For 15 years, he has strutted his stuff at Evergreen State Fair, shaking hands and his tail.
This year, Scoop, the rambunctious Herald mascot, is chillin’. He’s kicked back in a lawn chair, hairy legs crossed, wearing a Seahawks jersey.
What’s up with that?
Instead of some poor Herald worker being stuck inside the dog suit, Scoop has been stuffed with newspapers and transformed into an immobile selfie stud.
He’s a paragon of these selfie-obsessed times and a victim of the dog days of summer.
The thick furry costume is really hot to wear. Last person who wore the skin at an event about had heatstroke.
So, to keep up his fair duties, the newshound got benched and dressed as the 12th dog.
Full disclosure: Scoop is a gimmick.
He’s a decoy to lure you to the Herald booth to try to get you to subscribe.
This is, after all the fair, a hotbed of vendors trying to out-hawk each other with swag, squeals and deals.
Sign up for cable TV? Get a premium channel perk. Subscribe to The Daily Herald? Choose from several gifts, including a voucher for a Herald selfie stick, which you can’t use at the fair.
Selfie sticks aren’t allowed due to the dangers of, well, mobs of people walking around pointing long sticks. Lots of attractions have banned these poke-your-eye-out poles.
Selfies aren’t banned, just the sticks. So, bring along someone with long arms. Add #EvergreenStateFair to social media posts to win fair prizes. Post to the www.heraldnet.com/ScoopSelfie gallery and get a bag of Skittles.
Scoop was put to the test as a selfie magnet last week in the atrium at the Frontier Communications building in Everett where the Herald has offices.
Frontier worker Robin Poharcyk called him “Mr. Beautiful” after snuggling up for a photo.
Sean McElroy, Frontier security supervisor, dropped his guard to ham it up with the pooch for several iPad selfies, explaining, “I’m a fun person.”
The Herald has had other mascots over the years. There was the tall rolled-up Herald newspaper that walked in parades.
AquaSox fans might remember Harold, a real live pig trained to bring baseballs out to the umpire in a little basket around his neck. Not sure that would fly these days.
A big friendly dog showing a little tongue was the creation of the Herald marketing department in 2000. His name was selected from 900 reader submissions — and what better name than one shared with famous Everett politician Henry “Scoop” Jackson.
Scoop has mingled at hundreds of events, schools and ballgames. He’s had his tail pulled, ears yanked and fur petted by thousands of fans. He has run bases, pranced and danced while the person inside tried not to pass out.
“Underneath this happy looking costume there was this sweating, dying blonde guy,” said Herald multimedia sales consultant Tobias Simcox, who was Scoop at this summer’s Mascot Mania.
“A little girl gave me a high five and said, ‘Ew, your paw’s all wet.’ It was from sweat and trying to cool myself with water and ice.”
That was Scoop’s last stand. The next gig was sitting down, when he co-starred in an educational video by Everett Community College with their mascot, a Trojan with a sword and a far cooler outfit. Parts were shot in the Herald newsroom at my messy desk. My claim to fame when the video comes out on YouTube.
Lynn Jefferson, Herald creative services manager, is the brains behind giving Scoop a new leash on life at the fair.
“People just love selfies with mascots,” she said.
Jefferson had only $25 to spend on the makeover, including Seahawks gear. To meet budget, she was observed doing strange things to furry body parts with scissors and staplers and paper wads. “His body is stuffed with 12 Sunday papers and 12 months of La Razas,” she said. “This guy is put together with staples and pins.”
It doesn’t show. What you notice is his million-dollar smile.
Lest you get any ideas about running off with Mr. Beautiful, a bungee cord tethers him to the chair.
Find him lounging at the Herald booth along the northwest side of the grandstand near the petting zoo at the Evergreen State Fair. The fair starts Thursday and runs through Sept. 7. More at www.evergreenfair.org.
— Andrea Brown (@reporterbrown) August 25, 2015