My hypotheses may not hold up in California

by Rebecca A. Watson on October 2, 2009

in bus rides, characters, social experiments

My friend told me about her bus ride home today. An older guy with a fake Jamaican accent was fighting with his girlfriend and declared to the entire bus: “I bring you fruit and you throw it down the stairs!”

She said it was quite the dramatic production. She was convinced it was fake. And that got me thinking about something I haven’t considered in a while: The Social Experiment.

I’m a big fan of seeing how people react in situations where the unexpected happens. Or when they’re forced to be uncomfortable by proximity. I’ve traveled across a continent to visit someone for 11 hours just to see how they would react.

One of my favorite ideas was going to lunch in front of the courthouse where everyone (read: judges, lawyers, the real suits) eats when it’s nice out. I would show up in my business casual uniform with my lunch, strip down to a bikini and sunbathe on the fountain bench. I wanted to get my photog friend there to document the event, but even she was uncomfortable with the idea.

I guess I haven’t really considered doing a social experiment in a while. Probably because the last three months of my life have been a giant one on myself. But now that I’m a little more familiar with my surroundings, it might be time to start brainstorming.

The thing is, people in Minnesota are different than people in California. (Insert “Duh!” here.) So how do I come up with new ideas? And I can’t very well experiment on my coworkers or roommate. That would be downright unethical! So where do I start? Perhaps the transit station.

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