Subject: MOB #1 (Corrected - 7/29/03 11:08) You are invited to take part in MOB, the project that creates an inexplicable mob of people in Boston for ten minutes or less. Please forward this to other people you know who might like to join. FAQ Q. What was the purpose of a yahoo group? A. We set up the Yahoo group in order to find like-minded individuals interested in the Inexplicable Mob phenomenon. We think we've done that. Q. Will the yahoo group be closed down? A. No. The group will remain open to all, but there will be no more ability to post comments, we're just not interested in running a forum. We have an e-mail address if you wish to speak with us. Q. How will I find out about the MOB projects? A. If you signed up for our group you will receive updates and/or email. Q. Can people still sign up? A. Yes. You can continue to sign up so you will receive future invites. Those already on the list will continue to receive invites. The group is located at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bostoncitymob/ INSTRUCTIONS FOR MOB #1 Start time: Thursday, July 31st, sometime after 7:03pm Duration: 10 minutes or less (1) At some point during the day on July 31st, synchronize your watch to: http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5/java/java. (If that site doesn't work for you, try http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5.) (2) By 6:43 PM - 6:57PM, based on the month of your birth, please situate yourselves in these locations below. NOTE: if you are attending the MOB with friends, you may all meet in the same location, so long as at least one of you has the correct birth month for that location. January, July: Au Bon Pain (near Harvard Square), the window table nearest the bathroom. May, October: Border Cafe (Church St) by the main bar. June, August, December: The Garage. First floor by the tables near Ben & Jerry's. March, September: Daedalus (Mt. Auburn Street) near the brick wall directly opposite the front door. November, February, April: John Harvard's Brew House, by the stained glass windows to the left as you enter at the far end of the bar. (3) Then or soon thereafter, a MOB representative will appear in the bar and pass around further instructions. The instructions will specify the mob site, the start time, and the duration. The instructions will give you what you need and then some. (4) In particular, the instructions will tell you when to disperse. Make sure that two minutes after the specified time, you are no longer at the mob site. (5) Prepare for MOB #2 by getting together a plastic shopping bag and a ... Fo Sho, Bubb Rubb & Lil' Sis
I'm not an organizer, but I guess I was a deputy. I was to give out the day-of instructions to people who showed up at Au Bon Pain. The instructions I was to give out were:
Boston Flash Mob #1: Ode to Bill
Place: Harvard Coop greeting card section
Length: 8 minutes
Start time: 7:13 End time: 7:21
1) Please remember that this is a FUN event. Be nice, be polite, do not disturb those around you. We don't want to scare or insult anybody. Remember that the police and media are our friends and they have their own job to do!
2) After receiving these instructions you should leave the meet-up site. Proceed to the Harvard Coop. Try to pace your walk so you arrive in the card section of the Coop at exactly 7:13.
3) Do not arrive before 7:13. Take your time. Due to media attention we have lost the surprise factor. But don't resent that, revel in it! Be enthusiastic!
4) Get as close as you can to the card section. Look at the racks of cards but do not touch them. Be eerily quiet. Wait a few minutes, then those with cameras should start taking pictures.
5) If anybody asks, you should quietly tell them you're "looking for a card for my friend", "his name is Bill", "he's in New York". This last sentence should be spoken as if this explains everything.
6) At exactly 7:21, leave the card section and leave the Coop. As soon as possible we should all have completely dispersed.
7) Please post your pictures and experiences on the 'net, and get ready for Mob #2 which is planned for a much roomier place...
Disconcertingly, Channel 5 had a camera at ABP and interviewed me. Even more disconcertingly, if I was on camera it was with a big cat scratch on one cheek, courtesy of rmd's cat Nikita. Grrr.
Anyway. People were there very early. I was told not to get to ABP before 6:40, and when I got there there were many people already clustered. I was also told not to hand things out before 6:50, and I didn't. I stopped handing the instructions out a minute or two late, and then meandered over to the Coop (after watching chess in front of ABP for a few minutes), where I delayed again so as not to enter the store before 7:13. Well, okay, 7:12 and a half. Peer pressure.
There was a steady stream of people heading through the book section and up the stairs to the third floor, so I joined the mob. M. asked along the way and was told "third floor and across". The card section was actually on the second floor (I thought a sign told me first, but lo, there was a giant mob on 2). We gathered. We muttered. Eerie silence was not to be had. Someone called out "anyone here know Bill?" A bit after that there were shushing sounds, and eerie silence reigned for a bit. I moved to take more pictures, and somebody started applause. I didn't join in, but most everyone did. A bit before the appointed time, everyone decided to filter away. As I headed off up Palmer Street, I saw 3 cops on foot and a half dozen on bikes.