Monday, February 20, 2012

Carnival 2012

You won't believe what happened this year at one of the carnival parades. I've told you already about the carnival feast and so, now it's time for a bone-chilling tale.

We live in the largest city of Holland ...that doesn't have a train station. Maybe to compensate for it, or maybe for the forty-odd thousand inhabitants, we have our own local parade during the carnival. And this year we decided to attend it. The weather was bitchy as hell, alternating from some short sunny moments to rain that turned to hail and sleet, but we didn't care, cause we wanted the little one to see the affluence of silliness in its prime.

We didn't wear any costume this time, we preferred to be watchers only, but let me be clear on this, as it seems confusing. By "no costumes" I meant no parrot-like carnival outfit. We DID have clothes on, though. Which made me congratulate myself when I saw a few shivering girls wearing short pants or skimpy skirts and no stockings or something to cover her legs. Luckily they had the boots up above the knees, otherwise they'd have frozen. Especially since the high heels would not allow them to move swiftly. On the other hand, very nice costumes, abundant make up, I admired them for a lengthy while, until my wife took me away visibly not amused. She said they were working there, on an early shift, no idea what she meant.

What was the best costume? Well, you know, every city has a kind of a jester, someone who walks around dressed in a particular way and either claims that the CIA are onto us big time, or the communists will take the power at the end of the month, or he saw Jesus yesterday and he told him the secret secret of redemption for just everyone of us. You got it, right? We are the proud owners of the Jesus guy. A man all dressed in white in a wheelchair, with a rose sticking out, white beard, etc, always preaching. He was present as well. I ain't kidding at all, if I hadn't seen him filling a bottle of beer with air in 5.2 seconds and dancing happily afterwards I wouldn't have believed my wife when she told me, laughing, that the guy was disguised.

Anyway, the weather went from bad to worse and we thought of bringing the joy to an end and go to the car. Not a minute after, I heard a voice behind me, speaking in English with a pronounced German accent.

"Ah zo, boy, do you sink you're funny?"

"Oh, my god", I thought immediately, without turning, "they are the schlager singers, they found me". But I still hoped it was just someone who tried to rob me.  With this great hope in mind, I turned back, determined to hand in my wallet without any fuss.

In front of me stood a man around 50-55, dressed up like someone from a royal court. Not a king or an emperor though, someone lower in rank, but not very much lower. And it was an eerie mystery in his appearances, but I couldn't put the finger on it.

"Vee know everysing", he continued, building up more mystery.

"Oh, shit", I went again silently in my mind, "don't tell me that we've got the CIA guy as well. It's not fair, we have the Jesus fellow already. Two's crowded!"

"Are you proud of vat you did?"

"Jesus, how could he know? No one saw me when I sent obscene messages from my boss's computer to the entire department. And that was a year ago. And they already sacked someone for that. No, it must be something else."

"Excuse me, sir", I dared speak up when I realised he wouldn't sing or rob me, "but do we know each other?"

"Trying to be funny again, right? Zat's all you can do, bring people down, say vords zat are not true, cast a bad light onto zeir life. And vy? You sink zat you represent zee people? Zis is vat you sink? Zat you know zee people and vat people vant?"

I lost him. I had no idea what he was talking about. However, I started to like his quaint posture, of a man from the days of yore. What if I answered him in the same way, maybe we'll get to understand each other.

"Sir, said I, or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore ..."

"Go on, mock me as much as you like, funny boy. But mark my vords, people don't know vat zey vant. Zey vud have said faster horses had zey been asked, no automobile. Ve know better vat our people vant, so don't you ever speak again about sings you do not comprehend. As for me, I'll keep an eye on you".

I knew what was strange about this guy. His costume was a real real one, not the 5 euro carnival rag that everyone else was wearing. It must have been more expensive than my car. Just before I wanted to tell him that, he produced a business card from his pocket, with the coat or arms duly embossed on it. In the middle of it, just one name, in handwritten letters: Ludwig. Yes, that Ludwig!

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