A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Saturday, February 18

merry pranksters: cell phone symphony

me and about a hundred other "agents" pulled off another prank tonight, with charlie todd and the inimitable improv everywhere crew leading the way.

yes, it was unbelievably, bone-chillingly, FREEZINGLY cold. and, yes, it was a privilege to help create a "scene of chaos and joy" in this amazing city.

the set-up was simple. we were told to show up at the north end of union sqaure with a backpack/messenger bag and a fully-charged cell phone. (given all the press and police attention at their "no pants 2k6" prank last month, we were also asked to not blog about the event before it happened). then agent todd split us into two groups... half the people coordinated their ringtones (all motorolos used the "moto" ring, all nokias used whatever the most obnoxious nokia ring is, etc.), then gave their number to a partner, put their cell phone in their bag, and headed down to the strand bookstore, with its strict all-bags-must-be-checked policy. the other half of us--their partners--stood ready to make some calls...

for the callers, like me, there was little immediate gratification in the prank. we couldn't see or hear the result. we just stood there in the freezingness making choreographed calls. but the image of the employees' faces when all the bags started ringing at once--and everyone else in the store... someone said later you could hear on it the third floor--and general goofiness and camaraderie of the event made it totally worthwhile.

improv everywhere posts exhaustive mission reports after each "scene," so check out their site in the coming days for the full audio replay. can't wait to hear it myself.

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