This week’s blog entry will be different. Today, we’d like to tell you about our new mascot. He was begotten during the Holidays, and it’s an interesting story…
It was a Friday before Christmas, and all through the house Spiria teammates were gathered, invited for supper. Having stuffed ourselves, we decided to hit the bars. Who could have guessed what that would lead to! A short walk took us to Ottawa’s coolest, strangest dive. Ward 14 is a “concept” bar where everything including the kitchen sink is for sale, even the very chair you’re sitting on. Which makes you look at a place with new eyes. We commandeered a table and started scrutinizing the place, which was filled with all manner of interesting objects. We suspected that after a few drinks, we’d end up carting something away. Little did we know!
As the staff explained the concept to us, we innocently enquired about prices. They seemed very open to negotiation. After ogling a giant lava lamp for a few minutes, our attention shifted to another oversized object. In the dimness of the hallway leading to the bathroom lurked a shady character. We hauled him over to our table to get a better look at him, and it was love at first sight. The Playmobil police officer stood at just over 5 feet, was in great shape, and had arresting good looks. I think that even then, we weren’t actually thinking of buying him; we just thought he was neat. But as the evening wore on, we became increasingly curious to know what a giant Playmobil went for these days. Having made enquiries with the waitress, we were pleasantly surprised by the answer; it was much less than we thought! That’s when we seriously thought about taking him into our custody. After about an hour of back-and-forth, we decided to go for it. We made an offer, which was immediately accepted. It was that easy! Police Officer was ours! After thanking the staff, we took our new friend bar-hopping on Preston Street in Ottawa. We attracted quite a bit of attention…
At the next bar, further down the street, everyone wanted to know the story. We had fun recounting it, and received a warm welcome!
Right away, Police Officer was part of the Spiria family. By the next bar, we were discussing potential new names and looks for him, in keeping with the Spiria image. At the end of the evening, Police Officer was loaded in the back of the car, on his way to a 25-hour process of transition to civilian life.
First things first: we took a mug shot, agreed on a design, and created a Spiria-themed model in Photoshop.
That’s when the hard work started. First, we took Police Officer apart. Then we cleaned him up. This included removing the Police decals.
Then, we had to work on his shoulders, which were broken. Happily, we had all the pieces. A bit of epoxy glue and sanding did the trick. Then, every part of his anatomy that had to be painted was sanded. After a couple of days, we found it perfectly normal to blow blue snot into our Kleenexes!
The next step, painting, was a major challenge. But the nice folks at Canadian Tire made sure we had everything we needed. It took several cans of aerosol paint, but we managed it without too many boo-boos.
We spent a huge amount of time taping up the areas that shouldn’t be painted. Several steps were needed to paint first the jacket, then the pants, and finally the shoes.
Our giant Playmobil pal was now turned out in Spiria colours, and we were pretty proud of ourselves. But there was one final step: sticking on the new decals with our logo and slogan. Doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but we had to make sure to measure twice, stick once!
Mission accomplished, Spiria now has a mascot! We even managed to finish him before the Christmas party, when we unveiled him to the rest of the team. It was so gratifying to see our teammates’ reaction after all the hard work!
We decided to call him Gilles. Want to know why? Pay us a visit and we’ll tell you!