Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run

December
19,
2010

I've recently discovered just how human I am.

This past week I helped organize a group we ended up calling #MetroCarols. Our intentions were pure, our excitement for the holiday was intense and we love to sing. Cheering up the curmudgeons of the DC area on their miserable commute home was our plan & singing Christmas/holiday carols was what we thought would be best. Plan: Organize a flashmob that just happened to break out in carols randomly in metro stations.

Once word went out, my cohort & I realized that we had a much bigger sphere of influence, especially together, than we had any idea. The press & bloggers caught on and we had 150 people sign up. Things got out of control, he did an interview with the Examiner & once the press started posting articles about our plans, metro riders commented with a vengeance. After hearing about stun-guns, their wanting to punch us or push us off platforms, we took our plans off the public Facebook invitation so that we didn't end up doing what they accused us of: ruining their commute. 

By Monday, we had done some behind-the-scenes practicing with the trustworthy NPR & WUSA around to listen in & passed around our plan for where we were going that evening. At 11:30am, TBD & WashFM posted our PRIVATE schedule on their websites for all to see. Tears flooded my eyes and I realized that things had gotten out of hand. Although I was publicly accused of being ridiculous, I was honestly only afraid that if anyone was hurt due to the angry Metro riders showing up just to spite us, I would be left responsible for the tragedy. My humanity hit hard.

I called my cohort with overwhelming amounts of worry and told him I wanted to go home and cry myself to sleep. He had no intentions of backing down and satiated my worry by telling me that I needed to just come enjoy it in the spirit that we had planned in the first place - to spread cheer to commuters.

In a final change of plans so as not to allow anyone to get hurt, we moved to Dupont Circle, press surrounding us, as a group of 30 carolers, and sang joyfully with smiles & chills. The cold air caused us to sing Let It Snow & snowflakes started falling in a beautiful coincidence. Our joy was passed on to those leaving work that chilly Monday evening & DC commuters smiled at us as we moved closer to the Dupont escalator to sing a few more songs without impeding their rush home.

My smile got brighter the more we sang, our group gained momentum and carolers and we ended up singing the 12 Days of DC up and down the escalator & other carols into the Dupont station. After boarding a train & heading to Union Station, we started singing again & stood in a group caroling while people walked past with smiles & joy clearly showing on their faces.

Final outcome: Although my humanity almost got the best of me, we accomplished our main intentions - spread holiday cheer & make people smile - except with full press coverage.


PRESS & VIDEOS:

Check out what they wrote & said about us along with hearing us sing:

GREAT piece by NPR's Nate Rott

WUSA (Channel 9, CBS) coverage with videos of our rehearsal and of the event

Washington Post edited video:



Washington Post video on YouTube:


Washington Post article

Washington Post "Dr. Gridlock" blog about Metro

WeLoveDC's article

Waxing Unlyrical's article by Shonali Burke

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