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One of our most popular objects is this portrait bust of David. The statue itself is unremarkable. It was originally brought to The Ministry as a long lost Michaelangelo draft. Ministry Investigators determined that it was actually just a standard copy of decor, located for sale in museum gift shops around the world. However, this particular item has since been possessed by an unknown spirit which has taken up residence in the lobby. Although the identity of the spirit has yet to be ascertained, it has shown an affinity for not only the statue but other items in the lobby. It appears to be very wary of both agents and strangers who might want to move or remove any item from its display, and endeavors to keep track of whomever is in the room at the time. It is, thus, a spirit after my own heart. The next time you visit the Ministry, keep an eye out for this object. Rest assured that it will be keeping its eyes on you.
Science is a marvelous thing. The work of The Ministry is founded on a bedrock of scientific discovery and technological innovation. There must be limits, however, to how far science is allowed to go. Just because something CAN be done, does not mean that it SHOULD be done. Take for example, the specimen seen here. She is the result of science gone very wrong. Her existence stems from a Ministry Scientist who felt very strongly that they could accomplish what had eluded other scientists: They would design and populate an amusement park full of dinosaurs! (Note: There is a universe in which every movie greenlit by our Hollywood, instantly pops into existence as a reality - see previous artifact file for reference). This Ministry Scientist felt confident that their key to success would be to scale all cloned dinosaurs down to the size of ducks to minimize the danger. This agent’s hubris was their downfall, however. With a decrease in size came an increase in speed and agility, and many agents were lost in the resulting pandemonium. This specimen alone has been frozen and preserved and allowed to remain in the ministry collection as a cautionary example. Janice has taken to referring to her as “Bitey” and would very much like to unfreeze her and take her for walks. I have since placed “Bitey” on a shelf out of Janice’s reach. Rumors that there is a duck the size of a dinosaur wandering somewhere in the Ministry catacombs are unfounded, and I shall neither confirm nor deny.
Do you ever find yourself staring at the clock in disbelief, feeling that time is going much slower than it should be? Have you ever been stuck in a meeting in which every minute seems to be double its length? It is entirely possible that you are not imagining things - it may simply be that you are near a Ministry Agent who has activated this hourglass! This delightful little device has become quite useful to ministry endeavors. The sands flowing down do not just provide a visually pleasant way of marking the time. No, indeed. When this timepiece is turned, time is temporarily slowed for everyone in its vicinity. Very handy when Head Office assigns a task with an unreasonable deadline! Our work is very important, and your boredom is a small price to pay for our ability to meet outcomes. The next time you find yourself in what seems to be a never-ending wait, just think to yourself: “Why, The Ministry of Peculiarities must be doing something VERY important nearby!” I am certain this will make you feel much better as you wait. I have, however, found it necessary to impose tight regulations on this artifact due to abuse by certain agents. I suspect that Janice has learned how to pick the cabinet lock and use the artifact to extend her lunch naps. When I finally catch her, I shall turn her over to Higgins and his insufferable motivational lectures - timepiece turned! Note: I am aware of accusations that The Ministry turned the timepiece far too often during the year 2020, affecting not just The Ministry but spreading globally. But come now…let us leave the past in the past.
It is inevitable that every agent’s time at The Ministry of Peculiarities must come to an end. Some choose to retire after a long and illustrious career. Others have opted to transfer to positions outside of The Ministry, although I will never personally understand why. Tragically, some Ministry careers end in death or, worse, disobedience! Whatever the impetus, The Ministry cannot allow ex-agents to depart with the knowledge they accumulated during their employment! We have many secrets and assume there are those who would go to great lengths to obtain access to them. Nevermind that our enemies have never revealed themselves to us. They are surely out there, waiting to strike when the moment is right. Therefore, when necessity forces an Agent to separate from the Ministry, we hold a ritual in which all agents gather in support as the departing agent places their hands on the glass head seen in this picture. This artifact immediately absorbs all memories and knowledge related to The Ministry, and shapes them into a beautiful orb, leaving the agent confused about why they are standing in a strange office surrounded by people they don’t know, but able to move on with whatever is left of their lives, and without the burden of a pesky pension plan. Yes, the ritual is performed even in cases of dead Agents. We cannot afford to take any chances. Do not weep for what the former agents leave behind them. We do so willingly, knowing that we have served our employer well. And fortuitously, many agents end up drawn back to our doorstep for another tour of duty! Indeed, Janice has lost her memories multiple times. Not because of the ceremony, however. She is simply drawn to shiny things, and cannot help herself. One might say she has lost her marbles. Who knows? Perhaps you are a previous agent who has had your memories erased? Perhaps that is the reason you are drawn back to us now.
If you are the type of person who is fond of monitoring transmissions from alternate universes, this is the artifact for you. This radio was recovered during an agency raid involving a nefarious group of ne’er-do-wells intending to transmit a variety of “War of the Worlds” type scenarios over our airwaves to inflict panic on an already stressed population, thinking that it contains fictional accounts of disasters that dwarf anything H.G. Wells himself could have imagined. Through my investigations, however, I have confirmed the veracity of the transmissions broadcast by the radio. It appears that the device has somehow been wired to receive signals not merely through standard radio waves, but also picking up signals from across a vast multi-verse of terror and anguish. Indeed, there are populations facing nightmares that make our last decade seem like a spirited walk in the park. The reports range from bone-chilling to utterly bizarre. Janice the Intern discovered a channel featuring an earth invaded by a rainbow’s variety of talking (and often flying) ponies. She has declared it better than produced by Hollywood today, and has taken to sneaking the radio out during extended lunch breaks to catch the latest pony updates. In order to best keep Janice on task, I have put a block on the radio’s usage. My hope is that one day we will be able to use the device to train agents to understand just how strange and varied and wonderful their cases can be. Perhaps one day, you will be fortunate enough to tune its dials for yourself. If so, I have one piece of crucial advice. If you hear your own voice communicating to you through the speakers? Run far, run fast, and don’t stop for a moment to look back.
Eagle-eyed visitors to the ministry have spotted this artifact and asked me why there are two little men in this lantern. My reply to them is, “Do I march into your house and pass judgment on the way you imprison the dangerous criminals therein?” No, of course I do not. Alas, Higgins has intimated to me that the public deserves an explanation before inappropriate rumors spread and serve unwanted attention on our office. So yes, the tiny men in question. They are known by many aliases, but referred to in the Ministry as Reginald and Murphy, and they are two of the most infamous, wily, and persistent snake oil interdimensional salesbeings in Ministry records. While many of their ilk exist only to bamboozle innocent bystanders from their hard earned paychecks, Reggie and Murph merely sought to sow chaos far and wide, for their own amusement. Indeed, their egregious exploits are well known across the many worlds who have come into contact with them. In one world, their promised plan to bring the population into alignment resulted in half of its citizens seeing any object roughly three inches to the left of where it actually was. Pills sold in another reality caused all who ingested them to briefly turn into a goose every time they said a word containing a “g.” They have even snookered the Ministry on more than one occasion causing effects that remain to this day. While I have adjusted to the routine movements of the invisible boomerangs that ricochet throughout the office, many agents have not. How were they apprehended? I confess that I do not know the specifics. Higgins was dispatched on an undercover mission to take them down. And while he was ultimately successful, I fear he has never been the same since. You can certainly ask him the story, but do not expect more than nervous mumblings in reply. He also now avoids fieldwork at all costs. But Reginald and Murphy are contained. For now. They do not look menacing, it is true. But I fear that criminals of their kind cannot be suppressed forever. One day they will make their escape. And heaven help us all if they are wearing the tiny sundresses Janice has been sewing for them, when it happens.
It is an honor to serve as Historian and Curator of the Ministry’s collection of artifacts. My role is a rewarding one, allowing me to study and document peculiarities from across a vast array of realities, while removing me from many of the dangers of field work. But the Ministry should not only be about collecting and preserving. I believe that we have a mission, indeed a calling, to create peculiarities previously unheard of. And that is why I, Agent Caracatus McGillicuddy, am working to leave my mark on the Ministry! And that is why I have begun developing the device that you see here before you. What is the device in question? I fear that I cannot tell you yet. Truthfully, I have yet to learn of its ultimate usefulness. Starting a project with a plan in mind is the best way to limit possibilities! I prefer to let the function, design, and effects become known to me as they are ready and willing. But this doodad will be important, I know! Recent experiments have shown promising results in the ways the device can interact with conscious energy focused onto it. It is regrettable that some examinees have reported unfavorable and displeasing effects from its use. However, I do not regret using potential agents as the lab rats for my experiments. My intuition is growing stronger as to which candidates possess the psychic qualities ideal for results. What results? As I said, they remain to be seen. But I am confident that we will all know them when we see them. Many of you have already been volunteered as a test subject during your visit to the Ministry. I thank you for your participation, and ask that you contact me if you have since experienced any strange and disturbing dreams involving squirrels, an increased amount of elbow hair, or if you have been contacted in any way by an entity that refers to itself as “Doug the Donkey.” Thank you in advance. For the rest of you, I only ask that you keep the knowledge I’ve shared with you today in confidence. While I consider my work to be of utmost importance, my superiors disagree. I have blocked them from seeing this post and only conduct my experiments with Ministry employees and visitors I know I can trust. Together we will change the world…somehow?
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