The Great San Francisco Pillow Fight of 2009 -- Caught on Video!

Thousands and thousands of mostly young people -- but we did see some septuagenarians -- packed Justin Herman Plaza on Valentine's Day for the annual soft smackdown. Note the girl in this video holding her head as she leaves the fight; I wonder what happened? Moments after shooting the above video, your humble narrator sustained a direct hit between the eyes. Does this mean I can claim I had my eyeglasses broken in a fight?

You know what makes this video for me? The guy with the bike (and the amazing necktie-knit cap combo) swinging his pillow around like the anecdotal dead cat to clear out space.

One bit of analysis to belabor an extraordinarily fun night (we actually overheard multiple people shouting "Is this fun or what?"). The cost to the city was definitely a bit more than marginal; a number of police, park rangers and Department of Public Works employees were out on a Saturday -- Valentine's Day, no less -- earning overtime. Cleaning up a Canadian province's worth of goose down took the DPW more time and effort.

And yet, an alarming number of the participants actually bought their pillows new for the fight at $7 or more a pop! Astounding! What's more, Embarcadero-area coffee shops and restaurants were packed with pillow-toting customers, as were BART and other mass transit agencies.

As one smiling policeman on site told me, "All things considered, you can't complain much." 

Be sure to visit SF Weekly's slideshow of the fight right here.

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