For those of you who can’t be bothered to keep up with world “news” (and I don’t blame you with the stuff that is deemed “newsworthy” these days) mimes have been doing their part to encourage safe driving in Venezuela. We all remember (no, not really) how Antanas Mockus, the former mayor of Bogota who used mimes to help lasso street chaos. Well know Carlos Ocariz of Sucre is using mimes on the streets to shames reckless drivers and organize the vehicular chaos.
Look, I’ll be damned before I have anyone think that I don’t support unconventional methods of social betterment. But I see a few problems with using mimes, the silent clown of the arts, as a means for getting drivers to obey traffic laws.
Mimes can be creepy.
Have you ever seen a mime right up in your face? There’s something about it that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped into a rapidly enveloping horror movie. They start to smile and it’s like they’re showing you their fangs. They start to mime a box or a rope and it’s like they’re just displaying the dexterity of their hands, showing you how easy it would be to maim and strangle you. For bad, skittish drivers (like myself), you don’t want mimes jumping out at you out of bushes, shaking their heads and wagging their fingers. I see that causing accidents. Many.
Mimes don’t yell for help.
Say you want to run right over a mime, or at least, take out one of his knees with the edge of your car. Well, you can do that rather easily. What is the mime going to do, yell, “Owww, help me help me, stop that guy!!!!!!”? I don’t think so. A true mime would just roll on over and mime spell out the numbers 9-1-1 with his fingers.
This opens the door to other wackier ideas. Indeed mimes for traffic control is the gateway idea to a host of other weird and wild ideas. For example, who’s going to say they won’t have marionettes and puppeteers out there soon? Ballerinas? Can-can dancers? Elmo?
What about the centaurs and dwarves? When do they get their turn to direct traffic? It doesn’t seem fair to not include them and give preferential treatment to the mimes. Such policy will no doubt build resentment, from the smallest water sprites to the largest minotaur.