October 2003 (v6 i2)
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Flash mob in shopping mall attains world peace
Asinine displays of positive energy cure planet's ills, bewilder onlookers
by Ryan Martinez, Associate Editor

DENVER, CO — The crowd of 130 people that gathered in the courtyard of the Sixteenth Street Mall late Thursday accidentally achieved world peace while singing the French folk song "Freres Jacques" and covering their bodies in peanut butter and aluminum foil.

"Dude, that was so not on the agenda," said Rob King, 22, a University of Colorado at Denver senior who was among the crowd of young adults that bewildered shoppers while inadvertently ending man's inhumanity toward man.

The gathering is the latest example of an absurd social trend known as the flash mob, in which groups of people use e-mail and cell phones to plan a meeting in a public place, where they perform a brief activity before quickly dispersing.

Flash mobs often engage in bizarre and meaningless behavior, such as squawking like birds, applauding with oven mitts on their hands, or painting burnt orange letters on their naked chests to cheer on teams of heavily padded men throwing an oblong ball around a field.

The Thursday gathering was unique in that it actually achieved something productive.

"As soon as we got to the lyric, 'Din din don,' I felt something change," said Walter Sheridan, a.k.a The_Fried_Piper, the man who masterminded the entire get-together. "It could have just been the baking effects of the Sun on my aluminum helmet, but I sensed a great weight lifting off my shoulders, and off the planet."

Billions throughout the world were overcome by that same indefinable feeling, as an invisible wave of placidity washed over the globe. In Nigeria, rioting Christians and Muslims instantaneously decided to lay down their weapons and give each other makeovers. Meanwhile, the U.S. signed a nuclear disarmament pact with North Korea called "A Treaty 4 My Sweetie," which requires President Bush to send a single rose to Dictator Kim Jong Il every day for the rest of his term.

"I got this flower from a Bush," joked Kim. "I like flowers much better than bombs. Bombs go boom, but flowers go bloom. Teehee!"

While sociologists, government officials, and flash mobbers alike are at a loss to explain Thursday's incident, some mobbers already fear that a new day-and purpose-for flash mobs has dawned. King, the CU-D student, opposes the trend becoming an instrument for political ends.

"Man, when 'The Piper' sent us that text message, he didn't say nothing about world peace," King said. "He said we were going to do two things: wrap our bodies in funky stuff and sing that funky French song. If flash mobs are going to start actually achieving shit, you can count me out. I'm not wasting my time, energy, and funkiness on anything constructive."

Thursday's incident has inspired others to consider gathering large crowds of tech-savvy losers for the benefit of other important causes, such as curing AIDS, eradicating Third World debt, and wiping out the decadent trend in which crowds of tech-savvy losers gather for no apparent reason.

"It's amazing," said Sheridan. "I never considered it before, but I can actually invest my efforts and talent into making myself useful to society. That's something I had never thought of until Thursday, when I was smearing Jif on my crotch."

Sheridan reflected on the idea for a moment, and then smiled as an epiphany occured to him.

"It's like Jacques represents the world, and the song is telling him, 'Yes, brother Jacque, morning bells are ringing. They're waking you up to a new day of peace, of goodwill, of a love that transcends boundaries of race, nationality, and religion.'"

Sheridan added: "Also, they're waking me up to tell me to get a job."
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