One of the items on my “bucket list” is to start a movement to get rid of the phrase “bucket list.” Once everyone started using it, it got a bit tiresome. And the items on the list seemed to get more and more mundane. A legit bucket list should include the obligatory “skydiving,” for example. The other day I heard someone say that “switching to Irish butter” was on her bucket list.
Really? A bucket list item? Go ahead and toss that Kerrygold in the cart now, lady; you only live once.
All of this is by way of saying that while I acknowledge “bucket list” as a phrase is overused and kinda makes me feel stabby every time I hear it, that doesn’t apply to me and my bucket list. So, yes, since you ask, I did fulfill an actual item on that list item recently.
You see, I have always wanted to be a mascot. It didn’t honestly matter for what, just as long as the costume was sufficiently goofy and I could hide inside it and freak people out.
So it came to pass that on the eve of Thanksgiving, I found myself inside a dark and surprisingly un-smelly turkey costume collecting cash and canned goods for the local food pantry.
The only true disappointment was that I still wore my own shoes. I had hoped for huge yellow turkey feet and could scarcely hide my disappointment.
Fortunately, the enormous red fur wattle more than made up for everything. It looked like me in another 10, er, five years, frankly, flapping and blowing about in the cold breeze outside the grocery store.
I have always thought it would be cute to interact with kids as someone else. I mean it’s not like there’s a “humor columnist” mascot costume out there that would appeal to kids. In fact, they would probably run screaming into engineering school at the thought.
Kids were there in abundance as their parents kindly dropped cans and cash into my cart.
If I had to use one word to describe their reaction to me, THE GREATEST TURKEY MASCOT OF ALL TIME, it would be “meh.”
One kid looked at my costume and ginormous wattle for a very long time before pronouncing: “Nope. Not a turkey. Looks more like a chicken to me.”
Really, little boy? Get your head out of your resort town and take a ride to the country. Chicken. Hmmmph.
Perhaps the strangest reaction came from a man who appeared to size me up from head to toe for a few minutes before asking, “How much do I have to donate to take this turkey home?”
During my three-hour shift, I had my tail feathers yanked, made a baby burst into tears and met a nice man who slid a $10 Starbucks gift card into my beak.
“Warm up, turkey. You’re looking cold,” he said.
Of course I am, I thought. I’m wearing sandals.