We went to the tenth annual International Pillow Fight Day last Saturday, armed with pillows, and putting to use our expert pillow fighting skills. It was a lot of fun! You would think that in a place like New York City, where you never know who could be lurking around the corner with a pillow ready to start a fight, fundamental pillow warfare classes would be easy to find. But they’re not. Many people believe pillow fighting is a harmless activity because that’s what the liberal media wants you to believe. Fortunately, we are a family of pillow brawlers and have some battle tested strategies we’ll share.
International Pillow Fight Day takes place in over 22 countries, over 250 cities all over the world, from New Delhi to Shanghai, where a large group of people come out with pillows ready for a rumble. It’s been around for years on an organizational level, before anyone started using the term, a flash mob. The goal is not to dance or sing. It’s singular purpose is to pillow fight! This year the pillow fight in NYC was held in Washington Square, and at the end of the day, the pillows were donated to homeless shelters. There were even people with a stall giving away free books to pillow fighters. Machiavelli’s, “The Prince,” and Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War,” I hear were the first to go.
The great thing about Washington Square aside from its wide open space, is that the location made it quite convenient for us as the Lomography store is just a few blocks away, where I bought Kavya her first magical film camera made from a sardine can as a delayed birthday present. It’s been cold here. There’s also Meskerem, our Ethiopian joint on Macdougal.
Without further adieu, here are our 19 pillow fighting battle strategies:
1. Choose Your Weapon Wisely
A dual pack is an excellent choice as it allows you to go in immediately with the double pillow approach, rather than waiting to disarm somebody first.
2. Be Aware of the Surroundings
Before you commit to a battle strategy, always scan your surroundings. If you are a very social person or would like the opportunity to test out your very Close Quarter Combat Pillow Fighting skills, or you enjoy the prospect of being stuck in a crowd for hours, wade all the way to front. That’s where you will receive all of these thrills.
3. Pillow Warrior Selfies
Pillow Warrior Selfies are a necessity and it is the only acceptable reason to pause fighting. Because if it’s not immortalized on social media, did it really happen? That was not a rhetorical question. The answer is No. Probably not a good idea to pause for a selfie in the midst of someone swinging at your head, although the photo taken will be fantastic.
4. The Rule of the Beard
When you are faced with a formidable opponent, who is extremely handsome, and has one hell of a beard, attack the beard and hair. Especially if you are strapped into some sort of slow moving vehicle and are being made to wear a big poofy movement restricting jacket.
5. The Pillow Shield
This is a good way to test the waters. Bend the knees, and put all your weight into the pillow, thrusting forward. If your entire body weight is 45 pounds (3 stones and a bit), expect to be whacked in the head.
6. The Pre-emptive I Can’t See You So You Can’t See Me Maneuver
This is an excellent strategy that can sometimes trick your opponent into thinking you are invisible and have suddenly disappeared. The opponent will be left scratching his or her head. Theoretically, this will allow you to re-strategize and re-appear with a finishing blow.
7. The Counter Attack
Unfortunately, the strategy above only works on complete mugs. Assume a handsome, bearded Papa, is not going to fall for it. The only counter attack is to take a nap.
8. Dealing With Overly Enthusiastic Pillow Fighters
Smile and pretend as though everything is just fine. Take the moment of calmness because any second, it will turn into a feathery fueled pillow war again. This is not a good time to use the words, “chai-tea.” It’s actually never a good time.
9. Fists and Feet of Fury
When you have mastered the basics, you can start integrating fists and feet. A good capoeira ginga is the key to all of these movements and prevents falling over because of faulty balance. In the move above, there is a fake out using a pillow attack to the head with the real move being a hammer fist to the neck that acts as a force deadlier than the Vulcan death grip. What’s worse than death you ask? Get in a fight with this one and you will quickly find out.
10. The Art of Attacking Babies in Prams
These might seem like your easiest targets, but don’t be fooled. Their tiny little hands and feet have immense power.
11. Don’t Be Alarmed by Laughter
A common way that babies discombobulate you and throw you off your game is by laughing at you right when you think you are about to finish things off. Stay vigilant.
The slightly older ones employ the same strategy. But they follow it up with a second phase to their psychological warfare:
13. The Fake Mercy Plea
After laughing at you, the second part of their dual pronged attack is to pretend to plead for mercy. That’s when they get you.
14. Show No Mercy!
ATTACK! This Papa has watched Karate Kid many times and etched the moral to memory: mercy is for the weak. I’m pretty sure that’s the moral. Use the opportunity to loudly say the words, “Time to take a nap.” Make it a catchphrase. Get that hashtag trending.
15. Fun For The Whole Family
Especially the kid strapped to the pram.
16. The Best Pillow Fighting Technique
This is hands down the best way to win a pillow fight and requires very little strategy. Close your eyes, flail your pillow around in the general direction you think the enemy is, and hope for the best.
17. Arm Bar For The Win
When all else fails, for a definitive finish, get the arm bar. Make sure your opponents know how to tap out or there will be a lot of explaining to do.
The Beard wins again.