The year was 2018. The place, Philadelphia.
The city — a hardscrabble metropolis of hungry underdogs and steel skyscrapers — was producing and introducing mascots at a rate never before seen.
But were these creatures friends or were they fiends? Only time would tell.
On Monday, the Please Touch Museum introduced its new mascot, Squiggles, making him the third new mascot introduced in Philly in a month. Just two weeks prior, Gritty — the Flyers mascot — made his debut at the Please Touch Museum and on Sept. 10, the Philadelphia Union introduced its new mascot, Phang, a snake with limbs.
It's not like Philly was a city longing for a mascot. In the opinion of many, the Phillie Phanatic is already the greatest mascot in major league sports. Trying to compete with him is a no-win game, like trying to compete with Beyonce at anything. Any Philly mascot for the rest of time will undoubtedly be compared to the Phanatic — and will fail miserably. And they should.
The decision by Gritty's creators to not play it safe, to go as weird as possible with this googly-eyed Muppet-like master of mayhem, may prove fruitful for the Flyers in an age where there is no such thing as a bad meme.
Will Squiggles, who is also a creature of an undefinable nature, ride the same wave of popularity or slither into relative obscurity, like Phang?
One thing is for certain, the internet is already calling for blood — or Mascot Kombat — if you will, which is totally appropriate for a children's museum mascot. Obviously.
And some people are ready to fight on Squiggles' behalf.
Others even vowed to head down to the museum today for the very chance to touch Squiggles, which we assume is possible since he is the mascot for the Please Touch Museum.