On Saturday I hopped on the Metro to get down to DC where I would be meeting Emily for a Capitol Improv event, The International Pillow Fight. I was very excited about taking part but felt a little conspicuous clutching my pink pillow 'hidden' in a plastic carrier bag. I was getting a few looks. Everyone taking part was supposed to hide their pillows until the fight was instigated by a couple of CI members, then all hell would break loose, hopefully.
I marched down The Mall anxious not to miss the beginning but not really sure who to look out for. It was supposed to be in front of The Capitol but I'm not the best with directions so I started scouring nearby pedestrians looking for a surreptitious pillow here or there.
I knew I was in the right spot when I saw these girls wearing pajamas. Awesome idea and one I filed away for next year. As I studied people a little better I started spotting corners of pillows peeking out of backpacks and bags but soon folks just gave up hiding them and pulled them out ready for action.
Here is a small video I threw together of the event.
It was a riot, and immense fun. I divided my time between fighting, shooting video and taking pictures. Everyone was extremely respectful of anybody with photographic equipment because of course this event was supposed to draw attention. I saw Emily had turned up and her camera was busy clicking away but I don't think she got involved in the ruckus. Even though everyone was throwing and plumping their pillow hard onto each other, there was only one person who need the Pillow Medic for a patch up to their weapon.
This guy was one of the instigators and like the rest of the Capitol Improv members that I tackled with was very friendly. Everybody was laughing and even though some of the tussles got pretty intense whenever someone surfaced for air it was with a stupendous grin on their face.
Somebody lost their Curious George on the battleground but the lady who was photographing him alongside me picked him up decided to give him a good home.
The battle raged for nearly 45 minutes and it was only at the end that 2 police officers on bikes came over to investigate. Despite us not having a license, (really?), they were OK and realizing the fight was done and no mess had been created, there really was no point in flaunting control.
The fight was due to be continued up at Dupont Circle so Emily and I started walking. The skies were ominously grey though and after only about 10 minutes, the heavens opened with huge drops of rain that soon turned into hailstones. We both got completely drenched so decided to cancel our pillow plans and head instead for ......a beer. No surprise there then. Jason was called and met us at the bar where our clothes dried out but beers and conversation didn't. A great day!
Emily sent me this photo today, my boss thought is was Photoshopped.