Iâ€™ve always thought The Collegian could do with a mascot. Someone threw her at me.
This weekend, I went to a seminar on news design down in scenic downtown Fresno. It was broken down into four presentations, each an hour or two long.
The seats were very uncomfortable.
Because every presenting team used slideshows, the lights were dimmed. One presenter, in her infinite wisdom, decided it would be a good idea to throw presents to the audience when they answered her questions correctly.
She threw these things overhand, and it was still dark. It was fine, because the first few wonâ€™t hurt anyone. They were fake, squishy-plastic baseballs.
Sports equipment of all kinds flew through the air.
â€œI think I lost an eye!â€ cried out someone deep in the back.
Fake, squishy-plastic footballs must hurt a little more. I think he was kidding. I hope.
After enough bruises, the lights went on. For once, we could see exactly what she was throwing at us.
That was when she got to the fun-looking oogly balls. I donâ€™t know if theyâ€™re actually called oogly balls, but itâ€™s an appropriate word. Theyâ€™re like squishy balls with pink tendrils.
They have a giant-size version at my summer camp, and I loved it. Very fun to play with, you see.
I wanted this, and I think our presenter knew it.
I had already picked out a few names I could choose from. Iâ€™d call her Mon Amie the anemone. Either that or Louie the oogly.
These things have to rhyme, you see.
In any case, I knew Mon Amie-Louie would a perfect Collegian mascot and outlet of frustration â€” squishy yet supple.
What does The Virginian-Pilot design expert do but throw my oogly to someone else? I was about as frustrated as you can be while thinking about the oogly-ness of it all.
â€œYou donâ€™t want that one,â€ she said, smiling knowingly and looking at me directly. â€œYou want this one.â€
The moment I caught the grayish-looking spheroid, I knew there was something wrong with it. It squishes, but not in all the right places.
I turn it around and see a skull, with fake, plastic-covered eye sockets. It was filled with fake, red-tinted water.
I think thatâ€™s supposed to be blood. I donâ€™t know what blood would be doing in a skull old enough to turn gray from disuse. I have my theories.
I squish it, and the plastic covering the eye socket expands to let the â€œbloodâ€ flow out into it. Itâ€™s a disgusting sight for everyone involved.
I was glad when they turned the lights back off.
Being a bit of a fidget, I couldnâ€™t stop playing with the thing. Itâ€™s not very oogly. Itâ€™s just ugly.
Then, by the light of the digital projector, I notice some chunkiness in the blood. â€œWhatever could those be?â€ I asked myself in a spirit of inquiry I shanâ€™t ever repeat.
Could they be fake, squishy-plastic brain bits? Maybe theyâ€™re just fake, squishy-plastic desiccated skin? Are they fake, squishy-plastic bits of human fat?
I take a closer look and am simply horrified. At least, as horrified as fake, squishy-plastic maggots can make me.
If youâ€™re wondering, her name is Scully.