When man and suit combine, it's "Molar Man" time!
It’s a big tooth suit! Although it’s more commonly known as the University of Florida College of Dentistry’smolar mascot to Charbel Klaib, 25, the senior dental student usually inside the cavity-free tooth.
For more than two years, when Molar Man is needed, Klaib has left his scrubs behind to don the costume’s Lycra undergarment he calls a “ballerina outfit” and the molar body.
“It’s kind of like Power Rangers but not nearly as cool,” Klaib said.
Sometimes mistaken for a girl but never for an incisor, Molar Man can be trusted to make appearances at most dentistry events. It’s impossible to see who’s inside the costume, but everyone knows that Klaib and his Molar Man alter ego are one and the same. Mainly because he and the mascot are never seen together, Klaib said.
“You never see Superman and Clark Kent in the same room,” he laughed.
Yes, but can Molar Man change in a phone booth?
The molar costume might be a little too big and the Lycra a bit too small, but the shoes, Klaib said, are just right.
“Dr. Scholl’s has nothing on these shoes,” Klaib said about the molar’s big, blue clown shoes.
Of all the dentistry events in which he’s performed, the college’s annual “Give Kids a Smile” is Klaib’s favorite mascot adventure.
“That was a lot of fun for me because it was all kids and you’re at their level,” Klaib said.
According to Klaib, children either love Molar Man from the start, fear and then come to love him, or just flat out cry in terror. They also either hug, dance with his cuspids and roots, or beat up Molar Man. That’s where it gets tricky, as Klaib said he has to be careful not to get punched in his “furtation” or the area between the roots of the tooth. Ouch, talk about tooth sensitivity.
Despite the challenges of wearing the college’s mascot, Klaib enjoys being Molar Man. Klaib said performing as Molar Man has been one of his most memorable dental school experiences and he plans to continue cultivating his Molar Man alter ego – at least until graduation.
After that, another brave dental student will assume the Molar Man identity, and the legend in big, blue clown shoes will carry on.
Lindy Brounley, firstname.lastname@example.org, (352) 273-5782