Young reporters like to do offbeat things. (Your editors know this because, back in the day, we were young reporters.) But the Connecticut Post's Amanda Cuda got more than she bargained for when she tried a stint as B.B., the mascot of the Bridgeport Bluefish minor league baseball team.
Cuda knew that the fuzzy oversized bluefish costume might be hot. She knew it might be uncomfortable. She knew it might smell of previous B.B.s. What she didn't know was the wide range of reactions the costume would elicit.
Cuda was allowed to don the mascot costume for opening day of the Fairfield, Conn., Little League season. She was greeted mostly by smiles and laughter. Some of the very young kids were afraid of her. Others were convinced to give her a hug. Most of the young players waved or gave her a high five.
But then she happened across a group of somewhat older kids who reacted strangely.
"The boys began accusing me of not being a real bluefish," Cuda wrote. "That struck me as odd. Fish aren't usually fuzzy. And they don't usually walk around on land.
"I thought it was pretty obvious that I wasn't a real fish. I didn't expect anyone to be surprised by that fact. But these kids seemed really annoyed. 'Fake!' I heard some of them yell. 'You're a fake!'"
Then it got weirder. The kids rushed her.
"The group of kids just all ran at me, pushing me and jostling my costume," Cuda wrote. "It was bizarre -- as if mob rule had broken out on the ball field. There wasn't anything I could do to stop them. Remember, I couldn't talk. And, I couldn't push them away and risk hurting the kids. All I could do was stand there and wait for the humiliation to end."
Eventually the kids got bored and wandered off (probably back to the Village of the Damned, from the sound of it). And Cuda said that she was really no worse for wear, but a bit shaken by the experience.
The attack from the Little League mob notwithstanding, her stint as B.B. was "kind of fun," Cuda said.