Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who wouldn't want to wear a giant bird head?

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.


Jen said...

My first thought after reading "Toledo Mud Hens" was "hmm, I wonder if Klinger was at the game."

I've been watching an inordinate amount of M*A*S*H on TVLand the past few weeks.

Anonymous said...

I can vouch for the costumes being incredibly stinky, not to mention incredibly hot. I would really love to participate in the Sausage Race at Miller Park someday, though. Just to say I did it.

Liz said...

Jen, seriously, Toledo is like a living shrine to Jamie Farr. The town loves him. And he does all of the video introductions and tons of other stuff that the Mud Hens play on their big jumbotron screen in centerfield.

My husband loves MASH, so we completed our Jamie Farr day with a visit to Tony Packo's hot dog place and ended up sitting next to the display of hot dog buns signed by the cast of MASH.

Yeah, we know how to party. :)

Liz said...

tgrfan23, I hear you. It's just like some weird siren call for me, to dress up in a bulky costume and do something ridiculous in front of thousands of sports fans.

Kirstin said...

Yeah, the hot thing is definitely an issue.
There's also the lack of vision thing and the limited mobility thing.

I wore a costume for an event and had to be led around by the hand in order to get anywhere.

NancyRoo said...

What a fantastic post! As tgrfan23 said, mascot heads get gross and stinky. I was the team mascot in high school. Like you, I am a shy, reserved person. But when a call went out for a new mascot, I felt compelled to answer. It really was fun, and I got to do the Macarena at half time. One of my few memories from high school that makes me smile.

Heto said...

As a native Toledoan, I must tell you that I am thrilled to see a picture of Muddy on your blog! I was probably at that game, as I am a huge Hens fan. I hope you had a great time!

And yes, Toledo loves Jamie Farr. I'm just glad that we've chosen him as our Favorite Native instead of Katie Holmes, which would just be awful. Jamie Farr even has an LPGA golf tournament every summer!