Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mana Mana

Is the default human being spontaneous? Can a man, caught in daily thoughts, switch to a completely different mode within seconds? How willing is one to do stupid things in the present of completely strangers?

Yesterday we did a little experiment in Nuremberg.
Probably you know this old song with the refrain "mana mana". The question was how many out of ten passers-by would sing along when being addressed with the words "mana mana".
Our rule was to avoid any explanation or greeting but just to stop the stranger with a gesture and confronting him/her with "mana mana".

The result was surprising to me. 7 out of 10 strangers replied with the correct answer "doo doo doodoodoo".
For the first second you could see a mixture of panic and complete puzzlement in their eyes. "What the hell does this guy want from me?". This period was followed by a second of thinking intensely what to do. And in the third second they started to smile and sang. We then walked on immediately leaving a smiling person behind.

It was obvious that working people (a waiter and a taxi driver) were not able to switch to stupidity-mode immediately. A group of Japanese people were totally confused and not able to say anything.

The best person was a cop. We confronted him with "mana mana" and he stared at us with his best stern cop-look. Two seconds later he screamed to a passer-by "could you please take you dog on a leash?" and continued to look very cool.
We counted it as a failure and walked on. But after 10 metres we heard the cop-voice again. The sternness was gone and the voice was singing "doo doo doodoodoo".

For me the experiment was a clear indicator that most people are funny and the all-days-mud that covers it often is not very deep. You just have to begin to dig from time to time.


  1. Haaaaaaa, that was my favorite song when I was little. Thank you :-)

  2. Auf so etwas beklopptes kannst auch nur Du kommen :))


  3. Hahahah!
    This is so funny. Belive me I'm sitting in front of the screen and laughing like hell.
    Doo Doo DooDooDoo!


  4. How interested you are in what other people think and feel. Really interesting how much hollowness there can be behind words. Actions speak louder than words, my dear.

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  6. Even in Mexico people will reply but not with the doo doo doodoodoo, but with a patipitipi!!

  7. zu geil..... I LOVE IT...mana mana....

  8. Mit dem Song "Always look on the bright side of life..." funktioniert das pfeifenderweise auch ganz gut.
    Der dipdedipsong is natürlich spitzenmäßig!