Mob Mentality

The speaker gives their speech unwaveringly. What are they saying? Who can be sure. What sex are they? Irrelevant. Words flow out the speaker’s mouth like a cool waterfall, gradually rising and falling in pressure.

Audience members tap the correct keys, clapping when appropriate, nodding in sync. As the speaker made a dramatic pause audience members held their own breaths, perspiring, awaiting the water to start running again.

Quakes resound from wall-to-wall. The speaker has pounded the podium, fist enunciating an important point. Ennui is the last thing the audience feels. Roused from their listless minds they stand and clap for the speaker, hopeful greatness would steep amongst one another.

The speaker bows. But they do not exit the stage. Hurriedly an audience member peels out the center of their aisle and joins the speaker behind the podium.

Astounding is their oration. Rivulets of words flow in and out the ears of their spectators. Two pounds bound off the podium, sine qua non to the performance.

Elan fills the room, grasping each corner of the auditorium—stretching it like a rubber glove—bringing it closer to the livid audience. No one could envisage what would happen next.

Then it happened. Two audience members absconded their chairs and joined behind the speakers who were behind the podium.

It was a sight to see! To hear! To FEEL the vibrations of four synchronized homogenous voices launch from the microphone and smack life onto onlookers. The smell of cold sweat of the forehead and cherry gum (from the speakers’ breaths) sucked itself into the nostrils of the front row.

Vicarious passion presented itself amidst a podium pound. How could one not be elated? Half of the audience rushed on-stage, huddling around the podium. The original speaker could not even be seen now.

Still, sitters sat strongly in their seats, sans a single scintilla of doubt. This, was the greatest speech of all time.

The taste on the tongues of the speakers transferring to the tongues of attendants was victory. It tasted like a burger fresh hot off the grill with melted yellow cheese, no sauce or toppings, on a smooth potato bread bun.

It wasn’t abstruse to understand. And it isn’t. Have you ever felt alive in a room filled with endless potential?

9999/10000 of the remaining audience bolted to the stage. There was now not a single open spot on the stage. No centimeter of floor space was visible. Many toes were stamped and stood on. Several speakers poured/peeled off the stage, forced to stand on the steps. Not a single one was deterred. The show must go on!

Their speech was Godly.

The lone audience member clapped as hard as could be mustered—beet red on the face. The speech was redolent of that great struggle we all must overcome.

Enthralled by the word wonder, the audience member ran to the stage, eyes closed as they embraced the collective passion.

When they reached the podium and opened their eyes no one was there. An entire hoard of humans disappeared. It was deafly silent.

Besides the creaky stage floorboard.

A cold breeze blew through the auditorium. Ice particles formed on the attendant’s shoulders. Or at least it felt like ice. Like twinkling snow. The attendant’s fingers felt like ice blocks. They shivered.

What is this? The audience member wondered. Who am I?

How could someone possibly be such a… stepford.

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