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The Life Lifter: Boy Wins Race, Entire Crowd Goes on Joy Ride
Last week, the hilarious comedy troupe Improv Everywhere hijacked a carousel. I am a devoted fan of Improv Everywhere, who have pulled off such stunts as a public figure-skating display during which one man slips and falls all over the ice while romantic music plays, and the invasion of a subway car by Darth Vader and assorted characters from Star Wars.
"We try to keep the focus on doing something positive rather than something negative," says founder Charlie Todd. "We want to create scenes of chaos and joy."
The carousel, however, has a magical, feel-good quality that seems exceeds all others. Why is that? Is it simply by virtue of the fact that a giant bunny wins a horse race? Is it the dramatic slow-mo finish? In the other videos, I noticed there's a period of adjustment during which the crowd of adult spectators need to observe, digest, and understand that what is happening is a public prank. Then and only then do they react with laughter. But in the carousel scene, the adults plunge into the spirit of the enterprise almost immediately even more so than the kids, who seem perplexed, but willing to go along, slapping their animals into "galloping."
There is something so wonderful in watching grown-up people play as if still in preschool, where all of us were allowed to be firemen or doctors everyday. I plan on spending the rest of the afternoon at my desk with a thick layer of sunscreen on my nose and my sunglasses down over my eyes, playing lifeguard-at-the-beach.
Read More: Laugh Until You Laugh... What's Your Emotional Age?
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