Last week was the big City Paper Best of Baltimore issue, and we printed a giant-sized "Best of Baltimore" paper stuffed with ads and other stuff to read, and then we had a big party downtown at the Baltimore Soundstage club. We even gave away some tickets here in the "Mr. Wrong" column, so that was fun, and at the party there was not enough food but lots of drinks, so that made people kinda forget about the food, and there was a DJ and people danced and John Waters showed up for a while and it looked like pretty much everybody there had a good time, I think. We even had BESTY™, the City Paper streetbox mascot, at the Best of Baltimore party, and he-BESTY™ is a he-had a lotta pictures taken with party people in the house.
Everybody generally loves BESTY™, which is funny, because a lot of people don't really like the paper too much, so it's bizarrely gratifying to see some aspect of the paper embraced with affection, even though it's basically a person sweating their brains out inside a big foam-and-cloth box.
But whatever, people like BESTY™, so that's nice! It's kind of a trip wearing the BESTY™ costume, I've done it, and you are a center of attention, people want to say hi to you and tell you that you look like SpongeBob and high-five you and hug you and do all kinds of crazy stuff. Sure, some people will yell something mean about the paper, but for the most part, people just think it's funny to see a giant foam box with eyeballs and giant hands and feet walking around.
BESTY™ is just large and yellow and ridiculous, and when you wear the costume, you get to be that, and nobody judges you, they just laugh and wave and want to get a picture. It's weird. It's like being famous, except you are completely anonymous, so it affects your thinking and your actions. You become gregarious and energetic, even though any kind of activity while you're wearing the costume is guaranteed to bathe you in perspiration and make you feel gross and sweaty-uncomfortable.
If you have ever done an appearance as BESTY™, you have had your picture taken multiple times, and then when you see the pictures, you recognize yourself, somehow, and then whenever you see any other pictures of BESTY™, even if there's no way it coulda been you inside the costume, you could swear it was you there in the photo. It's hard to explain how certain you can feel you were someplace you weren't, but it's mostly because you remember how much fun it was to play the BESTY™ part, and you wish it was you there in the picture, having fun and making people smile.
So at the Best of Baltimore party, the person inside the BESTY™ totally rocked it, posing for photos outside the building in front of the "media wall" on the red carpet, and then inside, walking around and dancing with everybody who was dancing, and then that person took the costume off with about an hour to go for the party, so they could deservedly party like a Private Citizen and not have to drink a refreshing beverage all hunched over inside the costume, and he left the BESTY™ rig in the "green room" at the Baltimore Soundstage, and later in the evening somebody swiped the box. Somebody swiped BESTY™.
It's a kidnapping, somehow, even though BESTY™ isn't a person. But a lot of us are kinda sad here at the paper, because somehow BESTY™ really is a person. I know, it's stupid, but we feel bad, we're a little down right now, what with all this business about the paper being sold, and we don't know to who, or when, or what's gonna happen exactly, so this is just like an absurd little cherry on top of our ice cream sundae of uncertainty, you know?
They (and we don't know who They are) sent us a note and a picture the next day saying and confirming they had BESTY™. You can see the actual letter on the City Paper website, and it reads:
This letter is to inform you that we have kidnapped your CP mascot. However, there's no need to worry, he will be safe in our possession. We will safely return Mr. City Paper Mascot after 30 days of partying......
So we're hoping this means the people who swiped BESTY™ are doing this in a good-natured way, maybe take BESTY™ out to different places for some photo-ops and stuff. We'd like to offer to somehow get the BESTY™ hands and feet to the kidnappers, because it's sad to think BESTY™ doesn't have his hands and feet, and we hope the people who took him are not gonna get BESTY™ wet (he's Dry-Clean Only) or write all over him or do bad things to him. He's not even 5 years old, you know?
Information leading to the safe return of BESTY™ will be kept in strict confidence: firstname.lastname@example.org.