A Better Mascot

I entered the 1st grade knowing perfectly well that when compared to the two other elementary schools in our district, ours was the most economically depressed.

This is not because I tracked employment statistics in the county, but because the kids that went to one of those two schools had parents that wore suits to work, lived in big houses with yards, and had boats parked in the extra car ports of their oversized garages. Their schools were bigger, nicer, newer, the flags that flew on the shiny flagpoles in front were enormous and the hallways didn’t perpetually smell of severe water damage. There was, however, one thing at Central Elementary to be proud of; one thing that made the absolute slaughtering we experienced at the annual tri-school track and field day completely worth it. We had the coolest school mascot. We were the Central Sun Devils.
The impish little devil was emblazoned on every custom flag and school banner throughout the rundown old building. It didn’t matter that our bathrooms were recycled 747 aviation lavatories or that the meat provided in our school lunches was typically venison. The only thing we really cared about was that the Central Sun Devils were much better than the J.R. Smith Dollar Signs or the Midway Stupid Heads. I admit I don’t remember what their school mascots were all these years later, but I do remember being legitimately proud my first year of school there at Central, and then just depressed my second year.
At the end of my first year at Central it was proposed (by a “concerned parent”) that our mascot be changed because of the supposed “evil nature” of the little Casper-headed devil. Those of us who had held on to that little victory over our rich neighbors mourned as the Sun Devil was lowered on the flagpole out front and the school banners which I had admired, with what I can now only describe as Hogwartian pride, were removed from our hallways only to be replaced with the image of an Eagle, which was sickeningly un-original and humiliatingly ordinary. Curse you, Central Elementary, for abandoning that which was your greatest and most note-worthy feature.

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