5 Things I Learned While Being A Mascot


Being a Joel-of-all-trades, I was recently asked to fit myself into a mascot costume to pass out balloons and take pictures with the crowd of people at a fair. I've never been a mascot before, neither have I wanted to be a mascot. But it was just so that the guy who was supposed to be the mascot had an emergency and no one else was tall enough to fit into the costume.

So there I was, ready to take on the world as Clifford (Patrick?) the Big Red Dog. And it was then that I realized that I wasn't living in a sitcom and the reality of being a mascot hit me full in the head.

Here are 5 things I learned while being a big red dog.

#5 It's incredibly hot

Malaysia is pretty much one of the hottest countries in the world all year round. But that heat is nothing compared to putting on a mascot costume. Despite the air conditioning, a mascot costume is possibly the stuffiest place I have ever been put into, and I've been to the deserts of Egypt. Imagine, being stuck in a furnace for the duration of the time you're out and about, while sweat gathers and drips down your face. And there's no way to wipe the sweat off either. So it's basically a simmering stew of sweat. 

#4 Children are mortal enemies

I love children. They're adorable. Well, until they start attacking you, that is. There was a girl who just latched on to me, laughing and screaming, knocking me off balance. It took everything I had to not fall and land on top of her. Plus, her parents just stood by and laughed while taking a whole lot of pictures of their daughter clearly committing acts of treachery against a lovable children's character. 

#3 Mascots can't flip out

No matter how annoying the child may be, or how hot you are feeling, mascots aren't allowed to flip out. Believe me when I say that they thought of just pulling my mask off and screaming loudly was so enticing. By the 10th child I took photos with, I was ready to pass out from exhaustion and general annoyance. And still I had to smile and wave at the cameras as though I was happy. Y'know, as happy as I could be while drenched in sweat.

#2 It's fulfilling

The thing about being a mascot is that you make people happy, and I brought it by the spadefuls in my grubby little paws. Every time I shook hands with a small child and see the smile light up on his or her face, I temporarily forgot the heat and stuffiness. If you've never made a young child smile before, you should. It will be one of the most enlightening and fulfilling moments in your life.

#1 The pay...

...is pretty sweet. I mean, just look at how fat I've become. Yeah. I'm a #moneygrubber. Deal with it.

So yes, if you ever get the chance to become a mascot for anything, give it a try, You may end up drenched in sweat, cursing and swearing at times, but to be able to get paid handsomely should be enough reason for you to take up the job.

What about the smiles of the little children? Who needs that when you can see the sweet sweet smile of our Yang DiPertuan Agong on the several hundred dollar bills you have in your wallet?



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