Going to the Chapel of TUMS
All of this talk about the Sistine Chapel Ceiling reminds me that the Eye-Talians don't have anything on us when it comes to touching displays of religious devotion. Among the most extreme sights that I have beheld is the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri. I don't know what's in the water in Missouri, but anyplace with the stones to produce Branson, Precious Moments, and my fiancee, Claire is worthy of my devotion. You are no doubt familiar with Precious Moments, those cloying, creepy encephalitic figurines from the Hallmark Store, but not many folks realize that they are the brainchild of a butcher... Samuel Butcher to be exact. Mr. Butcher lives up to his name with the Precious Moments Chapel, which is his small way of returning the love that people have shown for his figurines (and if the site is 75% gift shop, so be it).
Upon entering the chapel, you can't help but notice the main attraction, a mural of precious moments angels welcoming a bunch of presumably dead babies to Heaven. I swear that I remember the ceiling being a scene-for-scene reproduction of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, but I think my imagination was working overtime. Various chapels and stained glass windows commemorate dead children. The gift shop is haunted by life-sized Precious Moments babies with heads the size of Minnesota balls of twine. No road trip to Branson would be complete without a stop at Precious Moments. If you can tear yourself away from the walnut bowls and homemade fudge, you will be richly rewarded. Precious Moments even has a wedding chapel and hotel! Did I mention the fountain show? You can sign a contract with God and Satan simultaneously!
LINK to seriously deranged tour.