Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News </i>
Andrea Wilcox was tackled while wearing the "Curly Top" outfit at a Dairy Queen in Orem.

OREM — It was so uncool.

There she was, minding her own business on a warm summer day, standing on the sidewalk and waving to kids in passing cars when she was attacked from behind.

Her smile melted.

So much for an uneventful day as the friendly neighborhood ice cream cone.

Andrea Wilcox, who wears an inflatable suit shaped like the tasty treat from Dairy Queen, had donned the suit for the fifth time when she was taken down by a bunch of pranksters as she paraded in front of the State Street fast-food joint.

"I heard a truck drive up behind me, so I turned around and was waving at them when a kid jumped out and ran toward me," said Wilcox about the 12:30 p.m. incident Saturday. "I thought 'What is he doing?' and he just tackled me like a football player."

Her view from inside the "Curly Top" suit isn't very good. She didn't get a good look at the person who pounced on her like a PETA activist at a fur coat show.

But she was able to see enough of the vehicle to describe it to the police, said Sophie Thomas, Dairy Queen manager.

The offenders returned a second time, but Dairy Queen employees were unable to get the license plate number of the vehicle.

Wilcox certainly isn't the first mascot to take a drubbing. Remember that incident at Miller Park in Milwaukee on July 11, 2003?

Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Randall Simons took a swing at a 19-year-old Mandy Block, a game contestant clad in a sausage costume.

Block stumbled and fell in front of the Pirates dugout. This caused another tumble when a 21-year-old co-worker tripped over Block and fell.

For his part in the incident, Simons spent two days in jail.

After his release, Simons autographed two baseball bats for the two women, since that is all they wanted in return.

In the case of the Curly Top, this isn't the first time the $1,500 costume has been victimized. The first time, customers rushed to the mascot's aid, Thomas said.

Two years ago, a man driving by saw the Curly Top get knocked over and jumped out of his car to get the license plate number of the car, she said.

As a manager, Thomas is concerned about her employees and has devised a new policy when it comes to wearing Curly Top.

"I will now only let them out there if there are two of them," she said.

Another local restaurant chain has experienced a different kind of abuse when it comes to mascots.

Joe Johnson, owner of Little Caesars franchises in Utah, said they have never had their roadside mascots attacked, but people have thrown items such as mustard and ketchup packets.

The incident did not frighten Wilcox too much. About 15 minutes after the attack, Wilcox was back out on State Street waving to passers-by.


E-mail: rhugh@desnews.com