Anonymity has its rewards

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Staff Writer

Sometimes it pays not to be known.

Each time I’ve moved to a new location, I’ve had the chance to be anonymous for a short time. Those few weeks, I could go to the grocery store in sweatpants and t-shirt without worrying about who was going to see me and what they’d think.

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As a reporter, I meet a lot of people ­ some famous and some not-so-famous faces float in and out of my daily life. I’ve met a number of wonderful individuals during my

career, but still miss those moments when nobody knows me.

This past Saturday, I had that chance.

I donned a costume and got to ham it up without people knowing who was underneath the big head. Kids and adults adored me,or rather, the costume. And, no, I’m not going to publicly reveal what costume I was wearing because that would ruin the fun.

Like everyone else, I’ve been around those costumed creatures whose identity was never revealed. Now, while a student at the University of South Alabama, I knew those who became Southpaw and Miss Pawla during athletic events, but I always forgot when they were prancing around the arena, hugging kids and waving to the crowd.

T. Roy, Big Al and Aubie have met many screams of glee from children (and big kids, too). No matter where you go, there’s some mascot ready to get the crowd going and bring smiles to everyone.

I’d always wondered what it was like to be one of them. Now, I know.

My experience was one of the greatest in my life. Like I told a friend this weekend,

I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun.

That costume allowed me to become someone, or rather, something else for a few hours. I could dance, throw kisses, bow to VIPs, give hugs and act like a fool without anyone knowing it was me.

Most who don costumes will tell you they are not that comfortable, especially in the South’s summer months. But, Saturday was cool and comfort was not even in my thoughts. Sure, the head was a bit wobbly and awkward, but I quickly got the hang of it and am ready to do it again.

Hopefully, those who called me into "duty" will do so again. If not, I have the pictures to remember my time and won’t soon forget all those waving "fans" and smiling faces.

You may not have known who it was in that costume, but you all made my day.


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