And Alexandria’s newest mascot gives a rare exclusive interview.
Alexandria, VA – After months of email exchanges and vote tallies, The Zebra Press’ beloved mascot has been officially named… Newzy! Like most zebras, Newzy has unique stripes and sleeps standing up. While reading a newspaper, however, he prefers to sit in coffee shops and otherwise mostly hangs out at Alexandria parades, ribbon cuttings, sporting events, and other local gatherings.
“Newzy…It’s a good name and I’m running with it,” Newzy told The Zebra in a recent interview. “The ‘Z’ is a reminder that I can’t spell, but can laugh.”
An Alexandria native, Newzy, 9, was raised in the city’s Zebra community in Del Ray, and recently made his breakthrough appearance at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Town. Immediately after the parade, the Zebra Press’s mail, both online and paper, became littered with name suggestions. The final top two were Ziggy and Newzy. After an intense period of people walking back and forth with bowed heads, stopping suddenly, walking again and bumping into each other, history was made. The Zebra Press finally decided on the name.
Newzy’s story is unforgettable, too.
The Zebra:Congrats on the name! How’s it feel?
Newzy: Newzy…It’s a good name and I’m running with it. The “Z” is a reminder that I can’t spell, but I can laugh. It’s better than my old name, which is Howard.
The Zebra: No doubt. Are you like other zebras? What does breakfast look like?
Newzy: Some zebras like to eat grass for breakfast, but I prefer eating other local publications before running to the office.
The Zebra: That’s ridiculous!
Newzy: You asked! You see, to me words are as delicious as… As… Well, you know.
The Zebra: Like sugar to a horse?
Newzy: I’m a zebra. Yes, please, on the sugar. Stat.
The Zebra: Are you the first member of your family to be a mascot?
Newzy: Yes. My father, the neurosurgeon, doesn’t approve. Sure, I’ve got extra steady hooves, but my love for Alexandria keeps me so busy, from ribbon cuttings to parades and birthday parties, that my schedule is completely packed. I really can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I never have to pay for meals, either, since Alexandria has more than 20 community events with free food every day. In fact, that reminds me – I really need to get back on the treadmill.
The Zebra:Do you have brothers and sisters?
Newzy: Of course! I’m one of five, and when we get together we form a wicked basketball team. Maybe one of these days I can convince them to come out for an exhibition game. But they all have real jobs – two doctor brothers, a lawyer sister, and my other brother Harry is a camouflage expert for the U.S. Army and works in a tiny little office in the Pentagon with a single lonely light bulb hanging down in the middle that you can bat back and forth with your hand. Why would I want that? This is the life for me.
The Zebra: Is there a Mrs. Newzy in your life?
Newzy: No, but I have to admit to having a giant crush. She’s only the most famous zebra in Kenya, and that means the world. You’d know her if you saw her. She’s always featured in the best wildlife magazines.
The Zebra:What’s her name? Can you give us a hint?
Newzy: I probably shouldn’t. Oh, all right. Her name is… Zaza.
The Zebra: Zaza?!
Newzy: Ssh! Keep it down! Yes, ok. And I’ll tell you now that it’s true that we’ve been friends for a long time, but that’s all. It’s not serious, but…
The Zebra: But now that you’re a famous American zebra from Alexandria with a cool name…
Newzy: Don’t say it! You’ll jinx me! But yes, that’s my dream, to get married to Zaza and bring her back to Alexandria where we can live like zebra royalty and watch our children as little mascots on the sidelines of T.C. Williams High School sporting events.
The Zebra: Strange and admirable.
Newzy: That’s me all over.
The Zebra:What else do you like to do? For fun.
Newzy: I like to meet lots of people, so I go where it’s crowded and where I can give kids and grown-ups high-fives. That’s my favorite moment – seeing people in Alexandria smile when I’m coming, and having my picture taken with them.
The Zebra:What’s the best way for folks to get in touch with you?
Newzy: Through email. Send me a note at Newzy@thezebrapress.com. Otherwise, I’ll probably see you around town soon!