All Aboard The Reality Crisis Express!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | February 28, 2020

My mum was on a train with my niece, her granddaughter, who was about six at time. A man got on who was wearing a medieval jester costume with a life-sized sword and shield. He was nice enough to let my mum take a photo while he posed, so I got to see myself how impressively realistic his costume was.

My mum is by nature an extremely friendly person and started chatting with him, and he enthusiastically told her about how he was a dragon slayer off to a renaissance fair.

During the time they talked, which was only around five or ten minutes, whenever my mum looked at my niece she was exactly the same: leaning right back in her seat, wide-eyed, silently staring at him, white as a ghost. Any attempt at engaging her was a lost cause for that train ride. You know those stories about children excited to meet someone from a fairy tale? Not this kid.

Mum later explained to me that she realised my niece was so shocked because suddenly all the stories that she’d been told through books, movies, and storytimes had just become true. There was a jester with a sword and shield catching the morning train and he was off to slay a dragon? There was going to be a whole fair of medieval people doing medieval things in Melbourne? She just couldn’t handle how real it had all become.

A couple of weeks later while with her again, my mum tried to explain, “You know that man was just dressed up to pretend and play? He wasn’t actually a dragon slayer.”

In the most despondent voice, she replied, “I don’t believe you.”

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