Guide: Modern Mime Routines

by: Andrew Halter

1. Piloting a Remote Control Helicopter

This is one of the more subtle uses of mime technique, in which the performer holds his hands parallel to each other, roughly 2-3 feet apart, scanning the sky for an invisible flying machine.  One can also open his or her mouth in amazement and excitement, occasionally becoming concerned that the imaginary helicopter will crash, only to be relieved when it does not.

2. Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Waving Tube Man

The Mime splays his or her arms wide, holding them rigid and unmoving, only to suddenly reverse directions suddenly.  The mime’s face should be completely without expression, suggesting the personification of an inanimate object.  If any small children are near, the mime could suddenly throw his arms toward them, hoping not to make them burst into tears.

3. Suicide

The mime should first pretend to sit at a desk and write a confessional note, making sure to emphasize with his or her finger the tears running down their cheek.  Then, standing up, the mime can slip an invisible noose over their neck, throwing the other end of the rope over an imagined overhead pipe. With hands clasped together in front of them, the mime could weep briefly into their own folded hands, before pretending to dangle lifeless from their own imagined suicidal rig.  Possibility: suddenly spring to life, grinning widely and ensuring any audience that it was all a ruse.

4. Mass Shooting

This act requires at least 15 mimes, as one will portray the shooter and the others his or her unfortunate victims.  All the mimes should begin together in one group, until one of them upholds an imaginary machine gun and begins to murder many of the other mimes.  There should be at least 10 imaginary casualties, with the shooter making sure to shudder his or her body rapidly as if jostled by machine gun fire.

5. Donald Trump Speech

The mime stands as if before a podium, making sure to indicate with hand motions that he or she is enormously overweight.  The mime could gesticulate wildly with his or her hands while occasionally standing openhanded as if asking the crowd a question.  Depending on what part of the country the mime performs this routine, it may end with a final triumphant Nazi salute.

Guide: Modern Mime Routines

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 4

Swelling like good songs, Strummer gone acoustic

spanish optimism, calming a steady breeze

curling inwards, patter past the pit

in your gut still clouds bang horizon

darkness towers forever

over us, all of us, struggle sharply instinctual

suicide, when it’s hard red eyes

frozen by the beat, clear blue

shattered with a ball peen

strike at the center mass, nothing of a cushion

underneath, shards will rain

over everyone on both sides

opposite the split, the river will run

red as the sclera screeching

from the blood shot, unplug in emergency

if at all like this, they’ve won already.


But they haven’t a knowing smirk

painted left to right like a comet trail

in the dawn light over the plain, booming a shattering

pulse throughout all reality, it seemed at the time

or must have had I been there, overconfidence

shaky fencepost complicit swaying

this and that, hesitance may be

a symbol of the soul or time ravaging

footprints in the sand, showing the way

enlightenment presents to us

going in circles, seeing blank horizon

everywhere forever on, footpads placing

pleasantly in the sand, it is warm

sustaining hilarious resonant contemplation.

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 4

Poem: Ring the Bell

It’s fight day, today

in the sun we’re roasting and anticipating

a bloodbath, packed in a blender

set to spray the walls with guts, screaming out the names

of our gods and loved ones, plaintiff

under the rolling pin

of progress, undirected asphalt sovereign

lords of deafness, under their hoods

we see the glowing eyes

are hypnotic, sticking us

with the bill, none are an ally

of any dead men pulling, permanent casino fixtures

glimpse hope as impossible.


I can see the hatch, above so small

to crawl through a crack

seems death down, to the core

of everyone, but they beg our pardon

telling to try again, once more to the breach

dear friends depart, clanking the shutters

down over the exit hole, glimpse the opponent

in the eyes, looking through

the mirror and me, locked in savage

combat of love

music art making,

Poem: Ring the Bell

Poem: Proud Cycle

Shiver awake the first day, and there was no sun

warming me or the others, though we could see shine

in through the ceiling holes, we were to together though,

hearts beating like ovens, we were kept keeping love

warm under the roofs, we prayed they’d not return.


The bad days born again, my brother died in a tub

drowning shallow water away, but those of us

holding hope sacked movements eternal, failing

first, but surrender has been taken from us, the weak

have no choice but to fight, live or die depending.


The overlords whatever they are, killing for fun

or boredom business decisions, the kernel

remains ever thirsty, for we will emerge again

wearing letters, knowing many will die this time

as last again, but resistance is foundation.

Poem: Proud Cycle

The Fatalist (Chapter 1: Creation)

“Shut up mom,” Gregory said over his shoulder as he opened the house’s front door.  “I’m goin’ to the swamp.”

“Be careful,” his mother called after him, choosing to ignore the insult he’d paid her.  For her, whatever time Gregory spent out of the house was a gift.

Careful, Gregory chuckled to himself considering the word.  Fat lot of good that’ll do.  Gregory was a fatalist, and because all things died and would die, he enjoyed seeing life spring from death.  Plants and animals died and decayed everywhere in the swamp.

When he was in the swamp, he thought about all that would happen to him after he was dead.  Inside these caverns they would have meetings and parties, eating their way through his skin from the inside.

It occurred to him that these organisms that lived inside of him would die too, and be eaten by larger and smaller organisms than they were.  It was all the cycle and he knew that the life he’d led was but a droplet of a fragment of the whole, and it didn’t matter anyway.

Gregory’s life had been but loneliness and pain.  Rejected by those he’d once called his friends, shunned by his family, and finding all elements of his world completely abhorrent, he intended to drown himself.

He knew just where to do it, and how.  Overland swamp, the lush patch of what was mostly shallow marshland, had one small body of water that was roughly forty feet wide and eighteen feet deep.  He remembered being brought as a child to the swamp by someone he’d once considered a father.

As disgusting as the memory seemed now, Gregory could not deny its usefulness.  He remembered once upon a time when someone he’d called “Dad” had shown him the pond’s best fishing perch.  One of the trees nearest its edge had a great branch that extended over the center of the water, from which he now intended to plunge its depth.

He’d brought a backpack that held his supplies, which included a 25-pound stone boulder, means to fasten the boulder to his ankle, and an ordinary garden trowel.  First he used the trowel to dig a small hole in the ground, into which he buried his clothes and the backpack.  When he died, he wanted to decompose as quickly as possible, and for that it was best to be naked.

Gregory lifted the heavy stone up above his shoulder and crept out onto the great branch, careful not to drop it too soon.  He’d fastened the massive rock snugly to his ankle with a length of biodegradable twine only three feet in length.  He’d considered his suicide for a long time, and this seemed like the way that the swamp would get the most benefit.

First of all, being tethered deep in the center of a forbidding swamp, he figured he wouldn’t be found for a long time, maybe ever.

And second, he tied himself to the boulder with a type of twine that he knew would eventually disintegrate, allowing his body to float to the surface.  Floating lifeless on the surface of the water, his corpse would then could become shelter and sustenance for any other form of life that happened upon it.

Gregory felt that this, more than anything, was his purpose.

As soon as he’d crept out far enough over the swamp, he checked the twine to make sure it and all his ties were strong enough, and dropped the stone into the water.  As the rock fell and sought the bottom of the pond, Gregory remained fastened to it.

After he reflexively struggled against the pull of the twine tether around his ankle for several minutes, Gregory settled and let the swamp take him in, but he did not die.

He struggled and unconsciously gasped for air underneath the surface of the water.  His lungs filled with water and a living green sludge.  “The Spirit of the Swamp,” as Gregory would come to term it, slid its way into the empty recesses of his body.  Gregory stopped living.

Fifteen minutes after he’d committed suicide, Gregory’s eyes flew open and searched the water all around him for answers.  Why was he not dead?  He breathed, he knew it, but without lungs.  Each cell in his body seemed to expand and contract in a way that would be impossible to describe, and it made him completely happy.

The happiness he felt was in the calm knowledge of his connection with the universe.  He opened his eyes, and seeing that he was still tethered to his suicide stone, reached down to untie his ankle.  As he swam over to dry land and trudged out of the water he heard his footsteps land in wet squishing sounds.

He beheld in his reflection on the water, finding that all of his skin now appeared quite green.  Upon closer inspection he found that there was a thick moist carpet of moss covering all of what used to be skin.

Gregory shrugged, and realized that he was not simply in the swamp, but of the swamp.  This is my home, and I must protect it, he said silently to himself.  As he repeated this mantra he could feel that with each step the knowledge of his new body grew.

Following intuition he headed slowly through the swamp, becoming more accustomed to the reach of his senses.  Soon it was as though he could feel every piece of life in the marsh.

Towards the northeast corner of Overland Swamp, adjacent to the high school, he could almost hear the plaintiff cries of a young girl in distress.  When he reached the source of tension, he saw Becky, one of his young classmates in the high school, scrambling through the trees as fast as she could.  The front of her shirt was torn and a streak of blood trailed from the edge of her mouth to the back of her neck.

Behind her, traveling a bit faster than she was, the new young chemistry teacher, Mr. Bringhold was in pursuit.  His pants were undone, his shirt was also ripped, and his mad smirk opened, revealing unbrushed teeth and omitting a lustful growl.

Mr. Bringhold apprehended Becky after not too long and threw her on the ground.  He leapt on to her, yelling a vicious cackle into her ear.  Becky screamed in horror, as the adult male teacher she’d once trusted snarled,  “You wanna play with me, bitch!?”

Gregory set upon the teacher, knocking him to the ground alongside Becky and landing on top of him.  Wordlessly he pressed on Mr. Bringhold’s shoulders, looking down into his eyes as his screams of horror were quickly muffled.

The verdant, strong-smelling moss seeped quickly from Gregory’s nose, eyes, and mouth, falling onto the chemistry teacher’s face and plugging each of its orifices.  The moss at first simply muffled Mr. Bringhold’s screams, but as it spread down the inside of his esophagus, it drew into every pore of his body.  The moss drew tightly together, blocking out all oxygen and suffocating the would-be rapist to death.

Becky, who’d at first been relieved that her attacker was being subdued, was now terrified, and raised her hands up as if to defend herself.

“Please,” she whimpered.

“Don’t worry,” Gregory surprised himself finding that he could still speak with his own voice.  He thought about why he’d done what he had just done, then spoke five words that would become his calling card.  “The swamp will remain safe.”

After authoring his mission statement, this new burgeoning guardian of the marshland turned to leave.  Just then he was caught off-guard by Becky’s voice.  “Gregory?”

Gregory was taken aback that Becky remembered his name, but he was something else now, and would need a new name.  He paused, thinking of what this new name would be.  He thought of what he loved about the swamp, what it taught him, and just how he’d come to his new powers.

“Call me The Fatalist,” he said, before turning back into the forbidding recesses of the swamp.  Becky ran home, never intending to tell anyone of what she had seen.

The Fatalist (Chapter 1: Creation)