Spiderman is appearing on front lawns and hanging off decks in Guelph these days.
He arrives just in time and leaves the neighbourhood speechless and it’s all worth it for him if it puts a smile on a child’s face during this pandemic.
“Everybody gets a kick out of it,” said Brandon Bott, 23, known to many in Guelph as the Guelph Spectacular Spiderman who has been showing up at birthday parties and charity events as his favourite superhero for the last five years.
“I’m just like $10 will be a quick little visit. If you can’t no worries.”
Knowing the pandemic has been extremely difficult for everyone, he decided to cheer the little ones right on their front lawn three weeks ago.
Being a gymnast as a child helped him replicate some spidey moves during his visits. Sometimes families will call him to the backyard and he will be hanging on a tree to surprise children, do flips on the ground or hang upside down on the deck to convince even the most cynical children.
If they’re too far from Guelph, he will even send virtual messages.
“It’s awesome seeing the reactions of the kids. They’re like ‘What’? ‘Spiderman’? ‘What’s Spiderman doing here!’”
Dressing up as Spiderman was never about the money for Bott. When people do pay him, he puts the money aside to mend his suit. “If I don’t need to spend it, I just donate really,” he says.
People in the neighbourhood will swear by the joy he spreads.
Jennifer Florence, a nurse, invited Bott to visit a seven-year-old child with special needs once in April and again last week.
Florence said Bott came cartwheeling on the sidewalk and did poses right on the front lawn.
“He couldn't believe that Spiderman was there again especially just to see him,” Florence said about the child.
“He was just overwhelmed again like he was just so happy couldn't even speak which isn't even like him. This kid could normally just talk non-stop.”
She said the two took photos with funny poses. “Brandon was just absolutely amazing with him like got down on his level was able to talk with him and ask him questions as well too,” said Florence.
“I think this is probably one of the most exciting things during this time.”
She said when she offered Bott money, he refused. ‘He didn't ask for anything and he even offered to come back again,” said Florence.
Bott visited seven homes on the Victoria Day long weekend when he had some extra time on his hands apart from his day job in construction.
With all his fans being children, He understands firsthand the joy it brings to them.
“I loved Spiderman as a child,” said Bott.
He started dressing up as Spiderman in conventions years ago which led him to find his passion of going around town dressing as Spiderman in birthday parties five years ago
He would be seen in front of Quebec Street Shoppes and hanging off street lights around the city.
“People don’t expect it, Even bus drivers are like ‘Woah!’. I’ll surprise a couple just by walking down the street,” said Bott.
Bott said spreading cheer for him has become even more important for him during the pandemic.
“It puts a smile on people’s faces. It’s something simple I can do. All I have to do is put a costume on and be my favourite character,” said Bott.