Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sharing with the swarm can lead to bruises

While the driver and I were standing outside the car and waiting to have our inflated tire repaired (see previous post), my children inside the car were eating candy. When they saw a few kids approaching, they threw them out some of the shrink-wrapped candy. First, the kids did not know what to do with the little square pieces wrapped into glittering aluminum foil, but once the first one had unwrapped the candy and put it into her little mouth, a delighted smile lighted up all over her face. More children started flocking to the car, and then even some half-grown-ups joined them. My children were busy throwing candy out the car window. But then things started getting out of control. The swarm of kids became more aggressive, banging at the car door, so I started getting worried for my friend’s car. I took the bag of candies and stepped away from the car. Now the entire swarm, about 20 children, aged from probably three to sixteen years, was surrounding me. I could not get out the candies fast enough for them. Hands were reaching out and touching me everywhere. And now even some adults were joining in. In the end a tall guy, probably half a head larger than I – and I am over six feet – wrestled the torn bag out of my hand. The rest of the candy fell on the ground. Now the swarm started fighting on the floor. Thirty seconds later all the candies were gone, and another few seconds later the swarm had dissolved. The only thing remaining was some dispersed candy paper lying on the floor.
Some times the swarm can get out of control – in particular if the protocol of sharing with the swarm has not been previously established.

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