My run of bad luck continues. This time, I’ve been the victim of a mime-related incident.
A sign of getting old is how you handle a fall. There was a time when I’d bounce along the road and regain my feet after a couple of neatly executed somersaults. Pedestrians would cheer, applaud my exploits and a few would hold up cards displaying figures no lower than a perfect ‘10’. Yesterday was different. I had all the elasticity and bounce as a sack of King Edwards.
This morning I’m aching all over. I’m grazed on knees and elbows and my right eye is black. I’m also reflecting on how it’s all the fault of a mime and how this pernicious evil needs to be eradicated from our society.
Mimes are tricky sods. One minute you’re walking across Manchester’s Deansgate after enjoying your lunch break in Waterstones browsing through the books of Henry Miller. The next you’re walking past the Arndale Centre when you find yourself distracted by a mime. He was standing on a box and playing with a glass ball which seemed to float as his talented hands move above and beneath it. It was a display of that grace, poise and balance which was sorely lacking when I missed my footing and went sprawling out across the concrete to the gasps of my fellow pedestrians.
A moment later, a man was at my elbow. His thick Scouse accent was so alien in Manchester.
‘You alright mate?’ he asked as he took my elbow. I just readjusted the beret on my head and felt thankful that my disguise had not come off, despite my face cracking against the pavement.
‘I’m okay,’ I said, feeling embarrassment more than the pain in my knees and cheek. ‘It was that damn mime,’ I explained.
‘Evil silent bastard,’ he muttered in agreement before he disappeared back into the crowd.
I cast a final look towards the mime who had not even reacted to the drama being played out before him. I would have thought that he, more than anybody, would have enjoyed my pratfall, but he just continued to move in his silent world where all glass globes float on white cotton gloves.
I tuned my back on him and ducked into the nearest side street to escape the scene of my humiliation. Only then did I cast an eye towards the heavens and demand of the higher powers what they want of me. Why are they teasing me like this? What have I done to upset their cosmic sensibilities? Has there been some mix-up in the great balancing act? Is it because one of my middle names is ‘Mugabe’? Was this mime sent down to punish another man by that name?
Today I’m staying indoors and while Judy enjoys a day digging in the garden, I intend to write some more about mimes. I want to understand more fully the threat they and their cousins the clowns pose to the world.