I'm a mascot for a day.

Humiliating myself for fun and profit.
Jan. 2 2006 10:06 AM

Mascot for a Day

My adventure as a 10-foot-tall, inflatable George Washington.

(Continued from Page 1)

Jai took me to the merchandise table, where I had the clever idea of pretending to take a T-shirt away from a girl who was buying it. She grabbed it back, and I started to run away, only to trip over my feet and land on my knees. The rest of me was protected as if by an air bag. But there I was face down on the floor, my flailing limbs waving ineffectually like a turtle on its back.

The scene must have been disturbing because I could hear Jai saying very loudly, "Oh, Big George, you're so funny when you fall down on purpose! Big George loves to fall down on purpose!" Then he came over, flipped me, and wrestled me to my feet.

Don't just stand there, do something. Click image to expand.
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We did a few more trips around the arena, then it was time for my big solo. At halftime George rides onto the floor of the arena on a Segway, while Big George dances and exhorts the crowd. Jai gave me the signal, and there I was, gyrating and waving, thrilling the fans. As I came off, I didn't fight Jai when he suggested he take over.

I joined my family, who gave me glowing reviews. "You were great!" they both said. Then they started elaborating.

"Mom, why did you knock the popcorn out of a little girl's hand?" my daughter asked.

"I did?"

"You went over to shake this little girl's hand and you spilled her popcorn and this other guy had to come clean it up and the girl was screaming, 'Mommy, Mommy, Big George knocked my popcorn on the floor!' "

She had more observations: "You looked like you were a little kid learning to walk, except you were fat and had a hangover."

Then my husband joined in: "Were you aware you kept bumping into people and they would recoil when you came by?"

"No."

"They made faces like this," my daughter continued, scrunching up her face as if someone had just squirted ketchup on her.

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