More like attack of the giant tummy...
IN FORMER 100 JOBBERS:
I interviewed the creator of one of my fave poke-funny-at-Internet-dumbasshattery website, YouSuckAtCraigslist.com to find out where s/he worked before Internet infamy.
The creator and head writer is actually FEMALE (a big FUCK YOU to men who claim that women can't be funny) who chooses to remain anonymous because she works as a professor in a well-known Midwestern University. I asked her what her worst low-paying job was, and she responded with this anecdote involving preteen hooligans, mascot abuse, and boobs. In other words, pure WIN.
Almost reminds me of my Blackberry mascot hell, minus the fondling, plus hot glue in the face, cold rain and RIM marketing bitchfaces. By the way, Infieldmarketing.com still hasn't paid me for my mascot Job. Jerks.
The day I turned sixteen, I got a job at Chuck E. Cheese because a friend of mine already worked there. When I went for my interview, the manager seemed irrationally interested in how tall I was -- or wasn't, as the case may be; I was still under five feet tall at the age of sixteen.Her anecdote proves what I already knew: If you WIN at being a mascot, you FAIL in real life. Being rejected as a non-speaking, handicapped, sweating, suffering mascot is a HUGE compliment, thank you very much.
When I showed up for work the first day, they let me know that because I was short, I would be assigned to the Chuck E. Cheese costume. I got no training, no guidance, no practice. They just put the costume on me (which was enormous, because it was a one-size costume designed to fit people up to six feet tall) and sent me out to deal with kids. I don't even have younger brothers or sisters, so I know *nothing* about kids.
Being Chuck E. isn't an easy job, because you can't talk in the costume. When people ask you yes or no questions, that's fine, but for some reason everyone's favorite question to ask is "Chuck E., are you a boy or a girl?" You're not supposed to answer that question, but people can be really insistent about it. (Usually it's the drunk fathers who really want to know -- why do they sell beer at Chuck E. Cheese again?) You're supposed to have a handler to help the mute rat field questions like this, but if you're stuck with a dud handler it's really difficult. It's also supposed to be the handler's job to keep Chuck E. from tripping over three year olds, who have an innate talent for standing directly in the blind spots of the rat head.
Anyway, one day I was in costume and there was a troop of prepubescent Boy Scouts at the restaurant. The Boy Scouts were being very aggressive, which was even more of a problem because my handler had gone off to flirt with a co-worker. The Boy Scouts were very determined to find out whether there was a girl or boy inside the costume. One of them decided that he could figure it out by giving Chuck E. a HUGE hug. He hugged me VERY tightly -- at which point he turned to his friends and said, "Chuck E.'s a girl, and she's got tits like THIS!" (holding his hands out in front of his body in Dolly Parton proportions).
Now, both of these things are, in fact, true. I am female, and I am well-endowed. (Not quite Partonesque, though.) However, the end result was that every single Boy Scout decided they needed to give Chuck E. a "hug". A very vigorous hug, with lots of hands in places they shouldn't have been.
There's very little you can do inside the costume. You can't see anything, so you can't deflect groping grubby Boy Scout hands before they reach their intended destination. You're not allowed to talk, so you can't tell them to cut it out. You can't move quickly, so you can't get away.
So I was slowly backing up, until I found myself in a corner. At this point the Boy Scouts saw their next opportunity, which was to grab the head of the costume and pull it off -- and proceeded to run around the restaurant with Chuck E.'s head held high above them, yelling, "We beheaded Chuck E. Cheese! We beheaded Chuck E. Cheese!"
At this point my only option was to try to sneak back to the backstage area, but in order to get there I had to walk across the entire restaurant -- without a head. It was mayhem; small kids were wailing and adults were laughing (and not trying to help, mind you). Headless, I got back to the backstage area ... and was fired.
Because I "let them" do that.
The best part of it all is that when I called my mother to come get me (I couldn't even drive by myself yet!) we stopped by the mall on the way home because she needed to pick something up. While she was shopping I noticed that there was a new record store opening in the mall, so I went in to apply for a job -- and got hired on the spot. So in the space of an hour, I went from working in a rat suit (so very uncool!) to working in a record store (coolest job ever, for a teenager)!
So there, Chuck E. Cheese!
Being rejected BY a mascot is another thing entirely. Please don't tell this to Death Bear. *shudders*
BIG BEAR HUG!!!!!