Daily Archives: March 29, 2011

Big Round of Applause

My friends know I’m a sucker for flash mobs. I yearn to participate in one. It belongs on my bucket list. So whenever I hear about the latest flash-mob video, I’m checking it out on YouTube.

This one, produced by Quebec-based media corporation Groupe TVA, puts a new twist on the flash-mob concept. When a shopper in a mall stoops to retrieve an abandoned drink bottle – after other passersby have blithely ignored it – and pops it into a nearby recycle bin, the crowd literally goes wild. They’re clapping and hooting. Have a look at the grin on the startled shopper’s face: You’d smile, too, if you got a standing ovation every time you performed a random act of kindness.

(Semi-disturbing piece of trivia: In French, the expression is still “flash mob.” But, properly pronounced, it sounds more like “flesh mop.”)

Funny, but a few hours after I watched this exhilarating video for the first time, I happened to be at the mall. And the two or three times that I bent to pick up an article of clothing that had fallen from a rack, or a piece of litter, I heard a suddenly cheering crowd. I’m reasonably sure that was entirely in my imagination. But it felt kind of nice anyway.

Whether or not your small kindnesses set off a flesh mop, be assured they make a difference. If you have access to TVA’s television channel, you can tune in for a special show about the making of this project next Monday, April 4, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.