Friday, March 26, 2010
News Flash: Flash Mob Thwarted
Earlier this week, I got an ominous email forwarded from my boss from Penn Public Safety about avoiding 40th and Market Streets that afternoon because of rumblings of a flash mob congregating there. 40th and Market, you may know, is where my son goes to school, and in fact I would be walking down there that very afternoon to pick him up, like I do every other day of the week.
I heard no other alerts throughout the day and so gingerly walked in the direction of school. As I approached 40th and Market, I noticed significantly more police presence than usual. I asked a uniform on a bicycle if anything had happened, and he breezily said not yet. Aaron and I got out of there with no complications.
Flash mobs can be clever and their results can go viral. But they can also be scary, especially when the intersection where your kid goes to school is involved. Thankfully, the police department did its homework, made its presence known, and effectively quashed any possibility of anarchy breaking out. The story made the front page the next day, not because of violence that had occurred, but because of violence that had not occurred. In this town, you see, no news is, in fact, good news.