Yesterday I watched a woman of indeterminate age rebuke passersby in front of the main library. Her skin the colour of cheap whiskey, she screeched only one word – ‘joke’. One word again and again at the top of her lungs as she lunged towards a cluster of giggling, jeans-clad preteens, an elegantly-suited briefcase who strode past like a model for the newest anal deodorant. No one dared to make eye contact with the woman. No one spoke to her. No one stopped to listen to her story, the subtle modulations of her single word, though many of these people carried library books. Could an instinctive sense of irony have led her to pick that spot? The compassionate among the good citizens of Bonn probably thought, how sad. Others, that could be me. Where there was no indifference, there were embarrassment and shame. I too found I could only look at her from the corner of my eye. ‘Joke,’ she flung at me as I scuttled away. Who among us isn’t afraid of the Jester?