Tag Archives: teen years

I Got Knocked Down – And I Didn’t Get Up

What’s more embarrassing for a 16-year-old girl, than falling down on a busy street in her town during rush hour traffic? Falling down and not being able to get up. For hours. “How in the world could this happen?” you ask. This is my story.

It was a Friday night, early summer in Southern California and the Domino’s Pizza where I worked as a phone girl was running slow. You remember the Domino’s Noid from the early 90’s? That pesky red guy with big ears, who would stomp all over your pizza if it wasn’t there in 30 minutes or less? Well, the store I worked in was lucky enough to have a full sized Noid costume! Usually these get ups are reserved for scaring little kids and giving adults a giggle, because everyone feels so sorry for the poor fool inside. Tonight, I was that poor fool.

My boss asked if I’d like to dress up, go outside and hopefully drum up business. Sure! The costume was ginormous, built for a grown man, so we had work arounds to get it to fit me. These accommodations, plus ensuring someone walked me out, meant success. I couldn’t see through the peek hole because I was too short and the feet were too big to walk normally. The costume was hot as hell, so I wore only my tank top and capri leggings I had worn in. We got me set up, head on, (with rolled up towels under my armpits to help it tie under my arms), zipped up and my boss walked me out. The huge feet meant I had to take big clown steps down the big hill of a parking lot, so getting to the street was no small feat.

My boss got me situated and said he’d come back in 30 mins. I turned and began my waving routine – one arm waving, a little booty shake, next arm waving. Cars would honk and I would wave both arms. I was good at my job.

Until he jogged by.

I lost my breath when I saw the most gorgeous guy jogging my way. He was shirtless, muscled, tan and so very pretty. My brain was not engaged when my body took over and I started to move like I was jogging towards him. Before I could ponder whether or not this was a good idea in the gargantuan costume, I lifted one foot and began to exaggeratedly slow jog towards him, big ole Noid arms pumping and bobbing. I didn’t account for the big feet though and on my third foot lift it happened; I tripped and fell. Flat on my Noid face.

I lay there in shock for a second, trying to figure out what happened. I was mortified that I had fallen in front of him. Then I felt him make contact with the costume’s head. It was a hard kick or bump and I figured he had tripped over me. I was waiting for him to ask if I was ok. I waited. Nothing. It was then that I realized he had either in fact tripped and kept going, or he took a moment to actually kick the head of the costume and keep going. Either way, he was gone.

I wasn’t sure what to do. The costume was so big, I couldn’t just sit up and stand. I couldn’t reach the back where the zipper was to try and unzip it, and even if I could, I wasn’t wearing much underneath. The stomach was too big to reach down and pull the feet off. I was stuck. I rolled myself onto my back. That’s when I saw the light pole. I figured I could scoot my way over to it and use it to help me stand. I couldn’t lift the head anymore because the rolled up towels had fallen out from under my arms and now the head was loose and would simply fall backwards. I scooted, inch by inch, to the pole, where I was able to lift the head with my hands and prop it against the pole. I was now laying down on the sidewalk, propped against the pole, alone.

I waited; it HAD to be close to 30 mins and my boss would be out soon. I figured I would do my job, so I waved. Enthusiastically. Every so often I could see one of our drivers pulling in and I would flail my arms wildly, hoping they’d stop. They waved back. No one stopped. So I waited. And waved.

After what seemed like hours, I heard my boss. He was standing at the top of the driveway…cracking up. I was only able to see half of him but I saw him bent over, hands on knees crying. Then he was gone. Soon I see most of the crew outside – all laughing. I yelled, “Shut up and come help me up!” which they later told me sounded like, “Shmfph jsujj mup!”

Once inside, I learned they had gotten super busy and my boss had forgotten about me. So my “what seemed like hours” out there, actually was. I had been out there for 2 hours! He said a driver finally came in and asked him why I was taking a nap so he had come out and when he saw me, couldn’t stop laughing.

You’d think this experience would have turned me off from big costumes but alas it didn’t. I donned the Noid costume many more times, and later in my dress up career, a giant bunny for Easter at a Hallmark store. But I never jogged. I never saw the gorgeous runner again, which was good because I might have kicked him. My only hope is that someday, my kids get to enjoy the wonder that comes with getting into a sweaty, oversized costume and delighting the world with their magic.


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