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New wax figures of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are worked on at Madame Tussauds in London, England. They're being revealed today.
New wax figures of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are worked on at Madame Tussauds in London, England. They're being revealed today. Stuart Wilson/Getty Images
Of all the things that make me say, "I really don't understand why this is still a thing," wax museums are right up there.
I visited the one in D.C. a few years ago, and I spent the entire trip doing little more than wandering from figure to figure, squinting at them, waiting for the sense of discomfort to settle in, and saying, "Echhh." (That's a glottal sound, not a cymbal sound.) And today, when I saw pictures of the new figures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (that's William and Kate to you) that were unveiled at Madame Tussauds in London, I leaned in close, looked at them, and said, "Echhh."
But just as I feel obligated to continue to bring you adventures in creepy royal likenesses, I feel obligated to think about things from a variety of angles. What, for instance, is good about having a terrifying life-size replica of yourself on display for people to poke, stand next to and smell? For what might you use this privilege? Fortunately, I have come up with ten ideas that I recommend heartily in the event you find that you are a wax figure.
1. Get a good idea of what people will say about you at your funeral. Normally, when we discuss that idea, we mean it would be lovely to hear all the kind and flattering things everyone will say about how much they love you. Here, I mean that it's not a bad thing to know what people will say about your lifelike appearance if you manage to be particularly skillfully embalmed.
2. Should you need to abruptly go into hiding, secret yourself in an underground bunker and substitute your wax figure for yourself at, say, your office.
3. Should you need to abruptly go into hiding, secret your wax figure in an underground bunker and take its place standing in front of your contextually appropriate background at the wax museum. (Added advantage: Saying "Boo!" to rude museum visitors who will never, in one million years, be believed by their relatives and who may, instead, be presumed mad, which they deserve as punishment for being rude at the wax museum.)
4. Instead of Photoshopping yourself into pictures with famous people in order to pretend you know them, just move your statue close to their statue and make it into a giant diorama in which you are the eternally waxen spouse of, say, Johnny Depp. (Added bonus: You could make Barack Obama or Jennifer Lopez your imaginary waxen best friend. NO ONE CAN STOP YOU.)
5. Steal your wax figure. Apply direct heat around your face. Take your partially melted likeness to your best friend's house. Put it at the door. Knock. Hide in a bush. When he answers, say, "I DRANK SOME COFFEE AND I THINK IT WAS TOO HOT AND NOW I DON'T' KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING." And then scream.
6. Dress up in the same clothes your statue is wearing. Stand facing your statue. Look into the void. (This is better if you do it with some Pink Floyd playing.)
7. When your friends go to visit the wax museum, merrily call out, "Tell me I said hi!" They'll think it's hilarious every time you do it. You should encourage them to visit the wax museum frequently for just this purpose.
8. Invite all the other real people who have figures at the same museum to something called "Doppelganger Prom." Or "Promelganger." Slow-dancing with yourself to "Almost Paradise" while boxing promoter Don King does the same thing next to you is a joy that only the most special and distinguished people get to experience.
10. Lobby for your chance to participate in the next Celebrity Nativity Scene, which I came across while looking for photos. This is a real thing that really happened in 2004 at the Madame Tussauds in London. In this photo: David and Victoria Beckham as Joseph and Mary; British Prime Minister Tony Blair, The Duke of Edinburgh and President George W. Bush as the three Wise Men; Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant and Graham Norton as the shepherds, and Kylie Minogue as the Angel. If they do this again, they will need a sheep. That sheep could be you.
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
The celebrity nativity scene at Madame Tussauds is shown in London in December 2004.
The celebrity nativity scene at Madame Tussauds is shown in London in December 2004. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images