I was in the city on Saturday night with my friend Linzi, we had a nice dinner and were enjoyed dessert at the Lindt Cafe, mid story, when all of a sudden I went “ooh!” and my face lit up. Not with enjoyment from the story, or the fantastic macarons we were enjoying. Not from enjoyment at all, actually. It lit up with the reflection from the fireworks that randomly went off over Linzi’s shoulder.
It took approximately 10 seconds for Linzi & I to be bored with said fireworks and wishing to resume our conversation that had been so rudely interrupted, and for the all the patrons of the Lindt Cafe and surrounding restaurants to surge forward into the courtyard to watch said fireworks. In doing so they not only rushed forward as if nothing as exciting had ever happened before, but they left behind their food, their wallets, their bags, completely mesmerised by the scene in front of them.
It was at this point I commented to Linzi “Geez, people just lose their shit when something out of the ordinary happens, don’t they?”
This got me thinking about all the different ways people lose their shit when something out of the ordinary happens. Generally we have our pre-arranged roles in society, yet something unusual happens and all bets are off. Like when there is a mild car crash – it may not slow down traffic going North by obstructing it, but it will cause delays as everyone slows down to have a look.
Like when a fire starts and people just stand stock still in the middle of the room screaming “Fire!” instead of actually reaching for water or a fire extinguisher. Like when the moon is really big, and people forget how to drive in accordance with the road instead of directly towards the giant floating orb.
Like when an escalator is no longer working, at a stand still, and everyone completely forgets how to walk a set of stairs. Like when greensleeves starts playing in the street and all the kids nearby just go completely mental. Like when a delivery man knocks on the door and for no reason whatsoever there’s a 5 second timeframe within which you have to open the door or he’s going to… I don’t know… leave? OK, maybe that one is just me… But you get my point.
We have conditioned ourselves to live in a society where the law, rules, and an intricate network of social etiquette have removed the ability for us to deal with something unexpected. Something out of the ordinary. When confronted with something we didn’t know would happen, like fireworks, we don’t know how to react. All logic fails. And we lose our shit.
Have you ever noticed people completely lose their shit? Do you forget everything else if fireworks go off? Would you ever leave your bag unattended in the middle of Sydney CBD?
Pic of me by Linzi Aitken
Tamsin Howse has written 181 posts.
Tamsin is a wife, stepmother and blogger with a passion for people and relationships, fashion and beauty, and an inability to successfully complete household tasks. Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of KiKi & Tea.
Follow on twitter: @TamsinHowse