The Recent Unpleasantness - Olympic Mascots: An Oral History
"I'm Wenloc, the Olympic mascot for London 2012. I love finding out about all sports, having fun and making friends."
"I'm Mandeville, the Paralympic mascot for London 2012. I love trying new things and challenging myself to be the best I can be"
- 2012 London Olympics official website
Waldi the Dachshund (1972): Yeah, I was the mascot for Munich. First German games since the Holocaust. [Takes long drag on cigarette] So, you know... that worked out well.
Misha The Bear (1980): They had me pose with just about every goddamn sport you can think of. Fencing, running, sitting in a frigging wheelchair holding a javelin. After a while, I'd get panic attacks. I wouldn't leave my trailer.
Sam The Eagle (1984): I was pumped. When it was over, I was all, what's next guys? And they just laughed. I was like, huh? When’s the next Olympics? What's the game plan here, you know?
Beibei the fish (2008): Between my Etsy shop and the Section 8 vouchers, I make out. But it's tough. I don't really have any savings.
Magique the Snow Imp (1992): I had some seasonal work at the Poughkeepsie County Fair, in the "tickle monster" booth. Obviously, that's over now.
Schneemann the Snowman (1976): My daughter made me a gold medal out of the foil lid thing from a sour cream container. I just looked down at the floor. I couldn't even cry.
Nokki the Snow Owl (1998): I haven't been able to cry in years.
Hodori the Tiger (1988): They don't make a 12-step program for people like us. [Pauses] Should I be using "people" in air quotes? I was never really sure about that.
Roni the Raccoon (1980): I'd gotten a settlement from a snowmobile accident and used the money to party every night. I started running with a bad set of guys—the Hamburger Helper Hand, the Phillie Phanatic, Eddie the Iron Maiden skeleton. It was a dark time in my life.
Copper the Coyote (2002): I started snorting a lot of that shit... what's that called? Those glue stick things? Head On. That shit.
Sam the Eagle: I was doing a lot of jenkem, a lot of ground-up Yaz. What ever I could get my hands on.
Howdy the Polar Bear (1988): Bath Salts. Like from the Body Shop? I was smoking maybe 30 or 45 pounds a day.
Sydney the Platypus (2000): You set up rules for yourself. "OK, I'll do handies, but I won't turn tricks." The next month, it's like, "OK, I'll turn tricks, but I'll always use protection."
Copper the Coyote: You can make good money at, you know, truck stops. [Pauses] Depending on what you're willing to do.
Sam The Eagle: Guys would pay more if they thought I was one of the muppets.
Powder The Hare (2002): I tracked down Coal the Bear. He looked tore up. I told him, "I can get you work through my construction company. It's not the easiest job, but if you settle in, we can fast track you for management in six months. One thing, though. We drug test. No exceptions." He looked right in my face and—I'll never forget this—he said, "Fuck you, you Jar Jar Binks motherfucker."
Paloma the Dove (1968): My wife threw out all my Olympics stuff years ago. What are you going to do? I love that woman.
Izzy the Abstraction (1992): I still get royalties from that Super Nintendo game modeled after me. You need Windows 95 to play it, but it's a pretty cool game.
Amik the Beaver (1976): I'm in Provo now, married, got a decent job at a company that manufactures industrial adhesives. Every now and then, one of the vendors will recognize me from the Olympics, and they get a kick out of that. But mostly, no, I don't really think about it too much these days. I’ve moved on.
Previously - Sheriff Joe Tweets
Wild Things: The $wiftest Pigeon
What is the sound of one million yuan flapping?
VICE News: Sisa: Cocaine of the Poor
A new drug called sisa is tearing its way through Athens' poor.
Wild Things: The Dog Hunter
In the close-knit world of dog hunting, Tom Varney is a legend.
Ground Zero: Syria - Snipers of Aleppo
Picking off the enemy, one by one, day by day.
VICE News: The Battle of Taksim Square
The protestors started throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, and it all escalated.