mob behavior

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Humorous Bits
Tags: ,

Hitchcock knew what he was doing. He was, after all, the Master of Suspense. He realized when you brought a large group of any living things together the results were terrifying. He happened to pick birds, menacing looking buggers. Add all that high-pitched squawking to their angry, prehistoric bone structure and you’ve got a recipe for top notch creepiness. Even without their henhouse cackling how disturbing was it watching them silently gather on wires, roofs and tree branches? Exactly.

It’s not just birds. Take any creature and put a bunch of them together and you’ve got yourself a bad scene. Like Sam Walton preached, it’s all about volume. If you were scuba diving would a single fish jolt you with terror? Of course not. (If it did, perhaps scuba diving isn’t the activity for you.) No, if you saw a single fish or maybe even a few similar fish you’d be full of ‘awwws’ saying stuff like, “Look at those gorgeous colors! Aren’t they beautiful!” However, if you suddenly happened upon a school of fish, even adorable Nemos, and they zipped past you all breathing gills, bulging eyes and fat lips you’d quickly forget the ‘awwws’ and embrace a serious case of the willies.

It’s the same with any animal. A single goose? Aside from their casual bathroom habits, not a problem. But faced down by a gaggle of those flappers and you’d be sprinting towards a safe haven like an Olympian on HGH. A cute little bee? Fine. But a swarm all buzzing headed straight towards your face, not so fine. Go down the list. A descent of woodpeckers, a brace of ducks, a colony of beavers, a cloud of flies, a bale of turtles, a gathering of Mormons. Doesn’t matter. You’re outta there. Actually, despite their nightmarish looks turtles wouldn’t be all that scary. Has to do with rate of movement. You could fly to Columbia, pick coffee beans, fly back, grind the beans, and brew a fine cup of joe before they got near you. I’m sure that’s why Hitchcock didn’t make The Turtles.

Next time you spot a large, unwieldy group of any living creature, realize your initial reaction to scoot in the opposite direction is not only prudent, it’s probably instinctual. Some primordial survival instinct kicking in. By the way, this holds true even if you are part of human group confronted by a non-human group. We run, they pursue. Funny how we humans shy away from hostile encounters with other groups of animals, but relish them with each other. Curious, that.

I’m just like everyone else. If I saw A Flock of Seagulls headed my way, I’d be gone! Man, that is one scary prospect. Tell me, do you think it’s a coincidence their biggest hit was I Ran?

  1. John says:

    Brain: Murder of crows is perfect!


  2. John says:

    They were gracious enough to name a facility after me.


  3. sparklebumps says:

    Heehee! You crack me up. To prove your point, a group of men coming at you can be freaky too….


  4. I learned something new today – a bale of turtles. I use the expression “We’re off like a herd of turtles” when we seem to be taking too long to get underway. I’m afraid that if I correct this to a bale of turtles, I’ll have to stop and explain what a bale is and that will delay us even more.

    Another fine post!


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