I’d like to introduce you to my new neighborhood friend. Meet the extraterrestrial who moved in a few streets away from us when the lock down started. It’s our very own COVID ET, also nicknamed by us the Mannekin Pis of Braesheights. The story of our Braesheights Mannekin Pis is not as glamorous as the original and it’s traditions not yet as well established as its Belgian cousin in the center of Brussels. It’s early days, give it a chance to catch up.
It hasn’t saved a king’s castle from fire by putting it out with its urine and hasn’t been the symbol of our neighborhood for hundreds of years, but it is supported by a dedicated team of wardrobe managers, who change its outfit daily — with some humor and forethought. It has been a source of delight and wonder for our nightly promenades through our oak-lined streets, similar to the tourists wandering from the Grand Place in Brussels.
Even if we go on an abbreviated walk after supper, we have to make it at least as far as our friendly COVID ET to see what creative theme and costume it’s donning for the day. My favorite to-date was the wash-day Monday outfit with clothesline and all.
One evening I spoke with the owners out in the front yard to learn more. Apparently they were clearing out the garage at the beginning of the lock down and found this old mannequin from a long ago Halloween party. Rather than than get rid of it they decided to keep it around a little longer and have some fun with it as a distraction. I hope they don’t get rid of it too quickly. It’s a highlight of our walks after supper.
I ran round this morning to see if COVID ET was also standing down after the “Stay At Home” order expired. I was crushed. The porch was completely empty. ET was gone without a trace. So disappointing. I was tempted to knock on their door and plea for a month’s extension, or at least an encore performance. I restrained myself.
When I reported back home, my husband suspected a prank thief. My daughter was convinced they had just taken ET indoors for a little privacy while changing out costumes. I hoped one of them was right — I’m not ready to give up my new friend just yet.
I waited until after lunch and ran round there again to see if one of their theories held water. And voila! There it was back on the porch with a new outfit ready for another day entertaining its fans. If these people have external cameras, I might start showing up as a stalker! Sorry.
So, what was today’s theme / costume? I’m sharing here below, so you can decide for yourself. Theories at our house are a) Game of Thrones, or b) Voldemort, or c) Puff the Magic Dragon with a vampire frolicking in the autumn mist? None of those options fit quite right.
Please help us solve the mystery! What do you think?
Thanks to our neighbors for bringing a little magic into the same-ness of our lives these days.