Monday, June 30, 2003
I Was The Pilsbury Dough Boy
I have worked in a record store and a grocery store. I have been a babysitter, a dishwasher, a photographer. I have been a cook, a waitress, a hostess. I have been a receptionist, a secretary, an editor, a writer, a record label radio rep., a DJ, a music director. I have packaged soap, computer software, and canine pedigree information packs. I have made signs, baked cookies and bread, transcribed taped dictation, filed medical records, cleaned offices, and run radio controls allowing listeners everywhere to enjoy NASCAR
But for one day, I worked at a food service convention where, for $6.50 an hour, I was the Pillsbury Dough Boy, the Bryan Hot Dog Juicy Wiener, and an orange dragon with six arms. At intervals.
Dressing as the Bryan Hot Dog Juicy Wiener was very awkward and very funny. And very phallic. The costume is, obviously, a 7-foot hot dog and the wiener in question sort of curves out in front of you and makes walking new all over again since about 2 feel of it just hangs there between your legs (a porn flick in the making). It's like a big balloon and it's really heavy. It was a riot. Nobody walked up to say hi or shake my hand, most likely because they were embarrassed to have a big penis walking around the room in the first place and were certainly not going to go touch it in front of their coworkers.
The orange dragon with six arms was like a shag-carpet with three arms on each side that was easy to move around in and not altogether uncomfortable. I never figured out what it had to do with food service.
The Pillsbury Dough Boy costume earned me a good place in the next life. It was a huge balloon thing and I had to wear a fan strapped to my back to a) keep it blown up and b) keep myself from suffocating. It was fun for about 15 minutes. It was heavy and obviously meant for someone much taller than myself so I had to prop it up at the shoulders with my hands as I walked around and just let the little doughy costume hands flop around on their own. If I put my hands where they were supposed to go, the whole costume sagged down on my shoulders and made for a sad and dejected looking dough boy (as if he might be contemplating the fact that the Bryan Hot Dog Juicy Wiener was much cooler).
Picking up my feet to walk was pointless because the feet things were just big ballooney spaces, a good 12" long and 6" wide. My feet aren't that big. So I shuffled along, costume held up at the shoulders, fan humming quietly, sweating and panting and hoping nobody would come up with their kid and want me to do something like hug or dance, because I'd fall over. And of course these three junior high kids walk up and decide to poke "me" in the belly—the belly of this costume being actually a foot or so away from my actual belly. But I felt some "I'm Getting Paid To Do This" obligation to do the appropriate thing, so I giggled and they did it again and I giggled again. Then I noticed one of them reaching for "my" right hand as if to shake it, so I quickly slipped my hand in place, thinking it might be disappointing to shake a handless balloon (?). The worthless shit squeezed my hand as hard as he could with both of his and I thought he was going to break a bone.
I jerked away, nearly fell over, cussed quietly as is befitting a dough boy, decided that I wanted to cuss a little louder so I called the kid a fucker, and walked off as the three junior high kids laughed at me. I wanted to yell something that would show these kids how cool and tough I was. Then I remembered that I was wearing a Pillsbury Dough Boy costume and wasn't going to be taken seriously by anyone. So I skulked away and returned the to the comfort of the orange dragon with six arms.