When I was in my early twenties, I worked for a large department store.
Every year, we celebrated 'Take Your Child To Work Day'. All the employees would bring their kids to the store to greet customers behind the counters, fold shirts in the back rooms, and sweep the floors in the break room. Basically, it was an excuse to abuse child labor laws and get all our cars washed, as we sent them out to the parking lot around noon with buckets of soapy water. (I highly recommend getting a small child to wash both the inside and outside of your car- their small, nimble fingers can really get into any hard-to-reach place.)
In conjunction with Take Your Child To Work Day, my company always brought out Blobby, a large, fuzzy, orange, blob-looking mascot costume- and once a year, they talked one employee into wearing it all day to entertain the children, wave at cars in front of the store, and participate in a humiliating act of self-degradation.
2003 was my year.
"I am NOT wearing that fucking costume," I complained to my manager, arms folded in defiance.
My boss glared at me over her glasses. "You've been late to work four times this week. You're wearing it- or consider yourself fired."
"Define late," I hedged, trying to figure a way out of my impending doom.
"Showing up at noon reeking of vodka when you were due at 9am is late," she barked. "Get into the costume and entertain those goddamn kids- and remember- NO talking when you're Blobby- Blobby does not speak. Blobby only waves at people and gives hugs."
"Blobby sounds like a fucking loser," I pouted.
An hour later I was in the Blobby costume- it was hot and stuffy inside. The costume was over six feet tall, so my view to the outside world was through Blobby's nostrils.
"The children are waiting for you!" The man from human resources announced gaily in his office, after securing Blobby's tail to my ass. "Have fun! And remember- you can't talk. Blobby does NOT speak- okay?" He swung open the door and pushed me into the store, where all the spawn were waiting.
"BLOBBY!" Shouted roughly 8-10 children, all waving their arms wildly and jumping up and down with excitement as I walked through the door.
I waved and waited for them to calm down. "What's up?" I asked.
The children's jaws dropped in shock.
"Blobby- you- you talk?!" Asked one little boy, his eyes wide. They had all hung out with silent Blobby previously.
"Of course I talk," I scoffed. "I just had strep throat before and couldn't speak."
"What's strep throat?" Asked a little blond girl.
"It's what you get when you drink to much and make out with shady-looking guys in bars," I explained.
"Oh," she said, nodding wisely.
"You're a girl, Blobby?!" The first boy asked, still in shock.
"I am- girls can do anything- they can be doctors, lawyers, and even pathetic, costumed, department store mascots. And don't you kids forget it." Bored, I glanced around. "You guys want to ride the escalator up and down for a couple hours?"
"Yeay!" Shouted the children.
Two hours later, I was in the break room with the kids and answering a flurry of questions. They couldn't get over the fact that I could talk, and had a million questions for me.
"Where do you live, Blobby?" Asked the oldest of the group, a six-year-old who seemed suspicious.
"I live in the basement of this building," I answered.
"The basement?!" He asked, stunned. "Isn't it cold down there?!"
"Oh, no- not at all. The basement has large coal ovens in it- the same coal ovens that heat this department store. I shovel large amounts of coal in the hot ovens all day and all night." I looked down sadly and wiped a fake tear off my googly eyes with one of my large orange hands.
The children looked horrified. I could tell they were all picturing their beloved Blobby, bent over a hot coal oven, sweating through her orange fur.
"But Blobby, you don't have to do that!" One of the youngest girls protested.
"But I do," I said, and paused for dramatic effect. "They chain me to the basement floor. I have to shovel the coal, or-" I made my voice quiver. "I don't get fed...and...there's the beatings....."
One child burst into tears as the older boy clutched my furry arm in desperation. "You have to run away, Blobby! You can come live with me!"
I patted his head gently. "I don't think your parents would want to house a six foot tall mascot, but I appreciate the offer. Oh- and tell your dad I said hi."
One girl raised her hand. "Do you know Santa Claus?" She asked, eagerly, because kids think that all mystical creatures know Santa Claus. Kids are dumb.
"Oh yeah," I said, nonchalantly. "We're actually dating."
The children gasped. "You're dating Santa Claus?!" They screeched.
"Yeah, but-" I brought my voice down to a whisper. "Don't tell Mrs. Claus, okay? It's strictly physical- I don't want any drama, you know?"
The kids nodded solemnly.
After lunch I gave them a tour of the store. I dry humped a couple of mannequins, which made them laugh really hard, and pretended to pass out in Active Sportswear, making them all scream in horror. I felt like Maria in the Sound Of Music, gallivanting around Austria with the Von Trapp family. Except this was much more fucked up.
"My hands hurt, Blobby," one of the kids complained, behind me. Toward the end of the day I had made the kids take turns giving me shoulder massages as I flipped through a magazine.
"I'll tell my man Santa Claus to not bring you any gifts this year," I threatened, while perusing an article on open-toed pumps.
At five o'clock I gave all the kids hugs goodbye and sent them on their way. Exhausted, I wadded back to my boss's office and plopped down in a chair, pulling Blobby's head off its body.
"How was your day?" My boss asked, eyebrows raised.
"You never called anybody over to zip you out of the costume for bathroom breaks," she continued.
"Oh, right-" I paused. "I sort of..." I stopped.
"Oh, my god- you pissed yourself in the costume?" She asked, horrified.
"It's super absorbent," I replied, defending myself.
The next day, the store received lots of angry phone calls from parents, mad because their kids had told them that Blobby, the store mascot, was giving blow jobs to mannequins, having an affair with Santa Claus, and being beaten in the basement. During my firing, my boss kept shaking her head and asking me, "How could you?!" I didn't really have an answer, and, honestly- I wasn't that upset. I had absolutely no desire to ever put on the Blobby costume again.
Besides, it's stained with urine.
Quarter Life Whatever
4 years ago