The Museum of Curiosity is not only the largest in the universe, it is also only largely in the universe. This is because, although many parts of the Museum - including the Epping Forest Dome, the Hall of Immense Silences, the incalculably enormous Monster Number Wing, and the tiny (but intensely hot and unbelievably heavy) Early Big Bang Podule – are already under construction, the outer limits of the grounds are defined only by the collective human imagination.
Beyond the physical cosmos, the Museum goes on and on, looming interminably out of the future, impinging urgently on the present, and squashing the past into a place where it is almost impossible to get to the bar.
In this yawning void, where only the mind can live, reside the Schreiber Galleries, where both dark matter and tea-towels are for sale; the Clouds of Turner, where undreamt of art makes immense amounts of money for talented elephants and their dung; and the child-friendly Mott ‘N’ Bailey Adventure Playground. Here, you and the son you never wanted can gambol amongst the picturesque fantasies of all the Baileys who have ever lived (34, 577, 304 of them to date) as well as those of the popular glam rock band Mott the Hoople (not recommended for the under Sevens).
In due course, you may want to book a tour of The Hut of Regrets of Mrs Bernard Pune, a searing monument to a single half-life played out in Folkestone, Kent. Or not, as the case may be: the brochure alone is 47, 000 pages long.
Large as it is, the Museum of Curiosity, like the best things in life (apart from caviare, Porsche 911s and long weekends at the Riad Al Fenn in Marrakesh) is free.
I hope you will enjoy this keepsake and tour d’horizon of the minuscule parts of the Museum so far known to science, and join us for our next venture onto the Shores of the Unknown (sensible clothing advised) in 2009.
With warmest and slightly unhinged good wishes,
Professor of Ignorance and Curiosity, University of Buckingham.