Human Behaviour

People are weird. People are especially weird when you put them together. Studies of crowd behaviour show that the more people you put together, the dumber they become as a collective. We’re all guilty of this, wherever we are, but with the population of London I feel like I see this in action a tad more often:

Amateur Paparazzi
Waiting in Leicester Square, the location of many a star-studded opening, I was not the only one perplexed by the crowd chanting “Otway! Otway!” outside the Odeon. Passing tourists asked if I understood, to which I replied (just post googling), “some failed rock star no one’s ever heard of who has a move about being a failed rock star no one’s ever heard of.” They rolled eyes at the silliness, and shuffled off in a seemingly-haphazard fashion, supposed to assure me that they weren’t heading toward the waiting crowd, and then popped out their smart phones to pap a few pics. For all the many fans back home.

There’s a line! I must join it!
Theatrephile LD has been papped herself, while standing in a 3-hour line for cheap theatre seats. As creepy as she found having tourists take photos of her as if she were a tourist attraction, the stranger thing was when people began to join the end of the line. They clearly didn’t know what it was in aid of, nor did they ask, and LD did not enlighten them, finding it a far more fascinating social experiment to see how long they’d wait. Turns out, it was two hours, until the doors opened and they realised they were lining up to pay for theatre, rather than bow to the god of freebies.

How does I walk?
There is little in the way of sense or sensibility on the pavements of London, but every now and then you’ll find everyone walking on either left or right in sweet sweet harmony. This occurs not from logic, but from the sheepish inclination to follow the leader. The problem with this bunch of pedestrian zombies trudging blithely along is that everyone’s turning signals are broken. Despite the sheer volume of people and constant need to cross ways, individuals routinely choose the path of most resistance. The house of cards falls, the Tetris layers stack up, you frown, I sigh in exaggeration, and we all get to work 3 seconds later.

Sale = Animal
The word “Sale” seems to be a trigger for an animalistic, survival-of-the-fittest respond in London women. I’ve seen racks emptied of hangers but piled up beneath with mountains of rejected items; manequins teetering against glass shop windows, robbed of their jewels; and frazzled sales assistants screeching “maximum 6 items!” in a desperate scraggy falsetto while a blonde tasmanian devil and lipsticked Wile E. Coyote run circles around the last size 5 yellow suede heels. AND IT WASN’T EVEN CHRISTMAS.

Thanks for turning in to another (attempted) short edition! Jeepers am I gonna come in under 500 words? I think I deserve a –

2 thoughts on “Human Behaviour

  1. shmennikins

    Hahahaha that ‘waiting in a line’ story is classic. Although at least they could say they’d participated in a truly British tradition? We do love our lines.
    And I concur with the despair and confusion engendered by people’s (let’s face it, it’s almost always women) terrible behaviour at sales. So odd. Especially when the UK has decent sales all the time, unlike NZ where a ‘sale’ is a single rack at 15% off, not a whole shop at 60-80% off.

    1. shapelle Post author

      It really is bizarre behaviour. And of course, you can see it any day of the week in force at Primark, which is sale of the century all the time, all the way.


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