Saturday, March 7, 2009

Watch Out for Big Bird!

A friend of ours told us this story about when he was a young father trying to get through school and working whatever jobs he could find. He took a job at a local mall walking around in a Big Bird costume. The costume was very tall, and he looked out from between the wings. The mall had lost some of the support structure for Big Bird's head, so he had to have a broomstick strapped to his back to hold the head up. It was very hot and uncomfortable.

One day, he was walking around the mall waving at children when he saw a group of 10-ish boys. They saw him and waved. He waved back. One of the kids approached him and our friend lifted his wings for a hug. The boy walked right up to him and kicked him hard in the shin! Then the boy laughed and ran away. As our friend puts it, these kids were of the age that it wasn't enough to not like Big Bird anymore; they had to prove to their peers that they hated Big Bird.

A few minutes later, another one of the kids in the group came over to give Big Bird a hug, but instead he kicked him in the shin, too! Well, that was enough for our friend. He kept an eye on that group after that.

Several minutes later, he saw another one of the kids coming toward him from the side. Our friend just kept Big Bird turned sideways while watching the kid from the side of the eye slot. When the boy got very close, Big Bird spread his wings and grabbed the kid and pulled him very close in a tight hug. He then spoke to the boy and said:

"Listen, kid. I have an advantage over you, and that is that you don't know what I look like outside this costume. But I know what you look like, and I will be getting off work a little later. I will follow you around, and you won't know it's me. I will remember you. And as soon as I get you alone, maybe in the parking lot, I will give you a beating you won't forget. It may not even be today, but I will remember you. So if you're smart, you will leave me alone, and you will convince your friends to leave me alone, too. You understand me, kid?"

He let the kid go, and he ran away. That was the last trouble he had with any of those children. That was the last time any of them attacked Big Bird. They probably still have Big Bird nightmares.

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