It’s Dinosaur Day!

31 Mar

Oh, you didn’t know? Let me explain.

When I was four I was given Land Before Time on video for Christmas. I watched it compulsively, soaking everything about dinosaurs into my tiny child mind-sponge. What I took away from the film was this: dinosaurs are awesome and they can probably talk. My brother’s brontosaurus figurines were dusted off and I started constructing tiny dino societies in my doll’s house. My godmother started constructing my most treasured possession: the dinosaur patchwork quilt I got on my 6th birthday.

And then came Disney’s Fantasia. I can’t be the only adult still bearing scars from that movie. Despite the dancing mushrooms, the frolicking Pegasus, the tiny psychotic axes, what I took away from that movie was dinosaurs are awesome, they probably talk and they all died horrible deaths under a dust cloud the size of the Gulf of Mexico.

This distraught me. The adults of the house quickly learnt that upon hearing the music, they’d have to launch themselves at the VCR before I was traumatised further. I fixated on the injustice of it. The dinosaurs died and nobody told me! Why wasn’t it on the news? Why aren’t people talking about it? DOES NOBODY ELSE CARE? So, like good the charity PR I’d turn out to be, I decided something had to be done. My solution was Dinosaur Day.

The day chosen was the last day of daylight savings. As people prepare to turn back their clocks it seems appropriate that we take the time to remember our fallen, reptilian brethren. It quickly became a pivotal point in the Cussen family calendar.

We would get together for a commemorative family feast featuring a slather of prehistoric food. From memory, these included avocados, custard apples, artichokes and large green Easter eggs. We’d all sit at the table while I shared my tiny clusters of dino knowledge. I would list  all my favourite breeds, separated into carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. And all this with my heart heavy with grief about their untimely,suffocating dust death.

Sadly, over the years the campaign lost its focus as I broadened the parameters to include other extinct creatures. The concept never caught on. I was much more willing to mourn a pterodactyl than a dodo.

So, readers, today of all days please join me in reviving our forgotten national day. Take a moment to eat an avocado, crack open the scaly hide of a custard apple and remember what we’ve lost.

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4 Responses to “It’s Dinosaur Day!”

  1. mywithershins March 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    My kids loved Land Before Time, too. I think it is still one of my daughter’s all-time favourites and her favourite toy was a dino egg that transformed into a baby dinosaur. I’m sure she would be more than happy to join you in reviving Dinosaur Day! 🙂

  2. fixitdearhenry April 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Thank you! I got celebratory messages from my dad and sister, 20 years on. The memory of the dinosaurs is alive in all our hearts.

  3. That is a great idea and in honour of dinosaur next year I will post up some dinosaur inspired recipes! Lucky I have a whole year though because it will take some time to think of an appropriately prehistoric dish 🙂

  4. Ally May 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Ahhh…Land Before Time! It’s the VHS equivelant of The Dark Crystal. No childhood is complete without either.

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