Young kids usually don't like mascots. There's just something about a grown person in a costume running around making an ass of themselves that seems unnatural, even to small children.
Gavin has never been a huge fan of mascots. Once, when I took him to a high school basketball game, I causally walked over to the mascot (a lion) expecting that Gavin would want to give him a high-five. Well, that didn't go quite as planned; there was clawing, screaming, and crying (and none of it was by the lion). To this day, he still says, "Remember that lion at your school? I don't like that lion." Point taken.
Things on the mascot front improved slightly over the summer when he gave his beloved Paws (the Detroit Tiger mascot) a high-five. That, to say the least, was ground-breaking. Prior to that moment, he loved to see Paws on television, look for Paws at the game, but refused to go anywhere near the over-sized tiger when the opportunity presented itself.
Even though he was on good terms with Paws at the end of the summer, the mascot-love doesn't extend to all mascot-kind. On Saturday night, we went to an amateur hockey game - the Grand Rapids Griffins, to be exact. On our way to the restroom, we encountered Griff, the oh-so-friendly-mascot, who attempted to give Gavin a high-five, but Gavin shook his head no. No tears, no screaming, no problem.
|image c/o flickr.com|
Later on in the game, however, Griff wandered over to our section. He waved at Gavin down the row of seats, motioned for him to come over, but Gavin still declined. Griff tried again and again, but Gavin still wanted nothing to do with him. So, either in a desperate attempt to win over Gavin's affection, or to release some of his pent-up-rage, or maybe even because he was that into the game, what did good ole Griff do? He started pounding on the glass. Banging and pounding and shaking the glass. He shook the railing near the seats; he threw a milk crate in the air. This went on for no less than five minutes.
And then? He tried, again, to get a high-five from Gavin. And when Gavin declined (because any rational human being would clearly be skeptical of Griff at this point in time), he tried to climb over the railing and come towards Gavin.
You can probably guess how that went . . . lots of screaming, clawing to climb onto my lap as quickly as possible, and a sad little chant of "I want to go home." We spent the rest of the game keeping an eye out for Griff's location (who, by the way, didn't give up on the high-five).
Maybe he was drunk. Maybe he was on drugs. Either way, what mascot really thinks a kid (or even an adult) wants to be anywhere near him after acting like he was about to bust down the hockey rink?
I'm going to need you to calm down. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
The Parent of One Extremely Terrified Child