The gig was great! The kids were really enthusiastic and playful. There were a few tail pullers and head bangers, but the teachers were told ahead of time to not let their classes abuse the mascot. For the most part, that worked. I did notice, however, that Otto's tail is now just barely hanging on after only 5 or so gigs.
The most "fun" happened while the kids were eating lunch. I wandered out into the outdoor plaza and heard a whole chorus of "OTTO!" I prepared to be assaulted. They came at me from every direction all demanding high fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc. One kid produced a pen and said, "Would you autograph my shirt?" Sure! I signed "Otto." The next thing you knew EVERYONE HAD to have their shirt autographed. Then they asked for my phone number. What?!? I wrote 555-OTTO. I bet lots of kids are dialing that number tonight. Then someone asked if I could sign their arm. Ummmmm. OK. Then someone asked if I would sign their face. LOLWUT?! So I obliged. It was just a regular pen and it barely showed up, but I was officially declared as "cool" for doing it.
As I waited in the lobby to send the kids off on their buses, I crashed out on a sofa. It was so comfy I almost started to drift off. I could hear the dull rumble coming down the hall, but before I could sit up I heard the cries of "OTTO!" and was pounced by an entire class. The whole "Sign my____" started up again. I was surprised how accepting the kids were. Many were looking inside my head doing the tired old, "I can see you/There's a man in there" but yet they still wanted a hug. So all was good. I'll do a repeat performance tomorrow. Lawdy, I be tired!