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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

An inside look at Bobby’s boneyard

Bobby+the+Beacon+stands+in+the+middle+of+his+bedroom.+Illustration+by+Bianca+Oppedisano+%28She%2FHer%29+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff.

Bobby the Beacon stands in the middle of his bedroom. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano (She/Her) / Mass Media Staff.

They say that there are only a few moments in life that truly matter; only a few moments that define you. Last week, I believe I experienced one of these moments when I was called on to conduct another interview with the school mascot, Bobby Beacon. Of course, this wasn’t the first time I interviewed the beloved blue behemoth, but there was now one notable difference: This time I would be descending into the depths of Wheatley to interview him in his on-campus residence, a place I quickly discovered was considered to be, “Bobby’s Boneyard.”

“Hey man! Welcome to the Boneyard! Mi casa, tu casa!” Bobby was at the door as soon as I arrived. It seemed like he had been waiting for me.

He ushered me in and spoke in a casual tone, “I completely forgot you were coming, so if the place is a mess, please excuse me.”

The room was absolutely spotless. Like, I had never seen a room that had been so meticulously cleaned in my life. The “Boneyard” was essentially the ultimate retro-hipster man cave.  An enormous collection of vinyl records covered the left wall, sorted alphabetically from “ABBA” to “Zappa” and everything in between. The right wall was dedicated to video games with a classic Pac-Man machine, vintage “Simpsons” pinball and a Nintendo 64. Between the two giant lava lamps was a large circular waterbed. An extravagant Persian rug tied it all together. While all this stuff was pretty cool, it was obvious that Bobby was stuck living in a different era.

I jumped into my questions with what I thought was an easy one. “So Bobby, obviously, you attend a lot of school events to spread Beacon pride. What are some recent events that stood out to you?”

“Before I answer that, I should warn you.” Bobby spoke as he started to play pinball, “I’m off the clock right now so I’m not under any obligation to kiss the school’s booty if you know what I mean. As for my favorite recent event? Well, I drew a papa peeper in the snow outside the residence halls a couple weeks ago. That was pretty cool.”

Bobby giggled to himself as he continued to rack up points on the machine. A little scared to continue, I asked my next question. “Being a mascot must come with a lot of benefits…” Before I could continue, Bobby cut me off.

“Benefits? You want to talk about benefits? This job comes with zero benefits! I mean, nada! Zippo! Jack diddly squat! I don’t got health insurance, hell, I don’t even have dental! Like, if something happens to me—God forbid—you might as well pop me in a casket and ship me down to Hades! But hey, that’s the American health care system for ya.”

Bobby lost his game and let out a disappointed howl. Despite the absurdity of his first two responses, I decided to attempt another question. “Bobby, are there any upcoming events that you’d like to tell the readers about?”

Bobby’s eyes lit up as he spoke. “Well, not that it would matter to somebody like you, but next week is Valentine’s day, a.k.a., the busiest week of the year for me. I’ve been called the Rasputin of the twenty-first century by my contemporaries so I’ll just say this; there’s no lack of love in my life! I might need that time-turner thing from ‘Harry Potter’ in order to get it all done in one night if ya know what I mean.”

Bobby looked at me suggestively as if he really wanted to ensure that I got what he meant. Sadly, I did. Even sadder, he wasn’t done.

“Look, I’ve thought about it long and hard. What is it about ol’ Bobby Beacon that gets everybody in such a fluster? My irresistible good looks? My undying passion for the art of seduction? Nah, there must be more to it than that. Sometimes it feels like I’m George Clooney doing an ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ into somebody’s pants. It’s my natural charm and charisma, I guess.”

Clearly, Bobby had no intention of giving me a respectable interview, and I was starting to feel a little creeped out by his sexually charged responses. I decided it was in my best interest to get out of there as soon as possible to try and salvage what I could from this train wreck of an interview.

As I started to go, Bobby’s tone became frantic and desperate. “Come on, don’t go! I was just joshing around! It’s the Boneyard, anything goes down here! Just boys being boys!”

He wasn’t helping his case and I had one foot out the door. It was at this moment that something miraculous happened. It was as though a mask had suddenly fallen from Bobby’s face. His entire composure changed. The masquerade was over.

“Wait! Just hear me out. I’m sorry about those things I said about my busy love life. Those were lies. I only said those things to be weird because I’m afraid that if I’m not weird, people won’t see me. It’s just that sometimes I feel like I have to put on an act because my existence is inconsequential. I see the way you guys write about me in the paper. I know how the students see me, I’m not stupid. It’s not that I like being a laughing stock, but if that’s the only form of acknowledgment I can get, I’ll take it. If I seem braggadocious, it’s because I’m deeply insecure. Maybe that’s why I can’t find true love. Hell, I’d just settle for a friend.”

Bobby collapsed onto the waterbed, sinking further into his depression. Call me a sympathetic fool, but I really started to feel bad for the guy. He may be kind of uncomfortable to be around, but I couldn’t stand to let him suffer alone. I walked up to his record collection, picked out the soundtrack album for “Toy Story” and put on “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman. Bobby looked up at me as I outstretched my hand to him. He grinned a wide smile, his light shining bright for perhaps the first time in a long time.

And so we sat together on the Boneyard floor, playing Mario Kart and talking about life, not as interviewer and interviewee, but as friends. It was a beautifully thematic way to end our session. I guess everyone could use a friend sometimes, even Bobby Beacon.

About the Contributor
Joe DiPersio, Humor Editor