It’s the height of Carnival at the moment, which in some parts of Germany (the Catholic parts, anyway) means dressing up in costumes, whatever age you happen to be. The effect is a bit like a sort of less spooky Halloween, with clowns instead of ghouls; in fact, Halloween didn’t really get started in Germany until 1991, when Carnival was cancelled due to the outbreak of the first Gulf War and, by the time October came around, people were wondering what to do with their costumes.
So now Germans dress up twice a year, just to prove they know as much as anyone about the art of letting their hair down, and today there were jesters, scarecrows and random members of the rock band Kiss aplenty.
Sometimes, though, you learn something new. Today, for example, I learned that dinosaurs have feelings, too.
The dinosaur I saw was about four years old, and was clutching a Spongebob Squarepants toy. She was green, with a long tail that dragged along the ground behind her and so was looking a bit grubby. The blood of her last victim (which apparently wasn’t Spongebob Squarepants) was dribbling down her chin, and she was walking reluctantly about three feet behind her parents, who unaccountably weren’t dinosaurs at all.
It seemed that this dinosaur’s feelings had been hurt, and so was scowling in a manner that suggested a recent tantrum. It was the type of four-year-old scowl which, even though her eyes were fixed at a spot about six inches in front of her toes, was clearly directed at the back of her parents’ necks and conveyed the message: “You are dessert.”
I was glad I was on the other side of the street. Dinosaurs do indeed have feelings, but it would be an act of folly to try to pacify one. Especially a green one.