The Los Angeles Natural History Museum: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

When you visit Los Angeles and you want to see stuffed animals, don’t avoid the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Within the stucco walls of the great building these cuddly plush tigers, both yellow and white, await your caresses in the Museum Gift Shop.

Along with the caresses you must also supply the purring — they are only toys, you see — but you will happily do so, won over by the charm of the plush cats.

After you have surrendered to the gentle furry toys, when your guard is lowered and your attention focussed on the doll eyes infused with no more life than your sympathetic imagination has supplied, that is the moment! The moment when you must snap out of the spell, pull yourself together, come down to earth and try to keep in mind exactly where you are:

The Los Angeles Natural History Museum.

Where dinosaurs skeletons hunt… and grade school field trip groups are the prey.

It was all a dream, Jo-jo!

Then there is the Walrus Family. If there were such a measure as The Scale of Physical Danger, the Walrus Family would lie somewhere near the middle, halfway between the plush tigers and the predatory dinosaur skeleton.

Chumley and family.

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