Today and yesterday at Odyssey the Neo-Futurists performed their 30 plays in minutes. One of their plays was their impression of a pod of Whales. This scattered them out among the audience where they made whale noises and occassionally sprayed mouthfuls of water in the air as if to be the whales blow hole. It was surprising and funny and gross! But they did it right there at school and dozens of students were wet by the comical improv.
This reminds me of our spit vs. saliva lesson. The idea was that we have socially constructed a difference between spit and saliva. Spit is something that leaves your mouth and is considered gross. Saliva is the same thing but it stays in your mouth and so we would never consider that gross. We freely swallow saliva but never spit. Similarly, there are times and places that society says it is okay to spit: a baseball game, a water polo match, and now an improv theater performance. Not only were they spitting, but they let the mist land on students! Imagine if I did that in class or even at the Shedd Aquarium, "Look at me I'm a whale PPFFFFFSHSHSH." I might get kicked out of there and even arrested! But right there at school there it was as part of a performance. Imagine if you did this in the commons and when security approached you, you said, "I was just imitating a whale." That is an example of how society creates a certain feeling or a certain acceptability in some places but not others.