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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Column: Stinky Tiger

 

October 2, 2019



I was watching a football game the other day and witnessed a mascot going absolutely bananas on the sideline and it reminded me of my senior year of high school.

For the two and a half years of school, I had often watched the "Tiger" at my high school at games and it was usually a very dull performance. Finally, after watching the mascot spend most of the time sitting on the ground at a basketball game, I decided I had enough, and figured out what I needed to do to be the mascot.

I was told by the administration I would just need to ask the cheerleaders and so I cleared it with them and scheduled a home game where I could be the Tiger. The cheerleaders were all very excited because at that time I was a ball of energy very different from the person now who feels like a trip to take the trash to the dump is a major ordeal. They figured I would put on a great performance and I figured I at least wouldn't be sitting in the stands the entire game.

I showed up for the Saturday afternoon game about an hour before tipoff so I could change into the suit and get ready for what I thought would be an amazing time.

Once I put on the bottom half of the outfit, I knew I had overdressed, and it was going to be a very hot afternoon. I didn't put into consideration just how hot the extra "Tiger" fur would be.

Then I put on the head and at this point I should have just walked away from what I was doing.

The moment I put on the head it hit me with a smell I would never forget. It smelled like something had crawled and died in the mascot head and nobody had bothered to clean it up. Had I known this I would have brought some Lysol or some sort of cleaning product to remedy the stink but instead I was stuck in this nightmare.

To make matters worse having the head on only made the heat worse not to mention I could not really see anything. If something was not about two feet or closer, I couldn't really tell what or who it was and could really only see shapes. At this point, I started to get nervous that I would lose my sense of direction and wander onto the basketball court during a key part of the game.

The game soon started and despite the heat and stink I did my best and was a non-stop ball of energy the entire game. I made the commitment to not take a break and put on a show and I did. The cheerleaders and administration were all very happy with my performance and a few of my buddies on the team said they had a few good laughs watching my shenanigans while they were playing.

JACK H. SMITH

When the game was over, I was a sweaty mess and so ready to get out of the costume and never put it back on. The moment the fresh air hit me I started to feel weird and would immediately go home. Within a matter of hours, I was the sickest I had been in years and would end up missing a few days of school. I had so badly wanted to escape that costume, but it was worse on the outside.

I'm not sure if I caught something from the nastiness of the Tiger head or I had overdid it with my dancing around, but it was a miserable and for years I would nearly throw up anytime I saw a mascot.

I had just wanted to show off that I could be a better "Tiger" then what was before me and while I think I succeeded it ended miserably. I was asked several more times throughout the season if I would like to be the "Tiger" again and I always said no.

I'm glad that the other day I was able to enjoy watching the mascot on the sidelines having the time of his life and not think about the head and that smell.

 

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