In January of 2001, I was driving with my family in San Patricio, a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico. As I rounded a corner I noticed a few dogs standing on the side of the road growling at something across from them. As more of the street became visible, I was able to see that there was a line of dogs, about a dozen, standing side by side. Every dog was up on all fours, hair raised, baring teeth and glaring across the road. My son, Christian, asked what they were growling at, but our view of that side was blocked by a building. I made the decision to continue on my path and drive in front of them, but had everyone roll up the windows. As we crept forward, we were craning our necks to see what had these dogs so upset. Once we cleared the building, it was like a mirror image of the other side of the road. There was a similar number of dogs on the other side, staring back and doing the same thing. Was this some sort of canine street gang that was getting ready to rumble? We drove between the opposing sides and not a single dog broke his gaze from his counterpart across the street. I still don't know if that was a turf war, a fight over some road kill, or if they were going to serve up some doggy dance moves to settle their differences, but I did know that you don't see something like this everyday.
When you see something that unusual, it tends to stick in your memory. This past Saturday night was one of those nights. I was in the historical St. Louis suburb of University City with my daughter, Kirsten, nephews Gage and Isaac, and our neighbor's kids, Manny and Bryan. Delmar Avenue has several blocks of outdoor cafes, the landmark Trivoli theater, unique stores, restaurants and pubs. The sidewalks are filled with students from the nearby university almost every night. However, the locals were caught off guard by the people out that night.
|Zombie Crossing Guards|
This event, called a Zombie Walk, was actually organized by a few local college students. They set up a Facebook page and asked people to show up in zombie costumes. They gave a time and place and then just sat back to see who showed up. With close to 500 participants, I think they had a good turnout. This kind of event is also called a 'flash mob.' A flash mob is when a bunch of people unexpectedly show up in a common place to perform some unusual event to surprise or entertain bystanders. In this instance, it was dress like a zombie and walk down the street. It definitely served its purpose. People were very confused. Lots of bewildered looks. Just as many smiles and a lot of people pulling out their cameras to document the story that their friends will not believe when they get back home.
|High Society Zombie|
The kids and myself had a great time and have decided that we will look for more similar events to participate in. The hard part is learning about them. The organizers of flash mobs want to keep them as quiet as possible for the surprise of the people who will witness it, however, they need to publicize it enough to get participants. It is a fine line to walk, but the results are well worth it. Flash mobs have received a lot of criticism, but when put together well, they are of little disruption and people seem to enjoy them.
I learned of this event a few weeks ago and decided to come check it out. There was no charge to participate. We just had to pay for the gas to get there, a meal to eat while on the road, and a little bit of money for costumes. The entire night cost me less than $30 dollars and we had a great time. Next year, we will plan ahead a little more to create better costumes, but do not expect the expense to be any higher.
|This guy never broke character|
|Love the contacts. Really added to the look.|
|Family of Zombies|
|Zombies were busting out everywhere|
|The horde that I brought|
|Gage had a zombie related accident|