Vail local celebrates birthday in quarantine looking like ‘Tiger King’
'Everyone just laughs, they know it's a joke'
Like many people having birthdays during COVID-19 quarantine orders, Mikey Elstad wanted to celebrate safely.
The Vail local turned 34 on Thursday while looking like Joe Exotic from the Netflix hit show “Tiger King.”
“I really was only planning on keeping it a few days, maybe a week, but I got so much response from my friends that they were loving it and it was lightening up their day and making their quarantine more enjoyable,” Elstad said. “So I just kept it.”
He had been growing his hair out for about two years and always wanted a playful mullet.
“Then ‘Tiger King’ came out and I thought this was my opportunity,” he said. “This is perfect.”
A little bit of bleach and a quick trim transformed Elstad into the popular Netflix character.
“I’m just trying to bring some humor through these times,” he said. “So I figured I’d just try to lighten the mood a little bit and bring some smiles to people’s faces.”
On his birthday, he Zoom chatted with his parents and sister before spending the day with his girlfriend — and quarantine partner — and his dog. Later in the evening, he Zoomed with about 20 of his friends from all over.
“Everyone just laughs,” Elstad said. “They know it’s a joke.”
He’s also gotten on some work video calls in his Joe Exotic look.
“They know as soon as I have to go back to being face-to-face with people it’s not going to be that way,” he said. “Of course, my girlfriend does not dig the look by any means, but she gets it. She knows I’m just doing it for fun.”
Elstad, like many “Tiger King” fans, is excited about rumors of more content being released on Netflix. He binge-watched the series over the course of two days with his girlfriend.
“Just try to stay connected with your friends and your family,” he recommends to people celebrating birthdays in quarantine. “Make some time throughout the day to connect with them via phone call or Zoom. It’s always nice to see faces.
“Don’t try to break the rules of social distancing,” he added. “Just stay home, be smart and try to get this thing over and done with as quick as we can.”
As for his Joe Exotic look?
“It’s lasting a little longer than planned,” he said.
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.