Flashmobs…Will They Come?

English: Flash mob/Pillow fights in Toronto, D...

Image via Wikipedia

I saw a commercial a while back that featured one lone fellow showing up for a flashmob in a busy train station.  I scratched my head and made a mental to-do to look up flashmob in Wikipedia or the Urban Dictionary, then forgot all about it.

Last night I watched Howie Mandel’s show Mobbed while on the telephone for NINETY FREAKIN’ MINUTES listening to some airlines ticketing trainee mutter as she hunted and pecked at her computer and talked to her supervisor every few minutes.  She sounded seventy at least.  Bless her heart, though, I couldn’t get mad at her, as aggravated as I was, so this post and the whole flashmob concept will most likely bear the brunt of that suppressed curmudgeonly energy.

Back to the topic.  What the hell is a flashmob?  And is it flash mob or flashmob?  Who thought up such a lemming-like concept?  Did they laugh the first time they conned the other kids into doing something stupid?  I would have.  Actually, in hind sight, I remember organizing one of these random events…in the seventh grade!

I tried to start a virtual flashmob on Twitter last night and, not surprisingly, no one joined in but a couple of Twitter BFF’s who rolled their eyes but at least attempted to humor me.  Not even the spammers chimed in. I tweeted that I’d started doing the Thriller dance…only no one else danced with me, people just zoomed on by…and tweeted about other things.  Le sigh.

So I got to thinking that publishing a book is kind of like organizing a flashmob. You hope people show up.  You hope people “get it”.  You hope you aren’t the only idiot doing a dance from the eighties like a Filipino prisoner.  You hope they buy your book, and others see them buying and think it looks fun so they also buy…and they wave over their passing friends and they buy…and so on and so on.

Because nobody wants to dance alone and either go unnoticed or be mocked for getting the steps wrong, having bad rhythm, or just plain looking like a dork.

On April 16, 2012, I’m having a flashmob.  I hope you’ll come and dance with me…and Gayle and Jon and maybe a couple of inept bad guys in suits, a vagabond Siamese cat and a very unusual car.  We’ll be the ones wearing orange prisoner jumpsuits.  🙂

Curmudgeon Public Service Announcement: The Thoughtlessness Radar

Don't do this

Image by Martin Deutsch via Flickr

Why is it that certain rotten behaviors reach, for some, a level of acceptability in their own minds? Why do certain behaviors blip off the courtesy radar into “Well, everyone does it! Why shouldn’t I?”  Daily I see thoughtless acts by otherwise good people because they have become blind to what they’re doing (or not doing).  Here’s a list I’ve been compiling of what I’m talking about broken down in to categories:


  • Not putting your empty shopping cart in the parking lot corrals…especially when the darn thing is five feet away!
  • Throwing your cigarette butts on the ground (and especially near MY car!), often within twelve inch radius of a disposal receptacle.
  • Not bussing your table at fast food restaurants or picnic sites
  • Leaving your clothes in the dressing room in crumpled heaps on the floor
  • Leaving your shopping cart wherever you like when grabbing items from the shelf or yacking with your friends
  • Talking on your cell phone while your groceries are being rung up…and beyond


  • Driving your car up on the sidewalk to get to the mailbox unit (especially YOU dear neighbor who almost ran into me as I stood there getting my own mail);
  • Idling and blocking traffic while waiting for me to vacate my parking spot when there are many other spots a few feet away.  Double GRRRR if you honk at me too;
  • Not having a clue what you want at a fast food drive-through by the time you get to the ordering station;
  • Idling your cars along the curb so your precious darling doesn’t get cold waiting for the school bus but making it harder for drivers to spot children who might dart out between them;
  • Sidling along in the left lane (not a passing lane) until the last second then insisting on being allowed into the slower moving right lane to make a right, no turn signal on, of course, because that would tip me off to your nefarious plan!
  • Parking your car in front of MY house instead of my neighbor’s whom you are visiting, especially if you’re facing the wrong way (Ok, so I’m VERY territorial!)


  • Urging your dog to pee in my yard instead of yours; double grr if they poop and you don’t pick it up right away;
  • Blowing your nose at the table;
  • Abandoning your laundry at the coin-op once you’ve gotten your clothes into the dryer; No, I will NOT fold your clothes if I get sick of waiting for you to remove your items (thank goodness I don’t use coin ops anymore!)
  • Texting during movies–those ads at the beginning telling you to turn off your cell phone?  They mean YOU!
  • Leaving your trash behind in the movie theatre (I must confess to being blind to this until I met my husband.  No more.  Pack it in; pack it out.)
  • Breaking the spine on a paperback in a bookstore while you peruse / read it then leaving it behind or grabbing a “fresh” copy to buy;
  • Insisting on bringing oversized luggage as carry on so you’ll get free gate check-in while the rest of us paid $20-25 to check ours at the ticket counter;

It’s this type of thoughtlessness, and I might add in some cases, sense of entitlement, that drives me bonkers.

People…please don’t do these things!  We must nip them in the bud and reinforce for our children’s sake at least, WHY these behaviors are rude and inconsiderate.

~A Public Service Message from your darkly romantic curmudgeon.

Your turn.  Please share in the comments any thoughtless behaviors that drive you bonkers.