Jonathan Carey sinks deeper into the couch, cradling a longneck, drinking away a dream deferred. There are the things in life you imagine, and the things you end up doing in the meantime, and if you're very lucky, the two sometimes overlap.

But mostly not.

"You know the cast show they have at Disney?" Carey says. "Mickey [Mouse], Donald [Duck], Minnie [Mouse], Goofy? I've just always wanted to be Goofy."

A sip.

"Only I couldn’t make the height requirement."

I want to laugh. It sounds like Carey is joking. After all, I came to Dave Raymond’s Mascot Boot Camp expecting as much -- silliness beneath the warm winter sun, here at the Los Angeles Dodgers' former spring training complex in Vero Beach, Florida, a long weekend of goofing off alongside a half-dozen minor league baseball mascots under the tutelage of a man best known as the original Phillie Phanatic.

I've even rented a matted, dilapidated panda costume for the occasion, specifically because it:

(a) Looks ridiculous;
(b) Fits neatly into an overhead bin;
(c) See (a).

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