When Dorothy the Dinosaur came on stage my friend lost his shit. The whole crowd lost their shit and I’m sure the less-mature six-year-olds lost control of their actual shit. Anyway, I was the only kid who didn’t lose his shit. Far from it. This chubby fucking dinosaur on stage looked totally unlike the dinosaurs I’d seen in that prehistoric BBC documentary Mum had bought me for my birthday. Its teeth were soft and blunt and its black eyes didn’t move at all in their cotton sockets. It started doing this dance that the whole crowd started to mimic. My friend lost his shit again and started throwing his body around like he was having some sort of seizure. Concerned, I tried to grab his attention but when he turned to me I realised his mind was gone. Wide-eyed and high on red frogs, lost to this world. I felt incredibly alone amongst this ocean of twisting bodies. And it only got worse when these four grown men in different coloured skivvies ran onto stage to join the dinosaur. I’d never heard the sound of a thousand kids screaming. It was nightmarish. These four men had massively wide smiles plastered across their faces and were all wiggling fingers in my direction. They looked manic and predatory. I didn’t want to move the way they moved or join in with my hyperactive friend. So I scowled at them with my arms folded across my chest. Who are they? I thought. Who is this fat dinosaur with the embarrassing hat on?
At one point a giant dog and a pirate came on stage and I instantly recognised the pirate as the blue Wiggle. A classic change of costume. My friend screamed in my face THAT’S A PIRATE!!!!! and I said no, Alexander, it’s the blue Wiggle. But he didn’t understand. As I said, his mind was gone. Seeing him like this made me angry, and I felt like saying to him that I never really enjoyed going to his house on the weekends and that I hated playing math games on his boxy computer. But I knew the comment would have been wasted.
When they all started singing about hot potatoes and a big red car I turned away and headed for the exit. I’d seen a big red car on the Pacific Highway up to Brisbane and Dad made these amazing hot potatoes at home sometimes. I didn’t see what the big deal was. When Mum saw me approaching her at the back of the hall she sighed. The whole thing was her idea. She apologetically peeled away from Alexander’s mum and walked me out to the car. As she clipped my seatbelt she kissed me on the forehead and said that we’d try something else next time.