We all know and love Dash, our school’s beloved mascot. Dash, whom we see very often, was selected to embody the spirit of the Goshen College student body by a committee of smart people.Last year, Dash entered our hearts and minds after winning over the committee and beating out quite a few other potential mascots.
Our furry friend soon appeared at basketball games, convocations and in promotional material.
Meanwhile, the leftovers were left to rot; rumors circulated that the other mascots were even banned from campus after a series of threatening remarks made towards President Stoltzfus. Nobody has seen them since.
Luckily, yours truly were able to hunt down and interview three of the rejected mascots who are, at time of writing, not in prison or deceased.
Under the Shanklin Park bridge they know to be home, we met the three of them for the first time. Their appearances were charming but disheveled; they all looked like potential mascots, but they also looked like one would feel a little uneasy if standing in an elevator with them.
First, we asked Jane the Train why they wanted to be the Goshen College mascot. “Everybody knows me; I’m an icon,” they replied with a monotone inflection. “Who doesn’t love my quirky personality?”
Jane was clearly under the misguided impression that students enjoyed their three-in-the-morning horn blaring. While certainly a campus celebrity, I think it is safe to say that Jane the Train gives us all a reason to hate trains named Jane.
“People cheer when I ride through campus and make the KMY dorms vibrate,” Jane said. “I would’ve used my energy to hype up the crowds at athletic events!” We cut the interview short after they started screaming in our ears for the fourth time.
Next up was Mary Miller-Stoltzfus-Gingerich-Shenk-Hertzler-Graber-Kauffman-Hochstetler-Beck-Schlabaugh-Yoder. Mary is from a small town in Illinois. Her father, Peter Yoder, was a pastor and theologian best known for authoring the best-seller “Jesus Told Me Guns Suck.”
Mary’s mother, Susan Schlabach, led over 200 SSTs and worked for a non-profit peace organization that earned her an annual seven figures.
Mary described her personal mascot style as nonresistant peacemaking: “I would love the opposing team even if they were beating us. I’d maybe even give them some nice homemade cookies.”
Your authors would have to agree with the smart people’s decision to cut Mary. She just isn’t the right fit for the competitive nature of NAIA athletics.
Then there was Old Larry. Neither of us understood why Larry wanted to be a mascot since we could only vaguely comprehend the meaning behind the burps and incoherent mumbles he offered as replies to our questions.
Old Larry is a 93-year-old-looking 71-year-old who has survived on a diet of what he calls “Larry juice,” a beverage that seems to be composed of moonshine and Folgers coffee.
He eats only Goshen chili from our very own Westlawn Dining Hall. “I hate that darn squirrel,” Larry said about Dash.
To be fully transparent, we sort of forgot that we were interviewing Larry about the mascot decision after he started chasing an invisible rodent and screaming about how the government is trying to ban gas stoves.
Instead of asking follow up questions, we promised Larry four Cheez-Its for every dolphin impression he uttered. Say what you want about Old Larry, but the guy rocks a mean dolphin.
After our interviews, we now believe that Dash is the appropriate, albeit less interesting, mascot for Goshen College.