Sea Life X-rays

Sea Life X-rays | Seattle, WA | October 2019

The tiny ad in the back of comic books promised the x-ray glasses could see through clothes. I ordered a pair for $1.99. “Give ’em a try, honey, but you might be disappointed,” said my Mom. “Naked people can be a letdown.” Months went by before the glasses arrived. They had flimsy cardboard frames and purple cellophane lenses that turned busty women in red sweaters into curvy silhouettes, nothing more. But the package also contained a flyer for an Undersea Circus. A lifelike drawing showed a troupe of brine shrimp dressed as clowns and trapeze artists that would stage amazing performances, just add water. I ordered it immediately and prepared to be astonished.

[In photo: Images displayed on a light table at the Burke Museum.]