One of my previous jobs was at Red Robin, the restaurant chain with a robin mascot named Red that walks around occasionally. One of the day’s I was working the usually person who dressed as Red called out sick and they asked me to fill in. Being a ‘Yes woman’ I agreed and also because I didn’t have much of a choice. I was taken to the break room and given clown shoes, yellow tights, a furry bird body with a rounded belly, and a large head with an extended yellow beak where I looked out of. I put the suit on and was lead throughout the restaurant. You should know, either mascots are particularly good at their craft, or they have had years of practice. Either way they make it look much easier than it actually is. What most people take for granted while enjoying a nice meet and greet from Red, the Red Robin, is that he/she is wearing a head estimated to be 20 pounds with tunnel vision and shoes 3 sizes too big.
However after awhile in the suit, I started to feel increasingly more confident. I realized that wearing this suit was like wearing the invisibility cloak from the Harry Potter movies, something I had always wanted to experience. So I shamelessly started dancing, and throwing around high fives to all who entered. At one point a young girl came through the doors and was so excited to see me. I remember thinking “what the heck, let me make her day,” so I bent down and threw my arms out for her to give me a hug. Unfortunately this moment was not something you would see during the 7th inning stretch at a baseball game. She ran full force at me but stopped short when she hit her head square off my extended beak. It’s hard to explain what the moment was like from inside the mascot head but the sound was similar to a bird flying into a screen door. All went unseen by her family, who were talking to the hostess as everything went on. So I jumped up brushed off her head with my furry gloved hand and shuffled her along to follow her parents to be seated.
I kept this gem of a story to myself, mostly because I couldn’t tell my coworkers because birds can’t talk and I forgot by the time I took the suit off. But when I remember a good awkward moment like this, what better place to share it then the internet. Hope you enjoy.
Please note: this picture is not me, but the same costume I wore.