The Paris event itself may have been canceled at the last minute, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from starting a riot anyway.
At least 7,000 people were waiting for an event hosted by a French marketing site called “Mailorama.fr” to start an event, in which a London double-decker bus named the “Bus of Fortune” would drive past the crowd in Paris and hand out envelopes that could contain anywhere from $7.50 to $750 out the windows to the waiting crowd below.
At least, that was the plan.
When the police got a good look at the crowd waiting for them, they changed their minds and canceled the event.
Well, that didn’t sit well with the crowd, and predictably, things got ugly quickly. Windows were pelted with fruit, and at least one car was overturned. I guess that’s what happens when you deny people their “hard-earned” money. After all, have you ever overturned a car and decorated windows with fruit? It’s more difficult than it sounds. They really worked for that money.
While the organizers themselves claimed that they regretted that the event didn’t go as planned, a government official named Eric Woerth expressed shock that the marketing site even considered organizing the event.
“Just because they do this sort of thing in the United States, that’s not a reason to do it in France. It borders on the ludicrous”.
You gotta love the French. Even though the U.S. had absolutely nothing to do with the event, they still find a way to pin the blame on us.
Oh, and someone needs to clue Monsieur Woerth in that his Socialist government gives money away to slackers all the time, just not as openly as “Mailorama” tried to do.
Still, frenchie here does bring up an interesting topic. He’s correct when he says that we’ve actually done this kind of thing before.
Last year in February of 2008, an internet company called “Cashtomatoe.com” decided to throw their own little cash giveaway promotion in Union Square, NYC. The idea was for representatives of the company, dressed as tomatoes, to pass out tomatoes with money attached to them to the homeless.
Apparently, the mob got tired of waiting, and began yelling “make it rain” and (my personal favorite) “give me my money!” as the clock counted down until the event started. With only 5 minutes to go, the impatient mob of 100 people then pushed their way to the workers, and began grabbing the bags of tomatoes with the money in them.
Long story short… the money was stolen, fights broke out and people got trampled and stomped on. The money didn’t make it into the hands of the homeless as it was intended, but into the greedy hands of an unruly mob out for quick cash.
I’m reminded of a scene from that old “Batman” movie back in the 80’s, when the Joker (played by Jack Nicholson) announced on television that he would be celebrating Gotham’s anniversary by throwing a parade and tossing out millions of dollars to the crowd. However, unknown to the greedy parade attendees, he also intended on releasing a deadly gas from the parade floats on the money-grabbing revelers.
And he would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for that meddling freak in a bat costume.
Looking back, I sometimes wonder if maybe the Joker was the real hero.
Free Money Event Turns Violent: Frank Carnevale, MyFox Illinois, 11/16/09
Cashtomatoe Money Giveaway Turns Rotten with Union Square Riot: Seth Fiegerman & Tracy Connor, NYDaily News.com, 03/01/08