Confession: I am one of my university’s mascots.
Confession #2: So is my super awesome friend, Savannah.
I sat in the office, awkwardly looking around at the plaques and banners I had never seen. Surrounded by what seemed like incredibly important people, I felt naked and nervous. They are all staring… Just staring! Everything about this encounter was awkward. We all sat crowded around a round table that was pushed up agains a wall and I mean, I just didn’t fit. The office had no windows and felt like a closet. The bleeping of a walkie-talkie was distracting and nerve rattling.
Around the table sat a university police officer, the university’s athletic director, and the director of campus recreation. They were all here to listen to my assault claim I was reporting to the university police.
Confession #3: I’ve been bullied by the “real athletes” while mascoting my little heart out.
And it’s hilarious. Here’s the back story….
This past week as been Homecoming at the University of Hipsterville. Homecoming is the best and the worst week of the entire year. Homecoming is fun and homecoming is stressful. Homecoming is long and homecoming flies by. As a senior, this was my last Homecoming week as a student.
It was insane as hell and it was glorious.
Homecoming is like the Super Bowl of mascoting and it is fucking exhausting but also incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. Our university’s mascot is a bear. The physical mascot suit is a big, ugly, smelly, wooly bear with matted, dirty with numerous rips and tears. Savannah and I get so freakin’ hot in that suit that we constantly lay on the cool tile of the mascot locker room and joke that we are acting just like big dogs in the summer. It just now occurred to me how incredibly gross that floor probably is… Whatever, we lived.
For our Homecoming basketball game, we played a double header against our rival school, the University of Preppyville. Fuck the University of Preppyville.
I say this, not because I care a ton about sports. I couldn’t see our of the bear’s teeth worth shit to watch the game if I wanted to. I say this because I was bullied by the men’s basketball team while bear-ing it up. Now, Savannah and I constantly joke that we have been felt up by the entire school and it’s fucking true. No one know’s that we are women under the massive wooly suit and, as ironic as it is at a school that is nearly 70% female, everyone just assumes we are dudes. People chest bump us and give us approving pats/slaps right on the titties like, every game. So it’s fair to assume that the Preppyville men’s team had zero idea I am a chick and they have like, 1 foot and 100 pounds on me.
4 HUGE. Black. Dudes. pushed me into the men’s locker room while mockingly shouting “Beat ’em up” “kidnap ’em”. First of all, ew. No thanks, don’t wanna go in y’alls locker room and see your willy or smell your sticky feet. They smacked my massive bear head around and kept me cornered against the wall. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t threatened. It was all silly but it was also annoying.
“Could you identify them? Did you see any jersey numbers, tattoos?” one officer asked me. Uhhhh have you ever put that head on?! I’m lucky that I don’t run into poles and shit. NO I couldn’t identify anyone if my life depended on it. “Did they touch you sexually in any form?” the officer spoke flatly, staring straight into my eyes making me extremely uncomfortable. I squirmed awkwardly and practically snorted “they definitely had no idea I’m a girl, so no…”.
While in the locker room I finally got frustrated and threw a pathetic punch and smacked a 6 foot something dude in the neck and walked mentally cursing. Recounting the story later to Savannah I realized that throughout the entire encounter (that probably only lasted 30-45 seconds) I never broke character. It’s like it didn’t even occur to me that I could shout, scream, yell at them that I’m a chick they are pushing around because HELLO! Mascot rule #1 is DO NOT TALK.
Dedication, bitches. Dedication.
I find out today that the Athletic Director told the Dean of Students about the “incident”. The SAME Dean of Students who knows farrrrrr too much about my life and I already can’t look in the eye. Cooool, this Dean probs thinks I’m CRAY CRAY.
I’m not, but my life is. And that my friends, is the hilarity that is being assaulted in a giant, dirty, bear suit and the hilarity of the shit that happens in my weird, weird, life. It could be a sitcom… And I love it.