life has been full of interesting times, and this was certainly one of them.
In my first year of University I had a particularly long Christmas break
as my exams had ended quite early. I was enjoying my little vacation when
one day my Dad, a teacher, came home from school and told me he had got
me a job. Taken aback, I asked how he got me a job. He replied "With
the milkman, Scotsburn Dairy." "Dairy," I said laughing,
"what, am I going to be — the Scotsburn Cow?"
Dad replied with a smirk, "Good guess."
I couldn't believe it. My Dad had volunteered me to be a cow. Apparently
the "regular" cow was out sick and some strange lady was going
to come to our house tomorrow to dress me up as the cow. Oh, and it gets
better. . . not only do I get to be the cow, but it is for the grand opening
of the new Sobeys supermarket. Great, that shouldn't be packed or anything.
So, this strange lady comes with the official Daisy The Scotsburn Cow
costume. This isn't just any plain old Halloween type costume, this is
a full-fledged mascot type costume. Now let me tell you what it takes
to be Daisy. You have to wear a crinoline, a polka dot dress and apron,
very furry black and white legs, the furry black and white "arms"
with vinyl hooves for hands, Size 9 lady's heels converted to look like
hooves (especially great when you wear size 7 and have never walked in
heels) and a massive cow head. Getting into the costume was quite the
production and I basically had to let the strange lady dress me. I had
to drive myself to the store with the cow head on the passengers seat.
Now, take a moment and think about cows, specifically their eyes. They
are on either side of their head. The fake head was quite accurate in
this aspect. You could see through the eyes and the nostrils. The nostrils
let you see basically straight ahead of you at eye level and you could
kinda turn your head within the head to look straight out side to side.
Not easy manoeuvring to say the least. There's also a battery-powered
fan in the top of the head to keep you cool and it did a nice job of restricting
your hearing. Technically I was only allowed to be in the costume for
30 minutes at a time or I would overheat. I was, after all, dressed head
to toe in fur and multiple layers of clothes. The head was pretty heavy
too and about as wide as my shoulders.
So, off we go, the Scotsburn lady and me. Scotsburn had a booth set up
in the store and our job was to advertise and give samples of the new
eggnog they had out for Christmas. So, at first the lady had to kind of
take me by the arm if I had to walk anywhere until I got the hang of how
to walk in the hooves and figure out how to see where I was going. So,
the lady wanted me to hand out some eggnog and filled up some little paper
cups for me. She handed the first one to me and I did my best
possible job to hold it carefully in my cloven hoof. I could see the gentleman's
neck that was standing in front of me and made my best effort to pass
the eggnog in his general direction. Thinking I had done a great job I
made some kind of silly movements and stuff, dancing around until I heard
the apologies. Apparently I had pretty much thrown the eggnog all over
the guy's shirt and there I was dancing around all happy like a moron.
The Scotsburn lady thought it would be best if I hand out pencils to
the kids. That didn't last too long either because I couldn't really grip
a pencil in the hoof and, well, having a large, blind mascot shoving pointy
objects at kids isn't the best plan. We finally settled with balloons.
By day three, my final day of cow-dom, I had begun to master the cow
suit and began walking around the store handing out balloons and stuff.
It was rather entertaining since nobody knew who I was. I followed one
poor guy around the store and when he stopped at the meat section and
put some beef in his cart I walked over and gave him a shameful head shake.
I took the beef out of his cart and handed him an apple. He laughed. And
I stood there until he gave up and left.
Just at the end of my day, I was walking confidently down the snacks
aisle when I heard a mom tell her kid "Look at the nice cow, go give
the cow a hug." I stood with my arms out waiting for the kid. Since
I couldn't see anything below the five foot level, I listened to the little
footsteps running down the aisle. I had no idea what was about to happen.
The kid hit me at about the knee level and since my hooven heals had no
grips the three year old totally took me down like a weird football tackle.
She ran off and I was left helpless, rolling around in the aisle thinking
"We've got a cow down in aisle 5, that's a cow down in aisle 5."
The massive head pretty much eliminated any chance of me getting up and
I had to wait until Tony the Tiger came by to help me up.
I haven't even mentioned how my parents came and pretty much everyone
else in my family came by the store while I was a cow. Thank goodness
most people didn't know it was me. I'm not sure what I did with my $6.00
an hour I made being the cow, but I can tell you that I didn't include
the experience on my resume.