COLUMN: My weekend as a wing-whacker


By Noah Masliah, Ninth Grade

Recently Shalhevet hosted the Glouberman tournament (congrats to the boys) and they needed a mascot. I, not knowing what I was getting into, decided to take up the offer of being the mascot. It was fun for the first two or three games, but then it just got super tiring and not so fun.

The mascot suit wasn’t exactly my size, so I had a bit of extra wing compared to the length of my arm. The suit was super-hot inside and pretty thick because it was made out of fake fur. But the wings being a bit long helped a bit, and if I flapped my wings it would make it a bit cooler.

I decided to use the extra length of the wings to my advantage and to wing-whack some people with them. I would swing my arm in the same way that I would normally slap someone, but from farther than usual so the extra wing would hit them instead of my hand. I did it to a good number of people and it was pretty fun and harmless.

The last game I was mascot for was the girls game on Friday afternoon. During that game, a friend and I were play-fighting. I playfully pushed him (it was a very light push) and to go along with it, he fell to the floor. Then I wing-whacked him, but depending on the angle you looked from, it looked like I punched him. Little did I know that another friend was filming it from the window overlooking the gym on the second floor. From there it looked like I punched him. They had several other videos too, but they were of me doing nothing interesting.

Things got really interesting the Monday after Glouberman when my friend decided to release the video on the grade group chat, knowing that even though it was fake-fighting, people might believe it was real. People started accusing me

of bullying, though some noticed that I hadn’t actually done anything.

Things escalated pretty quickly when the case got to journalism class. The person who filmed the wing-whacking is in my journalism class, and he and I came into class arguing about it jokingly. Mrs. Keene heard this and saw it as a chance for a great lesson. Instead of doing a normal lesson, she asked someone in the class to show the video on the TV, then imagine that someone had given this video to the Boiling Point and the editors had to decide what to do about it.

Mrs. Keene made us replay the video over and over again either in slow motion or at normal speed. Even though everyone knew it had been just playful and fake, for the purposes of the exercise they started arguing over whether I had actually hit him and pushed him. I obviously said it was fake, but if a real newspaper was evaluating a tape like this they could think I was just lying.

I had to leave the room so they could treat me as just one source and take votes on whether to hypothetically “publish.” Aside from me, some other people were given roles as fake “witnesses.” I was outside for about 10 minutes and then came back and got “interviewed.”

The results were shocking. Based partly on the fake witnesses, a majority of the class decided that I had hit and pushed my friend. The bell rang and the class ended.

In conclusion, always be careful about what you are doing even if you don’t mean it or it is a joke, because you never know what someone else might think. You never know the other side of the story so be cautious. There are always two sides to a story and you must keep in mind the other side. And lastly, never be afraid to try something new. What’s the worst that could happen? Getting accused of being a wing-whacker isn’t that bad.