Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot and googly-eyed hero of Pennsylvania, turned three last week. In order to celebrate his big day, the ginger-bearded freak invited his public out to watch a giant inflatable version of him bob around, enjoy a cake made in his image, and ride around on a motorcycle before insisting that we all picture him naked.
Gritty announced his birthday festivities in a letter, posted in full by NHL.com, that he released on the eve of September 24th, “National Gritty Day.” In it, he explains that he has “[grown] one year older and like a tall tree, [grown] one more ring in my innards.” He tells his devotees that he’ll be cruising around the city with “a couple hundred pounds of pure adrenaline between my legs” for his birthday and requests that the city pay him proper tribute.
“Tomorrow, we celebrate ME,” he writes. “...Tomorrow I ask for this: Remember what you love about me, remember the first time I made you laugh, remember the first time you saw me naked, remember what you felt the first time we locked eyes, and remember every time you saw me in your dreams and woke up in a cold sweat.”
Fox 29 Philadelphia uploaded a clip of Gritty roaring down I-95, which, combined with everything else related to the celebration, forces the question of exactly how old the creature is when compared to our own lifespans.
The only way to figure this out is to look at the facts. In order to earn a motorcycle license in the state of Pennsylvania, residents must be at least 16 years old. By our math, that means Gritty is now an adolescent in human years and will likely have returned to his unfathomable maker by 2035 or so if his rate of aging continues apace.
Even if he does dissolve back into the earth in the near future, we should use this third birthday celebration to remember that Gritty’s had an exciting career in his short life so far. He’s met reality TV celebrities, posed as a model for nude paintings and butter sculptures, and, most notably, emerged unscathed from a scandal based around allegations that he punched a kid in the back.
That’s not bad at all for a three-year-old.
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