Sunday, December 19, 2010

Top Secret Mission

So why was I at the mall again this weekend? I was on a top secret mission. No, I was not looking for a Christmas gift. And no, I have not finished Christmas shopping, but yesterday was not the day for that. Despite what you may be thinking, I was not checking up on Santa to make sure he was doing what he is supposed to be doing at this time of year. My assignment was to be in the shoe department of Nordstrom Department Store at 2:15 pm. Look around. See the latest styles in boots, heels, and flats. Bask in the Christmas cheer – the lights, the decorations, and the flurry of shoppers. But remember, I’m not shopping; it just looks like I am. I’m just waiting for my cue to spring into action.

At about 2:28, the store pianist ended his rendition of “Jingle Bells” with a coda that rivaled that of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. That was my cue, and the cue for 460 others who had been perusing the various departments of Nordstrom, to stand ready. Our mission was about to begin. We all abandoned our interest in the lovely shoes, clothing and jewelry that we had been admiring intently for the last ten minutes and readied ourselves. Then came our official call to action – the opening bars of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” leaped from the piano. After four measures of introduction, the entire store was filled with the sounds of 460 people singing this wonderful piece of music. Hallelujiahs high and low and everything in between resounded around two floors of the store and I suspect the enormous sound of our combined effort even reached beyond that. The faces of the singers lit up with joy as we sang together – never having rehearsed together or met one another, in many cases, before. The faces of the unsuspecting shoppers in the store did not evidence that same look of joy. Some look stunned. Others amazed. And some looked a little pissed off that our top secret mission of the day was impeding their progress with regard to their top mission of the day - serious, really serious, shopping. Oh well . . .as they say, life is what happens while you are making plans.

What I have just described to you is a Flash Mob. And, it was the best five minutes that I have spent in a long time.

Here is a link to some rough video (taken with someone’s phone) that has been posted to YouTube. Sadly, the quality of the audio leaves a lot to be desired, but you can get the gist of what was going on.

The Dallas Morning News also carried an article this morning.

“Beware of large crowds of like-minded people!”


That's Better, Santa!

For reason I will explain in my next post, I found myself yesterday afternoon at the same mall where I spent last Saturday afternoon. What are the chances? I have lived in Dallas for twenty-seven years. In the past eight days, I have doubled the number of times I have set foot in this particular mall.

I was glad to see that with only a week until Christmas, Santa is beginning to get serious about his job. He is no longer putting off the inevitable by moonlighting as an exterior lighting designer.

(For further explanation, see the previous post.)