Don’t Look Now, but I Think it Just Moved: Welcome to the Wax Museum.

A surprising (and somewhat shocking) report reached my Twitter feed last night, courtesy of a friend: Colin Firth Set for Madam Tussauds. Perhaps I shouldn’t be terribly surprised—short of being knighted, he’s received every conceivable honor possible to bestow on man this year, and I’m not about to suggest that any of said honors are not well-deserved. Anyone who can claim even a casual acquaintance with me is familiar with my interest in and admiration for Colin Firth and his work; so why, you cry, the disturbed reaction? Simple: some people are afraid of spiders. Some people are afraid of clowns. Some people are afraid of cheese. I’m afraid of waxworks. For some reason, I’ve always found them creepy. Incidentally, I never liked playing with dolls much as a little girl; I never liked the texture of the plastic, and I insisted—much to my mother’s bafflement—that they had a funny smell.

Receiving this news moments before bed, I tried to calm my mind to avoid being haunted by nightmares of a waxy Colin come to life in the manner of a possessed Pinocchio. “It’s only a wax work,” I told myself, “and one that hasn’t even been completed yet.”. (Great, now the waxy Colin would be headless, or worse, have a partially severed, nearly-headless-Nick kind of issue going on with his neck. Distinctly unpleasant). In one last bid to make this image less psychologically disturbing, I texted a dear friend:

Me: Colin is going to be cast in wax in Madam Tussauds. I think I might be sick.
Friend: Haha.
Me: No, you don’t get it. I’m afraid of waxworks the way some people are afraid of clowns.
Friend: Haha, you’re silly. Go to sleep.
(Boys. Isn’t this the part in the story where you’re supposed to rush to defend me against the evil, possessed, headless waxwork?)
Me: But what if he comes in the middle of the night and attacks me?
Friend: Scream. (Not helpful.) I should probably explain that the last time I had enough usable vision to actually see a wax figurine, I was 11 years-old, and my family was on a summer vacation in St. Augustine that included a trip to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, featuring wax representations of a Siamese twin cow and a 1,064 pound man, among other exhibits of interest. This probably explains, at least in part, my waxyfirthophobia.

Well, this morning dawned, and I awoke after a dreamless sleep unpopulated by possessed wax effigies of film actors. And because my friends are my friends, several just had to point out that this recent rendition of Colinesque art means that he will now be rendered tactilely accessible to the blind. This is carrying things too far; there’s a reason why they’ve got those “Look but don’t touch” signs up at museums. My sincerest apologies to Mr. Firth: in addition to the rest of the attention you’ve attracted this year, you have now become the subject of blind jokes. (Consider yourself flattered).

Admittedly, the sighted friend who shared this information with me assured me that the clay mold of the head is actually quite a good likeness. If I’m never going to actually see it, I can at least rest assured that it’s going to be an accurate representation.

It really is something of an honor though, I suppose—if a creepy one—and I suspect Mr. Firth is accepting it with his usual humor and grace. I wonder what it would feel like to see oneself represented in wax. I can just imagine him passing through the exhibit with his kids:
“Is that you, Dad?”
“What? No, of course it isn’t; someone’s just gone and put my head on for a laugh.”

In any case, as my mom put it, “As long as they get the dimples right, I guess it’s OK.”

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3 Comments »

  1. I hate to add stress to what you’re already going through, but have you thought of what you’ll do if they come out with a Colin Firth doll, you know, a companion to Barbie (or, in this case, Lizzie)?

    I discovered you when you visited and Liked my Jane Austen Driving School post — thank you!

    So, do you think Jane would have preferred Colin Firth or Matthew what’s his name?

    • poetprodigy7 said

      Are you kidding? Matthew McFayden over Colin Firth? Or as I refer to Mr. Mcfayden: he-who-must-not-be-named.
      I really did enjoy your post–I’m something of a Jane Austen scholar; I’ve done some graduate work on her and taught Pride and Prejudice. (and I’ve got a bit of a crush on Colin Firth. Totally natural, but in my defense, I fell in love with him long before he hit the BBC with his iconic wet shirt)

  2. […] in October, I wrote in “Don’t Look Now, but I Think it Just Moved: Welcome to the Wax Museum about the report that Madame Tussauds was in the process of completing a wax-work of none other than […]

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