Whee! Whee! THWUMP.
Amid squeals of delight (and sometimes pain), students and mattresses collided last Tuesday along the Infinite and in Lobby 7. Twenty-one students stood in a line, clinging to mattresses, as one person fell onto the next and the next.
They were trying to set the world record for the longest chain of “human mattress dominoes”: dominoes formed by humans gripping onto mattresses and toppling one another in a chain-reaction.
Organizer Michael J. Snively ’11 said he had gotten the idea from his friend, Keri-Lee A. Gerel ‘10, who held a similar event at a summer camp. A YouTube video with over a half-millon views shows a 41-person event. “Apparently it’s the new thing,” he said.
Snively publicized the event primarily through Facebook, where it received 124 RSVPs. “Grab your mattress from your dorm room, meet in the main group at 2 on September 1st, and break a world record like only MIT students can!” the description read. Snively, an Admissions blogger, publicized the event with a post on his blog as well.
The Guinness World Record for the “most human mattress dominoes toppled” is 80, set in Sydney, Australia on August 16, 2009 with the help of a local mattress company. The MIT group was not able to break any records, but most participants said they had a lot of fun.
Although he is unsure of whether the group will ever come close to the world record, Snively said he wants mattress dominos to be made into an annual orientation event.
John W. Dorminy ’13 lugged his mattress all the way from Random Hall. “It was a long walk, but it was totally worth it to get with a mattress in the face,” he said. Dorminy added that the event was “totally better than the diversity and sex signals skits.”
Though the mattresses softened the falls, some participants still found themselves roughed up by the end of the day.
Reena L. Joubert ’13, who came to the event from New Ashdown with some friends, got bonked in the nose during the toppling mattress. “Luckily, there was no blood,” she said.
Chinua Shaw ’13 said “it hurt the first time, but I had to adjust the way I fall.”
Participants came from all over campus. Elizabeth W. Santorella ’13 said she saw some people walking with mattresses and decided to carry her mattress all the way from Next House to join in on the fun. Andrew L. Geng ’11 carried his mattress down the stairs of East Campus from 3rd East and said that he would definitely consider participating in the event again, “provided that I have the time and energy to carry [my mattress].”