The Last Black Unicorn(4)

People loved it.

My routine was dope. I would be running up and down the field with my megaphone, telling people what to do, leading cheers.

Tiffany: “El Cam, what?”

Crowd: “Mino!”

Tiffany: “El Cam, whaaaaat?”

Crowd: “MINO!”

Tiffany: “You know!”

Crowd: “WE KNOW!”

I would pass out candy, I would bring people down from the stands and do dance-offs, I would do all kinds of fun stuff like that. I would be watching ESPN to see what the professional mascots do, and then I’d be ripping off their techniques. I was pretty awesome at this.

The only reason I even wanted to be on the cheerleading squad (or, later, a mascot) was so I could be with the football players, because Audie also played football. But also, there was some other fine guys that played football, so I figured this would be a great way to get a boyfriend and get laid.

None of that worked out, but I did become the most popular girl in school. They even put a plaque on the wall with my name on it. It’s still on the wall. And best of all—by my senior year, I was getting PAID to be the high school mascot.

I was paid $50 a game. That was unprecedented for my high school.

See, that happened because Audie told me he couldn’t be with me. It was during my eleventh-grade year.

Audie: “I can’t date no mascot. I’m not going to have no mascot girlfriend. They going to be calling me the mascot assistant. I don’t think so.”

To make Audie jealous, I had gotten another boyfriend on the football team. He was a grade under me, and he used to carry my bag for me. So they started calling him the assistant mascot.

Audie: “See man, that’s why I don’t fuck with Tiffany. I ain’t no assistant mascot.”

My senior year, my boyfriend broke up with me, because he got tired of his friends calling him the assistant mascot. He didn’t want to get clowned like that. I told the principal I had to quit. I told everybody I quit, because I’m looking for a boyfriend. They thought it was a joke, but then when they saw I wasn’t at the first game my senior year, they was like, “We ain’t going to the next game.”

The attendance numbers went way down. Like, half the people didn’t show up to the second game, because the Conquistador had retired. The Dean called me in:

Dean: “What’s it going to take to get you back on the field, Haddish?”

Tiffany: “A boyfriend.”

Dean: “I can’t get you a boyfriend. What else can we do?”

Tiffany: “A boyfriend is what I need.”

Dean: “How about we give you double credits?”

Tiffany: “I got credits. I go to summer school every year. I got credits. I need a boyfriend.”

Dean: “Tiffany, please, be reasonable. I can’t get you a boyfriend. How about we compensate you the candy sales?”

Tiffany: “No. I want a boyfriend.”

Dean: “What else, Tiffany? What else?”

Tiffany: “Fine . . . gimme $100 per game.”

Dean: “No, we can’t give you $100. How about $25?”

Tiffany: “$75.”

Dean: “I can’t do $75. I can’t very well compensate you $75 from candy.”

Tiffany: “No, this ain’t about candy. This is my time for not having no boyfriend. I’m going to need to get my hair done. I need to get my nails done. I’m going to have to start being a fly chick if I want a boyfriend, and being a mascot is not going to help me get no boyfriend, so I can’t do it.”

Dean: “$50, Haddish, and that’s the most I can do, and you’re going to have to bring the candy receipts.”

Tiffany: “You got it. You got it, Mr. Dean.”

Boom! I was getting paid $50 a game my senior year. I had my hair and nails done, too.

? ? ?

Being paid to be a mascot was cool and all, but what was really cool was that it got me my first real paying entertainment job.

I became an “energy producer” at Bar Mitzvahs. Energy producer is what white suburban people call a “hype man.” I was basically the Flava Flav of Bar Mitzvahs.

I used to get that party cracking. And eventually, I got into MCing and DJing. I did it for eleven years. I did over five hundred Bar Mitzvahs.

It started when I was at a school dance. I was tearing it up. There was a big circle around me, ’cause I was dancing and having fun with people and all that. Whenever I party, man, there’s always a circle. They was like, “Go Tiffany! Go Tiffany!”

The school dance had a professional DJ. He came up to me afterwards:

DJ: “Tiff, you’re amazing. Do you ever do parties?”

Tiffany: “I love to party.”

DJ: “I’d love for you to work for my company. We do executive parties and Bar Mitzvahs. Here is my card, give me a call, let’s set up a meeting.”

I’m thinking this dude is disgusting. The problem was, I didn’t know what a Bar Mitzvah was. I had no clue. It just sounded nasty. I thought he was so nasty, but I didn’t want to be rude to him, so I took his card. I took it back to my grandma.

Tiffany: “Grandma, this man asked me to dance at executive parties and Bar Mitzvahs. Can you believe this?”

Grandma: “Girl, you better call him. That’s getting close to your people.”

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