Monday, December 8, 2008

Buddy the Anthropomorphic Lump

Over the weekend we were invited to another little girl's birthday party, this time at an establishment called Great Play on Central Park Avenue in Scarsdale.

I loved this party. And the reason I loved it is that it has a mascot named Buddy, who kind of resembles a square of chocolate with bulbous eyes. In some lights, he looks kinda brown. And then he resembles well, you know...a turd. But in reality, Buddy is supposed to be a space alien.

Greay Play has this thing called Interactive Arena that is pretty cool. There are a series of interactive screens around the room, and different images are projected on them throughout the course of the party. The kids can throw a ball at a screen and try to make various images move, make noise, and so on.

The young woman leading the party invited the little princes and princesses to walk down a red carpet of sorts, whereupon they would be transported into a magical kingdom with castles and other magical paraphernalia. And there, among the pink-clad princesses and turrets, was Buddy--projected on all four surrounding walls. Riding on a horse. Later, he appeared as a space alien kicking a soccer ball. Because of the size of the imagery and the sheer amount of virtual Buddies replicated on the walls, it was hard to look anywhere without seeing a big, orangish-brown lump with eyes. Someone near me said, "I wish I had brought the shrooms."

Then Buddy's photo was blasted all over the walls while the kids ran from end to end, trying to "catch" the photo and "tickle" it. They were supposed to be tickling Buddy's feet, but because of the height of the projection, they really ended up tickling his nether regions. "Tickle Buddy!" shouted the assistant. "Tickle his nads!" I wanted to shout.

The other freaky thing about the party was that the young male who ran it sounded very much like Bobcat Goldthwait, complete with weird head jerks and gesticulations of the mouth. It was like he'd been studying the man's moves in an effort to BE Bobcat. "Come on kids," he'd splutter in a maniacal, retarded fashion. "LET'S GET BUDDY! brawhahahahwwww!" And then he'd stomple around frenetically, arms waving, like Bobcat did when he wore the Godzilla suit in the film One Crazy Summer. He sounded JUST LIKE THIS. The kids followed him around like he was the pied piper.

By now we were all tripping. One little girl screamed and said that Buddy scared her. But on the way home, my boys said that they loved the party. And they loved Buddy best of all.

More photos of the event forthcoming.

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