We — the writers, editors, owners, janitors, and assorted miscreants of The Red Shtick — are sorry. Our bad. This one is on us. Usa culpa. We really whiffed this time.
Sticky, the new bicentennial mascot for Baton Rouge you may have seen so proudly paraded by city-parish leaders like Mayor Kip Holden and Visit Baton Rouge President Paul Arrigo, is our fault. We came up with that abomination.
It’s the only explanation for why a mid-major city like Baton Rouge would adopt a used tampon as its mascot. As many of you suspected all along, the entire thing was a Red Shtick plot to bring humor (and education!) to the community.
Originally, we started out brainstorming for something that’d say Baton Rouge, and we thought, “Why not be literalists? Literal can be funny! Baton Rouge is a Red Stick!” and we set out to make something that looked sort of like a red, bloody stick. That’s fun, right?
Sticky would use its rope for tugs of war with kids at local elementary schools, pulling them to a “flood of understanding” as Sticky provided facts about puberty, the menstrual cycle, and flood insurance.
So we made a bloody stick mascot. Sort of. I mean, we tried … and immediately realized that nobody in his right mind thought “bloody stick” when he looked at Sticky. All he thought was “used tampon.”
It was time to rethink. Retrench. Repurpose.
— Visit Baton Rouge (@visitbatonrouge) November 3, 2016
So we huddled up, decided to add a long, braided rope to the costume, kept drinking Forty Creek, and congratulated ourselves for making fortified lemonade when life gave us one lemon of a mascot.
Sticky would use its rope for tugs of war with kids at local elementary schools, pulling them to a “flood of understanding” as Sticky provided facts about puberty, the menstrual cycle, and flood insurance. After all, “Not even Sticky can hold back a thousand-year flood!”
In field testing, however, we found the red Kool-Aid we soaked Sticky in was staining, and some children found the “oozing” unsettling.
Other names floated for the mascot on social media included Aunt Fleaux, which we at The Red Shtick very much enjoyed. A few staffers insisted on calling the mascot “Nick Saban,” with various crimson tide references thrown in, but they were overruled.
Still, having realized we could make this mascot, we never thought to ask ourselves if we should.
As an organization, as members of this community, this failure on our part hurts. We thought we were better than this. Like a street protester who hadn’t found the time to vote in the election, we failed to live up to the lofty expectations you held for us. We only hope you’ll give us a second chance.
It’s time to flush Sticky and move on. We don’t know what we were thinking.