Dat Mask (The Costume – A Shocking Expose, part II)

Previously on timotheories… We continued to watch in anticipation as the Winchester brothers Dean and Sam were hot on their father John’s trail, travelling the back roads and small towns of the continental United States in in hopes of finding him and killing the demon responsible for all of their family troubles!

Nope, that’s not right.

That’s definitely the update on Supernatural I was saving for my next livejournal entry – I seem to have misplaced some copy, which I’m only slight sorry about (read: sorry, not sorry). Just kidding, I don’t use livejournal folks – I use a moleskin. Anyway, it is true that I have very recently have gotten into that show in a big way and am kind of hooked now. I might have started last week, in fact. Interestingly enough, there are some minor correlations between that show and part 2 of my post on mascots and comic books.

Well, the correlation is moreso about what the show represents.

If you really think about it, urban legends and ghost stories have just as much power and hold nearly as much cult interest as the broader and older mythologies that we are all familiar with. And I’m sure you’ve heard the theory that today’s mythologies have become the stories told to us through the platforms of superheroes and supervillains.

No? Well, dear readers, I ask that you try to sit still for a minute because I’m getting ahead of myself again, and that is a theory we need to dig into at some point. But first, we need to finish the story that I just left hanging there in the ether from last week’s post. Then I can begin to tie all of these little ideas together in a nice made-for-TV movie message.

So where were we? Right, I had just been yanked off the dance floor.

…But then something happened. My conscience knew immediately what that arm on my shoulder meant. I was being slowly herded out of the gym by two guys who I thought, in my moment of hyper paranoia, were probably going to throw me outside and beat me up.

Or worse, haze me and take pictures.

“Screw you, Jill and Dustin,” was all I could think of in that moment. Well that, and that one-hit wonder by Lifehouse.

To be honest, getting beat up probably would have been an easier fate than what was about to unfold. I was going to face one of my worst fears, failure and disapproval from an authority figure whom I trusted and admired. All of my power was leaving my fingertips, that euphoria of coolness and mystique was gone. We started the slow march back to the SU room, and my feet felt like weights, but I had no choice, I was going to have to face reality soon.

One of hired guns inquired to my “friends” about who was in the costume. I thought maybe they would at least lie or something fortunate like a disaster of inner-ear damage would disorient them and free me from their grasp. Maybe if I made a break for it, left my personal belongings behind, and just ran home, I wouldn’t be in any trouble. How would they pin it on me? There was no proof I was actually in the costume, right?

Nope, I couldn’t get away it, plus my CD player was in my coat, and I needed that to function on a daily basis.

For those of you who hit your teens after 2005, a CD player, or compact disc player, is a smaller version of a car stereo with earbuds. And this is what we used for quite a while in western society in order to listen to music, before we had the option of digital files that could be housed in our phones. Yeah, I know, crazy right?

So I finally admitted that I was in there. Which got a decent amount of shock because I didn’t really do stupid things at school or at least I didn’t execute them myself, I was lucky enough to have friends who would happily experiment with these types of scenarios for me. But that was neither here nor there. I pulled off the mascot head and felt the kryptonite of accountability slowly engulf my system and leave me a paranoid android. And I didn’t even like Radiohead that much yet, so that fantastic reference was lost on me.

I only knew that one song Creep, I was so naïve. I felt like a creep too. Ugh.

Both of the teachers were in a decent amount of shock, but now I had to deal with the teacher in charge. We put the mascot costume back into the storage locker and headed towards the cafeteria for the trial.

I paced back and forth for a good 15 minutes of living hell while we waited for the SU teacher advisor to show up. I assumed he had called the cops.

A few people tried to comfort me, talking about the future and how when it was over I could go dance with some girls. There was no way that was happening. I was too concerned about the fan and all of the fecal matter everywhere, nothing was going to detract from that disgusting reality. I mean, even if I WANTED to dance with a girl, which was the last thing on my mind now, had they not read the beginning of the story? I was awkward with women. I was using the suit to mask my identity and pretend I was someone else.

I had been unmasked and was now prepared to die. Mr. SU Teacher Advisor had arrived.

Now that he had arrived, he was very direct. He didn’t sugarcoat the situation and definitely didn’t cut corners. I was given a reprimand and something about “my file” was brought up. Another of my associates was given his second strike. Later on he would get his very hilarious third strike, and kicked off the SU council, but that’s a story for another time. As for the third student, which is the way it usually goes in stories of fiction, he had no repercussions despite being the true mastermind behind this escapade. And he never admitted to it, not once, to this very day.

After it was all said and done, I can say I learned a very valuable lesson – mascot costumes smell, but the sweetness of their concealing power is far greater. Would I go through this experience again? Of course.

That was so emotional for me. Mostly because I decided to first reread the original story I had written for the high school newspaper, and man, has my writing improved since then. Fun fact, that article I have now shared over these two posts was called “The Costume – A Shocking Expose”, and you should be ever so thankful for the revised and expanded edition. Trust me on that.

So why was this particular story my Uncle Ben you ask?

You guys are so perceptive, you can’t even wait for me to weave this together organically. In that case, I’ll sate your curiosity.

Well the truth is this – had this experience not happened, I wouldn’t have started the subconscious trek through identity analysis and self-improvement. This moment in time effectively killed the old me, the child who was happy to avoid most human interaction and instead focus his time on activities like reading, playing video games, and absorbing copious amounts of TV and music.

Another great example of this concept of identity management comes from an awesome 90’s movie; mostly because I love to make associations with pop culture.

The Mask, which is fairly loosely based off of a Dark Horse comic book of the same name, is incredibly irreverent on the surface, but like most satire, it holds a powerful message when you look closer. One of my favourite parts comes from this clip below.

And remember how I mentioned that the word mascot was slang for “witch” and “spell” at one point, but now refers a symbolic figure that brings good fortune? There may just be some sort of magic or illusion association between those costumes and what we are really thinking behind our social masks. The only way to know is to find out for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed these theories, dear readers. Let me know what you think! Share some mascot stories! Tell me, what supeheroes do you like to read about?



  1. Amanda Wall · August 21, 2015

    Bits of your writing style reminds me of H.G.Well’s in The Time Machine.

    Keep up the good work


  2. Pingback: Not Just Another Sequel | timotheories

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