Free Stuff from Ken Ham!

This will shame you, dear reader. You probably thought that Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else, was no more than a crude carnival pitchman, hawking tickets for his creationist attractions and selling trinkets in their gift shops. But you’re so wrong!

It’s true that ol’ Hambo is famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, and for building Ark Encounter, an exact replica of Noah’s Ark. But if you thought those activities were no different from selling tickets to see sideshow attractions like midgets, the bearded lady, and other oddities, then the latest post at the AIG website will change your opinion forever.

The title is Ark Encounter Announces Special Free Events.. That’s right, dear reader. The title says “free.” It’s adapted from a news release, and it has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In response to requests from visitors, the grounds of the Ark Encounter will be open to the public for shopping and dining at no charge (except for the cost of parking), from November 1, 2017, to February 28, 2018.

You read that correctly. “No charge.” Well, except for parking. Then the press release says:

Guests will be able to observe up close the outside of the impressive 510-foot-long Ark, shop inside its large gift store offering extensive fair-trade items and at other artisan stores, and grab a meal at Emzara’s buffet restaurant just a few steps from the Ark. The various stores at the Ark Encounter feature one of the largest inventories of fair-trade items in the US.

The store items and the meals aren’t free, of course, but after you park, it won’t cost you anything to wander around and gawk at what’s available. The press release tells us:

Also at no cost during that time frame, guests can stroll through the ever-expanding Ararat Ridge Zoo and petting zoo area to view their exotic collection. Located behind the Ark, the zoo showcases zebras, red kangaroos, Tibetan yaks, llamas, alpacas, camels, ostriches, emus, and more.

Wow — you can stroll through Hambo’s zoo! The press release continues:

As visitors enjoy the Ark Encounter grounds and zoo for free during this time (parking $10 per car) from November 1 through February 28, they can purchase tickets at the usual price to go inside the Ark and experience the three massive decks of world-class exhibits.

This is great! You can buy tickets if you want to, but it’s not required. You can just wander around outside the ark if that’s your pleasure. Let’s read on:

Each evening, as the Ark is lit up in rainbow lights, guests can purchase a Christmas buffet at a reasonable cost, meet adorable zoo animals, listen to live music, shop for one-of-a-kind gifts, including dozens of fair-trade items, and much more. The gift shops display unique, hand-made gift items that help support underprivileged people around the world.

You’ll have to pay for some of that, but it’s certainly understandable. You can’t expect Hambo to give everything away.

There’s a bit more information, but you’ve got the general idea. Now be honest, dear reader, don’t you feel ashamed about what you’ve been thinking about ol Hambo?

However, it occurs to us that you could save yourself a trip to Kentucky and just visit your local shopping center. You can wander around there for free too — and they probably won’t even charge you for parking. But it’s not the same. Shopping centers are so … commercial. That’s crude and terrible. But if you visit Hambo’s attractions, you’ll have a spiritual experience. And it won’t cost you anything — except parking.

So there you are, dear reader. Whatever you may have thought about ol’ Hambo in the past, you’ll want to revise it in the light of this new information.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Free Stuff from Ken Ham!

  1. Michael Fugate

    Or you can sit at your computer and look at pictures of the Ark (if you must) and shop for almost anything. You won’t even need to pay for parking. Not to mention, you won’t pay Ken.

  2. Hambo is incapable of using the word “free” without the asterisk (free*). Hambo would sell air if he could. Also keep in mind that “parking” would include dropping someone off (or a group). Once you’ve crossed over into never-never land you’re paying to get out. Yes that’s right you don’t pay for parking as much as pay to leave the parking lot.
    I thought the gift shop and buffet were physically inside the ark, but I must be wrong on that one. Pretty sneaky Hambo…

  3. Derek Freyberg

    Ah, but the Hamster is still selling stuff.
    See for the Hamster hawking Halloween booklets:
    “Halloween has its obvious downsides, but we can use this day to share the hope of Christ with others by welcoming trick-or-treaters with some candy (or maybe a healthier snack!) and a gospel booklet. Our A Biblical and Historical Look at Halloween booklets are a great way to introduce older trick-or-treaters or their parents to the history of this day, fascinating facts about Halloween, and, most importantly, the gospel message. These tracts are available from our store in different-sized packs at a discounted price.”
    The booklet is written by Bodie Hodge, so the scam is all in the family.

  4. The “obvious downside” presumably being its contribution to tooth decay.

  5. I can wander around the parking lot for free? And look at the EXACT replica of the ark built by an army of engineers and carpenters with machine tools that is EXACTLY like the one Noah and his sons built with adzes and hatchets…! Its a miracle. I’m hopping on my donkey and heading over. Should be there by 2019 or so. Save me a spot.

  6. Hmm. Troy said:
    “Hambo would sell air if he could.
    That might be a good angle for Ham. He could claim that some of the air molecules people are breathing in his ark have been on the earth for 6000 years (but no more, of course). Upon entering the ark, people would be given a breathing monitor, call it an ark-a-lator, then charging them maybe $2 each time a person inhales and $5 for them to exhale.

  7. I don’t know for sure, but the Hamster’s “bargain” smells like a gimmick to prop up attendance. Can it be that even Bible-believin’, Gof-fearin’ fundamentalist are getting tired of Huckster Ham’s house of hooey?

  8. “… if you thought those activities were no different from selling tickets to see sideshow attractions like midgets, the bearded lady, and other oddities …”

    That never occurred to me since many things in that list actually exist, unlike Noah and his big box.

  9. Here here @Eric Lipps,

    it’s the classic “increase traffic during sparse times” tactic.

  10. adorable animals
    Those innocent creatures whose drowning is being celebrated.

  11. November to February, eh?

    I’ve never visited northern Kentucky in winter, but perhaps someone better informed than I can describe the weather there at that time of year. I have the sneaking feeling that there would be quite a few days when wandering about outdoors and looking at a building from the outside would not be an unalloyed pleasure.

    Could it be that Kenny is resorting to whatever might get the numbers up, on account of he can read a graph line real good, and the Ark Park’s is headed south for the winter? Eric Lipps thinks yes. Me, too.

  12. TomS makes an inspirational point about

    [t]hose innocent creatures whose drowning is being celebrated

    Surely, using animatronic replicants (such as Disney use in their theme parks) Ham could create a truly thrilling aquarium in which the paying punters can witness a vivid re-enactment of the moment all the beasts of the land paid the price of Adam and Eve’s transgression! Something like:

    And now, ladies and gentlemen, as the heaven-sent tsunami rolls over the earth:

    SEE the searing terror in the eyes of the blindsided stegasaurae as they vainly flail in the engulfing waves!

    SEE the cute little forest critters brutally wrenched from their innocent frolics and gambols as they are plunged into the raging torrents!

    WATCH the pathetic failing of lambs, puppies, and kittens in the flood waters of doom!

    And above all, remember and reflect, IT IS ALL ADAM AND EVE’s FAULT!

  13. Can we ask the red kangaroos how they knew when it was time to hop over to the Ark? Come to think of it, a similar question applies to all the animals mentioned except, perhaps,the camel

  14. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Ha. Ham’s attempting to prepare for the long winter slide into the red ink as the ticket sales trickle down below what it costs to keep the lights on, the heat on, and paying a crap wage to the oath signing minimum wagers.

    And who is it that’s potentially going to show up to pay parking for buying something to eat and let the kids pet a few animals? It’s not out-of-towners. If anyone it’s the locals who are already getting the shaft on the taxes Ham should be paying instead of leeching off the community like the public parasite that he is.

    Oh well.

  15. I’ve been to Kentucky in November. It was rather glum with trees barren of leaves, overcast, and short days. There is snow in Kentucky, about 1 foot of snow per year. This does create a bit of an issue for the ark in a snow field. Not how most creationists imagined it in Sunday school.
    Something Hambo might be tuning into is selfie mania. For example the private owners of the house used in filming outside scenes in “Breaking Bad” (where the pizza ends up on the roof) have had a huge problem of non-stop selfie snapping visitors stopping to make selfies and more than one pizza tossed on the roof.
    @Rikii-I suspect a lot of out of towners might stop in for the Arkie-selfie. For one thing it recasts the Ark into what it actually is, a road side stop rather than a full day destination. It might get some more casual visitors who are just going thorough. The price difference is huge $42 per adult vs $10 for the entire car. If Hambo has done his homework he’d realize that more than $100 to visit his Ark is cost prohibitive to a lot of people, especially non-religious who just want to take a few selfies and move on.

  16. @PB: “Can we ask …..”
    According to Dutch creacrap site you can’t.

    “Soms was de discussie leerzaam en verhelderend, maar steeds vaker zien we dat dezelfde vragen en opmerkingen door dezelfde persoon onder verschillende artikelen worden geplaatst.”

    “Sometimes the discussion was educational and clarifying, but more and more ofted we see that the same questions and same remarks are placed by the same person underneath different articles.”

    Questions like yours, that never have been addressed in any article.