The Curators Nightmare

Someone who manages a museum is called a curator. Imagine that you are a curator. What problems could you possibly have? What nightmares about your work could wake you in the night? Surely, museum curators have jobs with little stress or worry.

Perhaps the curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge thought this as he went to work one day last week. On his way into the office, perhaps he passed a group of three beautiful and valuable Chinese vases. For years the museum had displayed the vases on a windowsill on a staircase. But they are not there now. For, later that morning a visitor came into the museum. One of his shoelaces was undone. He tripped on the shoelace. He fell down the stairs and crashed into the three vases on the windowsill. He smashed – not one, not two – but all three of the vases into smithereens.
Other visitors took photographs of the accident on their mobile phones.

The next day many of the newspapers carried pictures of the man lying on the floor, surrounded by pieces of the broken vases. Fortunately he was not badly hurt. The museum say that they hope to repair the vases. I wish them luck.
Note: "to smash something into smithereens" means to smash it into hundreds of tiny pieces.