Connoisseurs may sniff, but I think I know what it is. Promise not to laugh? The unexpected sighting of a silly cow, or an oversized lizard created for no other reason than an excess of high spirits, reminds us for a moment of our true status as beings made in the image of the creator. For a moment, we spot our true selves -- not just consumers, but makers. Of course, we use our creative energy and gifts for more serious purposes -- to build industrial empires, invent new products, discover the cure for cancer or even create great works of art that will stand the test of time. But so overflowing with creative desire are human beings that sometimes, for a silly season, we make huge parades of cows ex nihilo. Just because we can.
In Baltimore, a giant Elvis Presley fish swims through the streets with a peanut butter and banana sandwich under one fin. Is it Art? Who cares!
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.