"Want to be part of a fun flashmob experience??!!
Then come join us for two minutes of "unconditional" group laughter in the middle of the Lenox Square Food Court (the whole experience should take less than an hour of your time)."
I have always thought that Flash Mobs were pretty awesome and here was my opportunity to be part of one. I was excited and because it was something as simple as laughing, I felt pretty confident that I wouldn't blow it for the rest of the gang. I was able to convince a friend of ours from Los Angeles who had also just recently moved to Atlanta to join us.
I was so excited that I....well read my facebook post. It sums it up fairly well.
Jon Danniells Almost showed up to a flashmob 24 hours early, oops, thankfully Skye read the invite before we started wandering around in search of a nonexistent 'mob' and yes there was the typical frantic mad dash to get there 'on time', calmly heading home, hoping I didn't leave the stove on or something of that ilk
The good thing was that now that I realized it was on a Saturday, Cindy could participate as well.
On Saturday morning, Cindy decided to skip the initial orientation and just get there for the laughing part. So Skye and I went to pick up our friend to drag her along and off the three of us went.
We got to the mall, found laugh mob and.....again my facebook post,
Jon Danniells My flashmob experience has been co-opted and "approved" by the mall security
Shortly after making introductions we were told that there was a change of plans. The mall had found out and said that the flash mob wasn't going to happen, but our event organizer was able to negotiate something else, so that we could still do something fun as a group. It was more like a performance art piece.
"Wait a second" I thought to myself, "that goes totally against the purpose and whole the point of a flashmob." Had I not brought a friend along, I might not have stayed. If is just Skye and myself, maybe. If I had been by there on my own, I would have been so out of there.
But we did stay and then listened as the main non-mobster laid out the new plan. It involved several groups, staggered "performances", some singing and dancing.
I was seriously rethinking this by now. But our friend was an actress, so she felt right in her element, sort of, I mean a lot more than I did at least, I also had to set an example for Skye, sort of I guess.
Anyway off we marched to our gallows of humiliation and embarrassment.
We went to our sanctioned spot, all set up with stanchions and a fine and able security guard to explain to onlookers that what was going on was okay.
The Laughing Flash Mob Experience
I called Cindy to see where she was. Stuck in traffic. It looked like she was going to miss the whole painful experience. Although she would have had fun as a spectator and really because of her background as a street performer and performance artist would have fare much better than me even with missing the orientation.
We dispersed and then it started.
Waves of groups of people on our phones laughing hysterically. I was doing fine. I was actually enjoying myself. And the yoga laugh exercises; still having fun but beginning to get closer to the edge of my comfort-zone. And then the twirling and dancing, definitely pushing the envelope here. And what had at first looked like it really might have been a rehearsed performance piece was rapidly losing steam.
And that's when they started up the music and the singing and I was done. I'm not a good singer when I actually know the lyrics. I was asked to mouth the words when I was in 5th grade Glee Club (that didn't damage my psyche at all). I was not the only one in a bind. But a couple of the group's leaders carried on belting out songs, trying to breath some life into the affair.
The crowd was slightly confused at the beginning of our debacle, but now were really scratching their heads.
Success at Last
And this is when I realized how much better this was than if the flash mob had succeeded.
If things had gone off as planned, it would have been fun, I'm sure, but I think I would have been underwhelmed and probably a little disappointed. I've seen really, really amazing flash mobs, on You Tube, not live but I know that ours would have paled in comparison.
But what did result was so much better. We had the mall security working for us to put together this lame performance piece simply because they would rather do that than lose control.
The people I met were all very nice and very well-intentioned.
It was so perfectly off. I loved it. It really did become this funny, wacky work of art.
As I walked through the crowded mall, I started getting that overwhelmed feeling I often get in malls. Way to much gross consumption, marketing, glitzy, down-your -throat consumerism.
I had to get out of there.