Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pillows are a Crime.

Chicago is quite the exciting city. Plenty of sights to be seen, fine restaurants to enjoy and odd people to watch (I enjoy people watching, what can I say). But when I went out this past weekend, one of my most anticipated sight was a pillow fight. Before you think it, no, it didn't include a group of sorority sisters jumping about in only their undies (come on, you know the scene from Animal House!). This one included around 50 fighters ranging in age, build, energy levels and bashing equipment, who congregated at the steps of the Art Institute as part of World Pillow Fight Day. When I came across it on Facebook, it sounded interesting enough and if anything there would be a few unique photo opps and all I had to risk were a few feathers in my doo.

At the stroke of 2pm, an oddly dressed individual wandered up to the confused-looking crowd and made the call, "PIIIILLOOOWW FIGHT!" From there, hysteria commenced. Pillows flew, smiles appeared universal, onlookers laughed, traffic slowed a bit and even the Art Institute security on hand had a good chuckle. Soon pillows started bursting, feathers were flying, and the energy levels rose. The pillow fights intensified, but in good spirits, even when a fighter fell to the ground, his or her fellow swingers lent a helping hand.

The Feather Fiasco.

The event was everything it was expected to be and should have been. Well, until Chicago's "finest" reared their bitter, snarling faces. With the scowls on their faces and angry tone in their voices, it would seem they were breaking up a street brawl. Maybe so, but instead of bats and chains, the weapons of choice were linen and the occasional cotton-stuffed pillow. As soon as the fighters realized the Cops had come in to break up the festivities, the fighting ceased. For the most part no one knew exactly what to do and where to go, so most lingered. This was an obvious no-no with the pissy Police officers. When a pair of girls laid down on the feather covered sidewalk for a photo op, both were grabbed forcefully and dragged over for questioning. Yes, I'm entirely serious. One fighter was even put in handcuffs.

Apparently Feather Angels garner police attention.

"Sir, it was only a pillow. Nice hat by the way."

With all the things going wrong in this country – unemployment, plunging stocks, foreclosures, etc. – for tax payer funded police officers to act with such unnecessary force and ruin a harmless expression of innocence and good ol' fashion fun, was a sad sight to see. Apparently no arrests were made, but it only furthered the hostility in ongoing feud between us and The Man.

Sure, the event was a public disturbance and technically the group was littering, but come on, have a bit of a sense of humor. Pretty pathetic.

The post-Pillow Fight scene.

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