let me tell you about the once-ler
so on saturday night timestreams and i were returning from draw party/other party ridiculousness. we were walking back towards the con center and figured we might wait for a friend to get out of a panel at around 2:00 AM so we could walk her back to her hotel. we were in normal clothes- both of us had washed off the paint from our aradiabot and marceline cosplays earlier in the day- and imo neither of us particularly look like typical congoers while in regular clothes. we decided to make use of this being incognito thing so we took a seat in front of one of the con entrances and just watched the cosplayers that were still milling around that late at night.
most of the cosplayers kind of ignored us, because i guess they didn’t think we were con people, except then this once-ler cosplayer walks by with a friend. i was immediately interested in the huge lorax plushie she had with her, so i was watching her go by.
now, i do not profess to be in the lorax or once-ler fandom. i saw the movie, but that was that. i’ve never really had a positive or negative opinion about the movie beyond “that was cute, might watch again but probably not.”
the once-ler cosplayer looked over at me, noticing me staring, and said something like ‘i see you’re checking out my lorax!’
so i smiled and was like ‘yeah, it’s cute!’ then realized that their cosplay was pretty great, so i reached for my camera and asked if i could have a photo. so i took this picture, and then as they turned to go i noticed she had a big pink woollen… thing with her. i laughed a little and was like, ‘oh, you’ve even got that!’
the once-ler cosplayer immediately grabs it, holds it up, and says, ‘do you want a sales pitch?’
expecting some silly line from the movie, i just said yes, because why not?
what actually happened was this cosplayer launched into one of the most impressive bits of on-the-spot in-character cosplay acting i have ever witnessed. they went on for at least two minutes, speaking in this totally smooth salesman voice, managing to somehow rhyme their sentences, provide all kinds of ridiculous uses for the thneed, give examples of what it could do from wiping up spills (they dropped down and put it on the floor) to serving as a hat (they put it on their head), etc etc etc. it was incredibly clever and hilarious and i wish i could remember more of it but i was laughing my ass off the entire time.
near the end the cosplayer asked, “NOW, how much do you think something like this costs? something that does ALL THIS?”
so, playing along, i responded, “uhhh… it seems kinda expensive!”
“somewhere in the triple digits…?”
and the cosplayer booms out, “NO, IT’S ONLY THREE-NINETY-NINE! NOW TELL ME… DO YOU WANT A THNEED?”
i had no choice but to answer in the only acceptable way.
“I NEED A THNEED” i yelled, possibly attracting the attention of everyone else on the street, but it was worth it.
the cosplayer threw it over my head and then i began clapping. ru, who was still sitting and watching the whole thing, began clapping too.
extremely stunned/impressed by the act i’d just witnessed, i handed the prop back to the cosplayer and asked, “wow, was that rehearsed?” and then i paused- “or was it improv?”
i really did not expect the cosplayer to respond with the latter, but they responded in a modest voice, “it was improv- i’m a theater major.”
my OH MY GOD-ing lasted for a long while after the cosplayer and her friend moved on. it put me in such a good mood for the rest of the night and was honestly one of the highlights of my otakon. and it’s not because i’m in the lorax fandom or anything like that- it’s because of this cosplayer’s ability to instantly snap into character and be witty as hell and hilarious about it. she definitely made a huge impression on me. that’s the kind of cosplayer i’d like to strive to be.
so, once-ler cosplayer, if you ever see this post, thank you for making my night! you’re brilliant.