Thursday, April 17, 2008

Frozen Bagels

It's called Improv Everywhere. One of the most popular stunts they've pulled was held in Grand Central Station where over two hundred people froze in place for five minutes. Onlookers were amazed, confused, and maybe even a little frightened. After five minutes movement resumed and everything was back to normal, except for the applause by the onlookers.

Today I went to Bruegger's Bagel shop for a delicious tuna salad and swiss cheese on a plain bagel, one of my favorite lunches. I walked through the restaurant to the service line. As I stood there I realized there was small sitting area and a booth containing completely frozen kids. Kids, meaning between the ages of sixteen and twenty. There were only about eight of them, and it appeared their improv was not making the impression they might have hoped it would. No one seemed to notice. No one was amazed, confused, or frightened. No one commented.

I don't know if it was because the crowd in Bruegger's was small, if the crowd of improv people was small, or because it's St. Paul, Minnesota and many become uncomfortable around that hippie artsy stuff like street performing, but the short freeze didn't seem to make an impact on anyone. Maybe the freeze is old hat by now and doesn't phase people anymore.

I had to give the kids credit for pulling it off. By the time I was through the service line and ready to leave they had returned to "move" mode and were all engrossed in each other, so I didn't interrupt them with my comments. I was impressed with their attempt.

If you haven't seen the video of the Grand Central Freeze, take a look. It's pretty cool.

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