DC at Night

DC at Night

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pillow Power, It's One Boppin' Worldwide Fight

Hundreds on National Mall declare have pillow, must fight
You could clearly see the young couple were ready for the upcoming battle. They were sitting on the ground, stuffing their weapons carefully into their containers. Then, with their newly purchased soft pillows temporarily safely encased in the white plastic Bed, Bath, and Beyond bags for protection, they headed off toward the Washington Monument to engage with hundreds of fellow fighters in the DC National Mall version of International Pillow Fight day.

30-year-old Andrea Papi was a veteran of the once-a-year fun pillow wars. A native of Rome, Italy, Papi had battled in the 2008 contest in his home city. So when he arrived to visit his girlfriend Annabel De Braganco, he convinced her to join him in the fun-filled DC battle.

Annabel De Braganco shows her fighting form
This would be De Braganco's first parlay into the world of non-competive, large-scale pillow fighting, which this year in DC was being hosted by Capitol Improv. The event was being staged in more than 150 cities around the world, from Abu Dhabi to Zurich.

De Braganco, 24, was well aware of the rules:
  • use soft pillows only
  • swing lightly as many people will be swinging at once
  • remove glasses beforehand and
  • do not swing at people without pillows or using cameras.
But she still admitted to a tinge of nervous excitement as a massive pillow fight newbie. But that nervousness quickly vanished as the couple approached the crowd, which was already swinging away at each other between fits of laughter. After a few warmup hits on each other, Papi and De Braganco waged into the circle, pillows held high in a fight-ready position.

About 15 minutes later, a heavy-breathing, beaming De Bragnaco emerged from the group for a short break. "It's insane," she shouted. "You just hold your breath and jump in."

David Gaines 
While the majority of the battlers appeared to be in their 20s and 30s, some were much younger (4 or 5) and some were much older. In that latter category was 61-year-old David Gaines of Arlington. Gaines had entered the fun fray with his specially labeled pillow which said "David - Hogs the Blankets." It was also adorned with the picture of a big hog, sort of the way knights of old announced their lineage on their shields.

"It's a crazy sounding event, but really it helps you work out your physical aggression and nobody gets hurt," Gaines said.

While this Saturday was devoted to fun, and laughter, and a free-swinging time, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Gaines suggested that the pillow fight concept could have much more serious implications. Instead of deadly weapons, countries could go to war with pillows, Gaines opined. 

"It would mean spending a lot less on the military.  All you would need is bigger pillows," he said.  

A Prices Do DC Extra
They say every picture tells a story. So here is the story of the raucous DC International Pillow Fight Day 2014.

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