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LA Times Festival of Books: Umbrella Tetris Flash Mob

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There was buzz about a secret flash mob hours before the mob actually appeared. A window of hours during Saturday's festivities was secretly passed along, but no mob was sighted during the supposedly set times. Then, just as we were leaving, we saw an unusual number of umbrellas. It was hot enough for shade protection, yes, but not that hot.

Soon, we found ourselves surrounded by umbrella wielding folks who began swaying back & forth and moving up & down the stairs while festival-goers looked on in confusion and kids, in particular, looked on in wonderment.

After an initial performance at the top of the stairs, the ringleader shouted out for "Group Seven" to assemble and they trickled down to the bottom of the stairs where Tetris music played and the "live Tetris" performance began again.

When asked how long the mob had been planned, the ringleader said he'd been working out logistics for two weeks but that the mobbers had only practiced together for the previous hour. After the performance at the bottom of the stairs ended, he rallied the troops and mentioned they were moving on to another location.

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We didn't follow them further. As flash mobs go, this was the least interesting, least coordinated one we've seen. Was it the all day hype that ruined it for us by setting unreasonably high expectations? Probably. Check out the video and see what you think.

We did, however, enjoy hearing a little girl ask her mother what the umbrellas were about. In a response worthy of a proper Twitter "overheard", she replied, "That was a flash mob sweetie. When you get older, you can mob too, but yours can be much cooler."