Darby Risner, a 15-year-old girl from Trussville, Alabama, has gained sudden fame after reportedly getting a mascot head stuck on her own head.
The mascot in question was Barney the dinosaur, of PBS children’s television fame. "It's all fun and games until someone gets stuck in a giant Barney dinosaur head," as ABC News quipped.
According to the official story, it all began as a prank. On June 20, Darby found the giant Barney head at a friend’s house and put it on to scare her friends.
Not surprisingly, the goofy dinosaur head failed to scare anyone, but when Darby tried to pull it off, it wouldn’t budge.
"I started getting a little claustrophobic and felt like it was kind of closing in," Darby told ABC News.
It turned out the Barney head had slid over Darby's shoulders, trapping her.
Even after her friends lathered her arms with Vaseline, the head still would not slide off.
Fortunately, one of Darby’s friends has a boyfriend who is a fireman, so they all hopped in the car and drove to the Trussville Fire Department, which told ABC News that they had never removed a stuck Barney head before.
Despite their lack of experience with such matters, the firemen ultimately succeeded in removing the fiberglass Barney cranium by cutting it in strategic locations.
After 45 minutes inside the head, Darby was finally free.
One wonders, however, if the whole episode was concocted by the teens as a publicity stunt.
After all, by the time the matter was resolved, Darby’s friends "had already spread the word though every social media platform possible," notes the Washington Post. And the news quickly went viral, generating calls from local and national media, including the Today Show.
Darby told the Post, "I honestly didn’t think it would accelerate this big."
Whatever the case, Darby’s 45 minutes inside Barney’s head have given her 15 minutes of fame.