|Topsy? You in there?|
This story in the Manchester Evening News, about Oldham Athletic's mascot Chaddy the Owl getting thumped by one of his own fans, reminded me of my own short story The Man In The Mascot. Except that Chaddy's inner soul is a little more forgiving than the vodka-swilling narrator inside Topsy the Toucan.
"I don't even want him banned as we need as many fans as we can get," says Chaddy. Bless his owlish little heart. (I've no idea why Oldham should have an Owl as a mascot, by the way. Couldn't anyone imagine what a Latic would look like?)
Contrast this with Topsy, who was faced with unrelenting hostility from the crowd at lowly East Park Academy. These fans were happy to scapegoat him for the team's lack of success, on the grounds that Topsy was supposed to bring them luck. And as the failed drama student within knew, "these fans weren't all stupid, they knew when the club was trying it on, and they refused to be coaxed into a forced jollity, to be told by some prancing puppet when they were supposed to get excited. Was the mascot's tomfoolery not a tacit admission by the club that the players themselves were incapable of pushing the crowd into the realm of emotion?"
I can only think that the as yet untraced Oldham fan felt much the same way about Chaddy. Makes a nice change from calling for the manager's head.