We all have dreams. Some of them involve Orlando Bloom as our pool boy. Others might involve winning a million dollars...and hiring Orlando Bloom as our pool boy. For many years, I’ve had a dream, the flames of which were fanned this weekend when the husband and I went to a Toledo Mud Hens minor league baseball game. My dream is this: someday, I would like to be a team mascot.
I should clarify: I don’t actually want a team to make me, Liz, their mascot as they would, say, a bulldog or small goat. No, I’d like to be the person to put on the mascot costume and shoot t-shirts into the stands, race other humans dressed as hot dogs or presidents around the ballpark and stand on the opposing team’s dugout doing “YMCA” with my enormous misshapen mascot hands.
This has been a latent dream of mine for many years, but I fell in love with the idea all over again when I saw the Mud Hens’ TWO – yes, TWO – mascots at work this past Saturday. Their prime mascot, Muddy, is a Mud Hen with a jersey and hat on. He seems like the responsible one. His girlfriend – or at least I’m assuming there’s some sort of relationship going on, what with the way their hollow, lifeless papier mache-headed eyes stared at each other across the diamond – is called Muddona and she wears a jersey, hat and a cheerleader outfit. She is the party animal. Like if these two were the B-52s, Muddy would be a reticent Fred Schneider and Muddona would totally be Kate Pierson except with feathers instead of a beehive hairdo.
Here’s why being a mascot would be awesome, especially for an introvert: if you make sure never to reveal your secret identity, you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want. Seriously. As a plain old normal human being, I wouldn’t be caught dead doing the Chicken Dance. If I’m dressed as Muddonna, well, I’m compelled to do so by the laws of mascot nature. Also, I would delight children by the thousands and, best of all, be able to chase and/or mercilessly tease drunken loudmouth adults all in the name of good fun. Say I grab the hat of some lout and throw it onto the field between innings while NOT wearing the costume. I get instantly arrested, right? Wearing a mascot costume, I am a hero to everyone in that section and hundreds of people go home that night, smiling and reminding each other, “Wasn’t it great when that ginormous chicken humiliated that guy?” And they’d all nod and sigh in quiet reflection and awe. Wearing that costume is like being a superhero but without actually having to risk your life and save anyone, especially someone you might not like. Wolf Blitzer, for example.
The only downside of being a mascot that I can think of is that the suits probably smell really bad. That seems like a small price to pay, though, for outrageous personal freedom and the chance to dress as a giant chicken and lead your team to victory. In fact, if I had kids, I think they’d be pretty proud. Or embarrassed. Either way, it’s a win-win.