Life Inside the Suit: Part One

Landon Fiscus, Columnist

I’m Landon Fiscus, and I am the performer of Benny the Bunny, the mascot of Benson High School. There were polls where students could vote on what his name would be. Sweat has been shed. There was a homecoming parade. Experiences and jokes were made. There were many years of football and basketball games. 

“How did you get the job of being the mascot?” 

“Does it get hot in the bunny costume?” 

“How much do they pay you?” 

Four years of questions exactly like that have been asked by students, teachers, and members of the Benson community, and almost all of them have been answered. 

A lot of people, both students, teachers and members of the Benson community ask me how I got the privilege and job of being Benny the Bunny. It’s a funny story looking back. 

Since sixth grade, I had my heart set on Benson as my future high school at an early age.  

When I was in seventh grade, I went to an open house event at the school. I walked up to the cheerleading table and asked if they needed anybody to be the mascot. 

They did not have anyone at the time, so they told me to write my name down on the sign-up sheet. A few of them were shocked anyone wanted to be the mascot and asked me a couple questions about why I wanted to do it.  

So nervously optimistic, I signed my name on that form and expected to have to wait for a call until I was a first-year student, but opportunity came knocking sooner than I thought.  

Sure enough, that summer I would be going into eighth grade, the current cheer coach at the time, Tori Haas, called and asked if I was still interested in being the mascot.  

Of course, I was still interested. We met up at Signs and Shapes International, an inflatable and mascot making company.  

I walked into this enormous warehouse surrounded by many inflatable mascots, sewing machines, and balloons that go in large scale parades. I was led to a separate corner of the warehouse where, sprawled out on the floor, was a large gray and green bunny.  

I put on the harness that housed the equipment, which was super heavy at the time. Then I ecstatically jumped into the suit and inflated it. When Benny was fully inflated, he stood at nine-and-a-half-feet tall.   

Coach Haas, my dad and I were all in absolute disbelief. A nine-and-a-half-foot tall bunny towered above both of them, and he would be the Benson High mascot for years to come.  

Benny is more than just a costume at this point, he is a part of me that I will never forget about. Throughout every experience we’ve all had with him, the origin stands out the most to me. There’s plenty more stories that could be told about Benny, but let’s save those for another time.