The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jun 10, 2012

High Brow

I explained to the boy that I, unlike him and his mother, was special. I have only one eyebrow, a long one from one side of the face to the other. 

Like Frida Kahlo? he said. Does she have only one eyebrow as well?
Mural by Diego Rivera
Frida Kahlo in Diego Rivera's mural, to the right of the skeleton.

We were wandering about Mexico City when the conversation came up. Frida Kahlo, monobrowed woman, is everywhere in Mexico City. Her house has been converted to a museum. There is always a queue of tourists waiting to enter it. We too were there one warm day in April.

While we waited, I entertained the boy with eyebrow tricks. I raised one eyebrow and then the other. He screwed up his face attempting to emulate my dexterity. He squinted. He glared out of one eye.


Like nearly every other museum in Mexico, the Frida Kahlo museum allows visitors to take pictures upon payment of 45 pesos. We happily shelled out before entering the hallow of hallows. As the tourist throng snaked its way from one room to another, I caused minor jams every time I stopped to snap away.

There's always an officious bastard in every queue. One such specimen tapped me on the shoulder.

'You know you are not supposed take pictures in here,' he said.

I pointed wordlessly at my sticker that allowed me to take pictures.

He pointed wordlessly at the signs of crossed out cameras on the walls.

I looked around for a museum attendant. As expected, there was nobody around.

Seething with baffled fury, I put the camera away. Beautiful exhibits passed me by, unclicked. Three rooms later, I found an attendant.

'No, no,' he said when I pointed at the crossed-out-camera sign. 'These are ancient. You are allowed to take all the pictures you want.'

I turned to the officious bastard to crow triumphantly. Bugger wasn't there. Deflated, I continued along the tour.


[Watch the dancing eyebrows around 2:08]

Jack Black can make a wave with his eyebrows, I said to the boy. 

Who is Jack Black? he said.

The voice of Po, I said.

Can I see? he said.

Sure, I said.

Can you wiggle your eyebrows? he said.

No, I said.


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