I love mascots. Seriously, for me, they are the highlight of any sporting event. Who doesn’t love an animal or inanimate object that stands on all fours and, for the most part, acts human. Well, like a very hyper, Ritalin-needing human. That doesn’t speak. And seems to require constant attention.
The truth is–I WANT to be a mascot. Perhaps not a sports mascot. I’d live in fear of the other team’s fans. I’d like to be an advertising mascot. Well, on nice mild days. Those costumes must be a bitch in the heat. The head probably absorbs sweat like a sponge. It would probably weigh a ton by the end of the day with all that water-weight. And what if it hasn’t been dry-cleaned since the last person’s perspiration oozed all over it? Ew!
Okay, so my mascot dreams do have limitations. But on a not-too-hot and not-too-cold summer day with a zero probability of precipitation, I would love to dress up as something cute with eyes.
I once got to spend a day as the Planter’s Peanut. That was fun. Who doesn’t love a monocled nut? Or is a peanut a legume? Doesn’t matter. The fact is that I got to be a fictional and beloved character for a day. I admit that the costume wasn’t exactly designed for someone who is as “vertically challenged” as I am. Mr. Peanut had no legs. Just a body and feet.
I had the opportunity to be an Instant Teller Machine once, but, of course, I was too short. Apparently, Instant Tellers are at least 5’7″. Isn’t there a law against height discrimination? Is there a mascot union that I can file some sort of grievance with? At least I can take comfort in the fact that the whole Instant Teller mascot thing was cancelled. The tall people just didn’t want to do it. Go figure.
1) So, I decided to look up some mascots on-line and choose my next gig. I discovered that produce-based mascots are all the rage. Particularly with sports teams. This seems strange to me. I hadn’t realized that vegetables have so much street cred. I’ll have to keep a closer eye on my tossed salad. God only knows what trouble such a large group of greens could get in to. Peer pressure.
Here’s a sampling of what I found.
I am partial to Artie, but I doubt he intimidates his foes. Not only is he an edible fellow with a cute name, but he has a so-dopey-looking-he’s-got-to-be-a-nice-guy smile and the same stance and mannerisms as Barney. The dinosaur, not Rubble.
In case it isn’t obvious, the WuShock is a manly bale of wheat.
2) There are a lot of product mascots that I love. If I am completely honest, my “mascot bucket list” (I can’t believe that I just admitted I have one of those in a public forum) would include poking the doughboy’s belly, partying with Red and Yellow M&M, shaking the Hamburger Helper Hand, opening the door for the Excel Gum garlic (and teaching the donut some yoga for better balance), and punching the Snuggle bear. I know that last bit sounds cruel, but come on–he’s nauseating and spends way too much time in women’s laundry.
I would, however, give the Burger King ‘King’ a very wide birth. He’s just creepy. For one thing, he parts his hair in the middle, which only highlights the large cow-lick he has on each side of his head. Plus, he has no bottom teeth. He supposedly lives on burgers, so how the hell does he chew them?
Plus, I would never trust him around my children.
Well, Burger King seems to think that children and adults alike will want to dress up as their social deviant “royal.” This horrific mask is available in several sizes. If you’d like to buy one, seek help. (Oops, did I say that out loud?) You can purchase this here: http://www.buycostumes.com/Burger-King-King-Mask-Adult/27401/ProductDetail.aspx
3) In my opinion, the Arby’s Oven Mitt was awesome. Despite the fact that his voice belonged to Tom Arnold. It’s not the mitt’s fault.
Oven Mitt wasn’t around for very long, which I really don’t understand. Ronald McDonald was employed for years and let’s face it–clowns are creepy and he is creepy even by clown standards. And don’t even get me started on the Noid.
My favourite commercial starring this beloved mitt is the one where he attempts to wear glasses, but discovers (much to his shock and dismay) that he has no ears.
I did, however, find this gem:
So, if you require a mascot to dress up as something cute with eyes, but is shorter than the average mascot, and in no way resembles a clown, let me know. Just get the costume dry-cleaned first.
Photo Credits: WuShock & Artie (10awesome.com), Okra (sports.yahoo.com), Kernel (Grand Forks Herald), Oven Mitt (Flickr-Roger Coss).