Fin­kle, Frigup

The Iowa Review - - ZACHARY TYLER VICKERS - Zachary tyler vick­ers

By the time Fin­kle ar­rives at the mu­seum, the troop of Lit­tle Ge­ne­ses are berserk­ing through the Gar­den of Eden, climb­ing the Tree of Knowl­edge, dodge­ball-ing with the ap­ples. Each for­bid­den fruit is wooden. A pig­tailed girl takes a knotty Mcin­tosh to the mouth. She bleeds down her chin, hold­ing up a piece of tooth like it’s a ques­tion. The cute sub­sti­tute teacher, with a min­i­mum-waged eye-roll, es­corts the Lit­tle Gen­e­sis to First Aid be­tween the one-tenth portside replica of Noah’s Ark and the in­ter­ac­tive Bi­ble Kiosk. This is how it’s Fin­kle’s fault: Fin­kle op­er­ates the Flood Ge­ol­ogy ex­hibit. By way of pneu­matic hoses and pile-driv­ing mech­a­nisms—rep­re­sent­ing “col­laps­ing, or­bit­ing va­por canopy the­ory” (a.k.a. über amounts of rain­fall) and “rapid-shift­ing tec­tonic plates con­cept” (a.k.a. über tsunamis)—a large dio­rama floods and trem­bles. A mini ark floats as toy di­nosaurs mass-ex­tinct un­der dis­plac­ing sand. Af­ter the flood dis­si­pates, kids dig up the di­nosaurs as sou­venirs. “But since the frig­ging dio­rama did not flood,” Pas­tor Snei­dlinger says, “the frig­ging chil­dren—be­ing frig­ging chil­dren—be­came im­pa­tient, antsy, and flash-mob­bish. How does one ‘bright side’ a blood­ied Lit­tle Gen­e­sis to a par­ent or guardian?” Snei­dlinger sum­moned Fin­kle via an Al­pha/omega/au­dio/vis­ual/ Pub­lic An­nounce­ment. When­ever the A/O/A/V/PA booms, it dis­sem­i­nates a pil­lar of smoke us­ing so­phis­ti­cated fog­gers, vents, and a light­ning strobe, which did not flicker for om­nipo­tent/om­ni­scient ef­fect be­cause the mu­seum’s out­dated elec­tri­cal is daisy-chained and über-fritz­ing. The lights flicker. Sparks fiz­zle down from the rafters like elec­tric lake-ef­fect snow. But the wiring is just the tip of the ice­berg. Pas­tor Snei­dlinger’s Strate­gic Vi­sion Box is crammed with con­cerns. One is that Snei­dlinger isn’t even a real pas­tor. He in­her­ited the Cre­ation In­sti­tute last year from a rich de­vout aunt. The café chips are stale. Some­body stole the T8 tho­racic ver­te­bra from the Pri­mate Col­umn. The Bi­ble Kiosk is miss­ing books from the New Tes­ta­ment. Flood Ge­ol­ogy hasn’t had new sand in years. When­ever Fin­kle re­sets the dio­rama, he finds soggy Band-aids. “Tell the par­ent or guardian the Lit­tle Gen­e­sis was pulling an Eve?” Fin­kle sug­gests.

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