur roar than I do.

My kid was running back and forth crying, asking, “Where are the dinosaurs, daddy?”

A very good question, since I promised him dinosaurs.

So I asked the lady, “Where are the dinosaurs?”

“The dinosaur exhibit is on the second floor.”

“Yes, we saw that. My question is where are the dinosaurs?”

“In the dinosaur exhibit.”

“No, you have a mural and a T. rex skull made out of plastic that I could buy off eBay.”

“What were you looking for, sir?”

“I was looking for dinosaurs! You know, skeletons of dinosaurs like you’d see at, say, a museum.”

“If you read the website closely it never mentions any skeletons.”

“Then why do you have a dinosaur exhibit? I drove an hour to see dinosaurs, I promised my kid dinosaurs. And you have no dinosaurs.”

And that’s when she said it. Deadpan, all-serious, no bullshit delivery. This lady says, “If you go into the Natural Science Room we have a stuffed bear.”

“What did you just say?”

She repeated herself. “If you go into the Natural Science Room we have a stuffed bear.”

I wanted to choke her. Here was a grown woman, who seemed somewhat intelligent—I mean, she was wearing glasses—suggesting a bear was an equally cool substitute for a dinosaur. This is the problem with America; the school system has failed us.

“Lady, my kid is two,” I told her, “but he’s not a retard. He knows bears are not dinosaurs.”

“I’m sorry, sir. That’s the best we have. We have no dinosaurs.”

My kid heard that and lost his mind.

“See, lady. See what you did with your lies? Your best isn’t good enough. People need to stop fronting like they have dinosaurs when they don’t have any goddamn dinosaurs! You need to cut the shit and get a dinosaur or stop telling people you have dinosaurs.”

“We have a very fun interactive dinosaur exhibit, sir.”

“No. No you don’t. You have dinosaur wallpaper and a fucking bear. You should write on your website, “WE HAVE NO DINOSAURS. WE HAVE A BEAR.” This is bullshit. Thanks for making a shitty day shittier, lady.”

I carried my wailing kid to the car, screaming. I apologized to him over and over for bringing him into such a stupid, stupid world.

The only good part of the day was when he saw the fox. He says "fuck," instead of "fox," so he was running around saying, "fuck, fuck, fuck."

My advice to any of you who want dinosaurs, go to Dinosaur World just outside Tampa. That’s why I’m moving to Florida. People tell me the school system sucks down there, but goddamn if they don’t know a bear is not a dinosaur. You ask them for dinosaurs and you get dinosaurs.

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chris nieratko
this is basic nature stuff people