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Archive for August 21st, 2008

Notre Dame

 

Not much to do on top of buildings, aside from thinking.

Not much to do on top of buildings, aside from thinking.

I was not expecting it, in fact I did not know it had happened until it was over. Lucky I did not know else I would not have been able to remain calm. I just thought it was something that happened to other people – mimes.

Oh, it started innocently enough a few laughs here, a chuckle there. I thought it was mild street entertainment. We all did. Some in the line thought nothing of it and with mild politeness ignored him or looked the other way. He was not dressed as a mime, there were no white painted faced with black make-up. No black and white striped shirts. No gloves.

This mime was no country mime, he was subtle. I was in line to go up to the top of Notre Dame, it would have been a long wait in line without the entertainment. He silently stalked passerby’s while wearing a Quasimodo mask, he followed them closely, they turned around startled then laughed. There were many variations on this including following and then holding their hand, creeping up at waist height and draping arms over shoulders. All of this was aimed at us in line. We laughed, we chortled, in short we were amused.

All of this was in silence. Everyone approached thought it was funny: local parisians, americans and other tourists. Except the british. They responded by yelling for him to go away then walking away quickly. I guess it is a cultural memory of the one hundreds year war.

I was lucky. As the line progressed forward it forced me to leave the scene and climb up to the gargoyles on the roof. When I came back down after peering over the city the mime was gone. It took me months to realize that it was a mime, I quail at the thought of how close I came to mimedom.

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