April 2018

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

P.S. 9 Rufus the Bobcat attacks Brutus the Nut.

Friday morning, as I ascended the high school stairs, a tall, athletic looking African-American male faced me. He was wearing a chicken suit. Head to claw. My colleague Todd lost a bet of sorts and wore a rat costume all day. By the time I saw him, he had removed the head with its bouncing  buck teeth and just had on a padded middle grey furry thing that gave him big hips and a tale. I didn't notice the tale at first, so I thought he was dressed as a middle-aged woman. The best costume at our door Sunday night was a kid wearing a carved pumpkin on her head. Not a plastic one, mind you. I hope she washed her hair.

School mascots are kind of like Halloween all year, so when our friend Tim visited last week we discussed our favorite mascots. Ann's school doesn't have a mascot; they merely mock mascots. They wear a picture of the school on their uniforms, so other teams call them "the house." I like that. Last year there was brief enthusiasm for "the fighting salmon," but those students graduated. My high school, in Raleigh, NC, was "the capitols." Come to think of it, I don't know why it was plural. We should have been more like the Stanford Cardinal, which is the color red and therefore singular. When people cheered at my high school games, they yelled, "Go Caps!"

Tim went to Ohio State, where the mascot is the Buckeye, which is apparently a kind of nut. Their mascot is a guy who wears a nut-like thing on his head. This fall when Ohio State played it's instate rival, Ohio, Ohio University's mascot Rufus the Bobcat decided to attack Ohio State's Brutus the Buckeye as he ran on the field. It's true. You can read about it on the innernets.

There are so many fine mascots: The Orphans, the Ducks and the Geoduck to name a few. A Geoduck, an obscenely large, phallic-looking oyster in the Northwest, is Evergreen College's mascot. I think it's tongue in cheek.

A decade or so ago, when Ann and I helped open a new suburban high school, Skyline, I hoped the students would choose something clever, like Thunder. I thought Skyline Thunder would would provide lots of opportunities for good sounds. The students, liking alliteration and wanting something that could run around, chose The Spartan, an ironic mascot for a lovely school on the hill with a view of the Cascades. When the student council sponsor received Sparky the Spartan's outfit in the mail, she though Sparky's smile a bit menacing, so she turned that frown upside down. Sparky looked drunk, so she turned that grin back again.


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