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Posted at 2:50 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Extra base hit with Cupid's arrow

By Ryan Korby

There’s no better way to show your love to a special person in your life than have a giant mascot deliver them gifts on Valentine’s Day. At least that’s what I think.

When the Washington Nationals announced that for Valentine’s Day you could have their mascot, Screech, deliver a Screech Gram I decided that my mom would be a lucky recipient. A Screech Gram consists of the bald eagle mascot swooping in and giving your loved one a box of candies, a balloon and a miniature Build-a-Bear version of himself. Although my parents’ house was outside Screech’s normal range I luckily was able to work things out, and with my dad acting as the chief financier of the Screech Gram, the plan was set.

We decided to have Screech out to visit my mom the day before Valentine’s Day. I received a call about 15 minutes before Screech was supposed to visit my mom.

“Squawk,” screeched Screech.

Fluent in Mascot, I responded, “Let me check if she’s home. I’ll give you a call back in five minutes.”

When I called home, I wasn’t sure if my mom had been prepped for the surprise, so I danced around my real reason for calling, trying to think of a good fake reason. Luckily, my dad had told her to be ready for “something,” so I didn’t have to be that secretive. The main thing my mom wanted to know was if she was going to be embarrassed.

She told me, “I’m scared you’re going to ‘ice me’ or put me on Youtube doing something weird.”

Love her.

I was thinking to myself, “No, I’m just going to document the entire thing and put it up on”

I called Screech back and told him the plan was set. He then sauntered up the street from his Screech-mobile and up to my parent’s house. Screech rang the doorbell and my dad told Mom to answer it.

“All I could see was a hairy arm and I thought it was a Gorilla Gram or something,” Mom said.

For full photo documentation...

Mental note: find out where I can get a Gorilla Gram company on retainer. The family dog, Clarence, apparently kept his distance, afraid and not quite sure what to do with a 7-foot tall Bald Eagle. Eventually he would warm up and take advantage of a photo-op with the big guy.  

Screech presented his Valentine’s gifts to Mom and hammed it up for the camera with her for a couple of minutes. My favorite part about him is his hathead, as seen below. Screech is a lady’s man, though and had many other visits to make, so as quickly as he arrived, he was soon gone. I guess love is fleeting. The lovable mascot definitely left an impression on Mom that she won’t soon forget.

“He was a great Valentine, I laughed through the entire thing!” she said.

Screech has another busy day today. Maybe he’ll be your Valentine.

By Ryan Korby  | February 14, 2011; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  Nationals, Ryan Korby  | Tags:  Nationals, Ryan Korby  
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