Published: August 23, 2006
Through the large screen holes in front of my face, I could see the crowd cheering for me as I stepped into the center of the makeshift arena. I was nervous, not because of the impending showdown, but because of possible health risks of attempting the rigors of combat while wearing something so hot and heavy.
My fingers pruned in the sweat that was collecting in my three-fingered over-sized cartoon glove. My legs bounced as I walked into the makeshift arena; it’s the only way to walk in shoes as large as mine. I lifted my hands into the air, provoking the crowd.
I turned to see my opponent, the giant man-sized cow, enter the arena. He was a big fucker, but the relative comfort of my costume gave me an edge. I also had the crowd on my side, a bevy of people shouting “Go Weiner!”
I couldn’t let them down. They were counting on me. I was a hot dog. And I was ready to grind some beef.
The space that served as our arena was meant for the kids from a local karate class to perform, one of many attractions at the festival for the grand opening of a branch of AmSouth Bank. I was there representing the Sonic I work at on 9th Ave. My costume was a giant cartoon representation of a Sonic Extra Long Cheese Coney. The man-cow was the mascot of Chick-Fill-A, or however you spell that place.
After I asked some of the karate kids to let me spin around one of their bo staffs for some pictures, the employees of AmSouth who were hosting the festival came up with having the two fast food mascots duke it out.
I’d like to take time here to just give you an idea of what I looked like in the costume. I practically act like a cartoon character anyway out of my own volition in my daily life. Putting on the costume and the big Mickey Mouse gloves and silly clown shoes gave me a chance to let that side of my personality take control and create a whole new character to live in.
There were no preconceived guidelines for how this giant bipedal meat byproduct walked, talked, and behaved. I created this character from scratch. I allowed my body to bob a little as I walked, and made sure to let my arms dangle and exaggerate each step I took. I spoke with a muttered, nervous shout, which developed from just the simple anxiety of being trapped in a hot musty costume and having to talk to strangers. It was this whole act, and the festival goers loved it.
Alright, back to the fight. Combat itself was tricky, especially since the Cow and I were both in ridiculous over-sized costumes and had no idea where a vital spot like the eyes, nose, or throat might be behind the masks we were pummeling. After about a minute the bank employees called out for the two of us to hug and make up, and that was the end of that.
In retrospect, there was no real victor, but we both got some good shots in that made for some really funny photos. I gave a bow and let the crowd cheer some more, then coolly went back to walking around and entertaining little kids.