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Mime: Basics For Beginners

7 August 2009 8 Comments

This is the second piece in a series called “Fish Stories”. Fictitious accounts of the owners and authors of books I find at thrift shops. Most likely I will put them up for sale at some point.


Title: Mime: Basic For Beginners

Owner: Susan Ruhig

Purchased: 1986 at a local church sale.


CIMG3545 copySusan Ruhig’s husband Victor had recently told her she was uncommunicative. He longed for the days when they gabbed all night. Susan with her cigarette dangling on her lower lip, naked and sweaty under the electric blanket, chatting about the neighbors’ fights and their own lives and how they would open an animal feed store and plant spinach in raised beds. Oh, those days were delightful!  Sometimes he couldn’t shut her up, practically had to buy duct tape to keep her quiet and an erotic image often rose in his mind of Susan lying on the bed, her mouth covered in duct tape, her legs spread open, her pubic hair wild and unruly on her inner thighs.

But he wasn’t that kind of man and decided he’d let her talk to her heart’s desires. But years later into the marriage, Susan, began to talk less and it was Victor who found himself gabbing. Gabbing to no one in general, the rose bushes; the retarded clerk at the hardware store, the old rusted TV left at the dump. Talk to me! he’d bellow at Susan, his sour face blossoming behind her as she walked away. It wasn’t that talking to Victor bored Susan, it was just that as she got older she realized that speech in general was overrated and life at best could be boiled down to perfunctory tasks or errands, thus she realized that she needn’t speak at all and reeled with great excitement (but not out loud for an exclamation now seemed unnecessary) when she saw the mime book. She practiced often, usually at night when Victor was asleep so he wouldn’t be disconcerted by her awkward movements.

CIMG3543 CIMG3542 copy

Soon, their actions about the house became very comical for when Victor asked her if she had paid the electrical bill, she would move towards him and gesture, bending her hips and placing her hands out before her as if saying, whoa, it was your turn to do the bills! Or if he asked her to go to the store and get milk, instead of saying, hey lazy ass, why don’t you, she’s make the gesture of exaggerated walking towards an unknown location.

CIMG3544The “pelvis isolation” proved to be a very valuable as she managed to isolate her pelvis for Victor, thus she was able to have sex quite well without any requirement of the upper part of her body and she was able never to utter a word but be fully physically engaged below. “Greed” was his least favorite gesture and he especially hated it when she made this face when he took second helpings of pork chops.

The years went by and sadly he finally accepted her as a Mime but they rarely went out much anymore as people tended to shun her in public and at parties she was often told to go into the closet and stay there as she was disturbing the guests with her frantic gestures such as the old act of one pretending they were enclosed within a box. Soon Victor was engaging in mime as well and their everyday life was a wild abandon of haughty gestures and pantomime. Oddly, they communicated now much more than before.

CIMG3541 copyTitle: Mime: Basic For Beginners

Authors: Cindie and Mathew Straub

Penned: 1988 under duress from Mathew that the book had to be published while Miming was still popular; before the general public started flaying people who practiced the art.

Mathew Straub was a calculating son of  a bitch and had only discovered the art of Mime on his way back from his job as a financial advisor on the subway. He noticed some kids at the end of the train doing some strange movements and several people clapping and throwing money at them. Later in the evening he noticed an article in the “Times” about the resurgence of Mime in the streets and the public’s softening towards the trend. He vaguely remembered in the ’70s as a teenager mime had its moment but hippies and social misfits tended to gravitate toward it. Whereas back then, the mimes wore more black and white and now he noticed they wore colorful, hip colors such as aqua and purple.

Soon he noticed his co-workers had started to mime and when the manager of his team had  a party,  the host frantically mimed as he poured drinks. Mathew saw an enormous potential and decided a book was in order and of course Cindie would write it. Cindie, who sat most of her life and had the body of a mound of compost. It’s all about Mime, baby, he would shout, look about you darling, wake up, we’re on to something here. Cindie was disinterested at best but slowly managed to produce the book.

Finally after some years it was finally ready and soon to published. Unfortunately, mime was again frowned upon and when the book came out, Mathew was mocked by coworkers and his neighbors made scatological mime gestures at Cindie as she drove down the driveway off to simple errands. Soon Mathew became a shadow of his former self and lost all entrepreneurial drive until one morning he noticed everyone about him was wearing leg warmers. He thought Cindie should do a book and prodded her endlessly about it.


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