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Weekend, July 16, 2005


SUMMER in the CITY : the Revenge of the Mimes

Like most Metropolitan Zones, Chicago’s shopping districts are enhanced during the summer months by Colorful and sometimes Talented Street Performers.

None turn the head, or empty the wallet faster than,
drumroll please, the Mimes…

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you’ve heard me speak of this species with WONDER and Warm Regard over the seasons I’ve been writing. Mimes hold a Special Place in my Heart reserved for none other.

I regard them so highly that for the most part, I NEVER photograph them. Even though I always have my camera with me, even though I long with the deepest part of my soul to capture their enterprising spirit forever on film, I’ve resisted my primal urges, gawked and gathered their ministrations, then moved along…

Everything changed last Friday…

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On Fridays after work, I ususally stroll a few blocks past my regular bus stop and window shop on the Miracle Mile.

I go to the Book Store, the Shisheido lipstick counter at SAKS (loving to arrive really messy looking after a day of shooting) or maybe I just get a Teriyaki Bowl at WoW BAO in the lobby of Water Tower.

YES! I’m a Low Rent kindof Local who just might be getting their jollies alongside some visitiors in the Tourist Zone that runs along Michigan Ave. What’s good for the Goose, etc. etc. etc.

Here’s where the story gets SCARY so get a glass of spirits of your choice and SIT DOWN.

On my regular Friday Romp, I found some new Pals over in front of Water Tower Place.

Now this is a habitual haunt for the legion of Street Mimes working the Miracle Mile, so I was not surprised by their presence.

I was surprised by the crowd around one in particular who really appeared to be doing nothing at all.

And Here it was I broke my Rule…

I Took A Picture…

I took several Pictures…

Then I did something else I’ve never done. I put money in the Mime Bucket. Then I took money out of the Mime’s Bucket. Why Oho Why? Because all I had was a fiver and I wanted CHANGE from my donation ($2).

This caused a fellow Mime Lover beside me who was adding to the haul to exclaim loudly "THAT’s Just WRONG!"

Of couse, she was referring to my change making and by her tone was implying I was doing some-other-slight-of-hand in the Bucket. (NAY! THAT would make me a Magician and for chrissakes, I am NOT going to become a Street Performer myself, even for the lovely Tourists…)

As she joined her companions, I asked her where she was from and she muttered “Small Anywhere USA.” I replied, "AHA" (mentally scribing the fact she was Not From Here) – adding – “Well, what I did was fine. I asked the MIME!" She replied loudly and sarcastically, "You should’ve went somewhere and gotten change!"

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Of course, this made me laugh, because NOBODY gives change in a Big City.

Of course, this made me cry, because NOBODY gives change in a Big City.

I replied,
   "What’s that, Page 5, Miss Manners Book of Mimes?"

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I really said this.

And I said, "Can say, just did. And maybe your cousin should’nt have whacked me up at the bucket!"

I knew our esteemed visitors would never understand that Big City People BICKER 24/7 and it really is Friendly.

Quite possibly, it’s the only human equivalent of dog-sniffing-tail I’ve ever encountered. You establish your comfort level then proceed.

This made her HUGE cousin say, "You can’t talk to my cousin like that"

Needless to say, Reason Reared its Ugly Head at this point and I realized We had become just what the Tourists Wanted/Needed Most: a Spectacle…



Reluctantly, I left the area…



Yesterday morning I tried to upload my pictures. THEY WERE GONE! POOF! Files all scrambled like expresso eggs…

My spirit almost flattened by this revenge, I was going to leave you with a psuedo-version of said Mime because really, it’s not all that much more than this:

but NO.

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I am a GeekTard and must, must save my files.

I tried to load up in Windows.

But the volume mounted on the Mac so I ran Disk Repair.

This might ruin my weekend with frivolous time wasting.

I failed.

Then I dropped some $$$ and used FileRescue to grab those files!


and here, My Friends, is what started it all…


Scary, isn’t she…

NEXT: Happy Fountains and MORE!

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