Your Pesky Fly typically reports Memphis' weirdest news, but for the next two weeks, I'll be reporting from the road while attending the Republican and Democratic National Conventions with the Flyer's Senior Political Editor Jackson Baker. On route to Cleveland, we took a brief side trip to Williamstown, Kentucky — home of the Ark Encounter, a $100 million model of Noah's Ark, where visitors are taught that the Earth is only 6,000 years old and people used to hand-feed dinosaurs. Or, as I like to think of it, Kentucky's future Bass Pro Shop.
With its fancy air conditioning and use of demon electricity (not to mention the absence of musk, urine, and fecal odors), this three-story animal refuge has some verisimilitude issues. The Pepsi stations are a little weird, but the Biblically inspired attraction also sells tiny plastic tubs of hummus for a more authentic experience.
I skipped the petting zoo at the Ark Encounter because I'm saving myself for the Sodom & Gomorrah Encounter's heavy petting zoo. Besides, who can enjoy a petting zoo after visiting the Ark Encounter’s children's book-inspired exhibit and coming face to face with this grim reminder?
At one point I found myself standing in the Ark Encounter gift shop thinking, "Those gay pride umbrellas they're selling seem really out of place here." Then it seeped in ... "Oh yeah, the rainbow."