Pillow fighters hold ‘flash mob’ outside of Tech

Coco Keevan

Weinberg senior Munjal Shah surveyed the area around Technological Institute Plaza, silently counting the small number of people milling around, checking watches and awaiting the chanting salute that would cue a riot, so he thought. The oft-congested area appeared almost barren, but participants in the “Pillow-fight Flash Mob!!” Facebook event readied themselves with the softest of domestic weapons.

The Cold Side of the Pillow, one of Northwestern’s literary magazines, developed the event to mimic other “flash mob” events with videos recorded on YouTube. The Facebook event advertised a 30-second colossal pillow fight, intended to interrupt the usual traffic of the building. Although 143 students confirmed their intention to attend the event, only 25 followed through.

Shah, like the others who joined him at 11:55 a.m. Tuesday morning, expressed disappointment that the grand pillow fight – The “Flash Mob” – experiment was met with general apathy. Although Weinberg junior and Cold Side editor Denae Dietlein, hailed the experiment as a success, Shah failed to express the same positive sentiments.

“I wanted this to literally be something that confused the heck out of people, by having us just start a pillow fight in the middle of a congested path to Tech,” said Shah, adding that the ratio of “civilians” to pillow fighters seemed like 10-1.

Shah said he expected chaos and legions of inconspicuous adversaries lying in wait in bushes, armed and ready for attack. Instead, he was met by excitement on a much smaller scale.

The concept began as a mere joke in a staff meeting last year, but the staff pitched it around until it finally seemed feasible, Dietlein said. The idea became a means of exposure for the publication, and the group plans to advertise another larger event in an upcoming quarter.

The melee began slightly off-schedule, with confused participants left befuddled as the calls of “pillow fight!” started at 11:54 a.m. Students reached into backpacks and beneath the folds of their coats to arm themselves as they were struck by the literal cold side of the pillow. The clustered group fought for just short of a minute, and the event ended just as abruptly as it began.

“There could have been more people, sure,” Dietlein said. “But the people who could make it truly wanted to be there.”

Not all of the fighters agreed with Shah’s disappointment. Weinberg junior Muhammad Safdari said he found the event fun and amusing.

“I bashed about 15 people, some multiple times, with my pillow,” Safdari said. “I then returned to the same seat in the library and continued studying for econ where I left off. It was like nothing happened.”

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