The revolution will be broadcast by SMS


The second Melbourne Flash Mob in action (pic by Troy Boulton).

What was interesting was that just before the earthquake signal, a woman asked why we were all waiting. Following Flashmob etiquette, we said we didn’t know. When it started, she joined in anyway.

Picture this: You’re a young woman, perhaps about 20. It’s Saturday afternoon, and you’re working in the chicks’ section of Just Jeans in the Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne. It’s about 4:20, not too far from knock-off time.

Something strange is happening. About 5 minutes ago, men started wandering in, in ones and twos, looking at things. By 4:25, there are probably 20 men looking around, looking at the women’s clothing. You and your colleagues have pointed out to a couple of them that the menswear section is downstairs, but they seem to be happy to keep browsing. They don’t seem to be doing anything wrong, but you remark to a colleague that it’s all a bit weird.

There’s a phone call from downstairs. The bloke in the menswear section is panicking a bit. There are women, dozens of women, looking through the clothes down there.  He’s spooked. He wants to call security.

The men keep milling around, not really talking to each other. A couple of them have smirks on their faces, but most look serious.

Around 4:30, phones start beeping. SMSs arrive, and as they do, the men all look at their mobile phones, and exit the shop. Suddenly they’re gone, off, mixed into the crowd of shoppers outside.

But no… another bigger crowd seems to be gathering on the opposite side of the street. About two hundred of them, just standing outside Myer, not really doing anything, just watching, waiting.

Suddenly the people start shaking, and making a funny kind of noise, half humming, half screaming. All of them – hundreds of people. Their arms shake, their bodies shake, and they all fall to the ground, arms sticking up in the air, still shaking. They lie down on the ground for about thirty seconds, waving their arms around. The hundreds of shoppers nearby look bemused.

Equally suddenly, they stop, they get up, and disperse in different directions.

Another Flashmob has struck.

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