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The Essay
Show #39
Mime Appreciation Day
David Gunn
It's Mime Appreciation Day today to honor people like me who are saddled temporarily with throatfuls of phlegm, nosal ducts brimming with clotted braindrip, and extreme irritation of uvular extremities which make speaking audibly problematic. Recent therapy includes being strapped face down to a leatherette-covered table, having a beady-eyed research assistant place dangerous electrodes at regular intervals on my back, then throwing a switch -- throwing it far off into a distant field, as far as I could tell. The result? Lights in the surrounding community flickered and suddenly 24,000 field mice were dancing the fandango on my latissimus dorsi and spinning lentils on my sacroiliac, a sensation not unlike Moliere's description of prawns searching for pipper seeds in Blanche's windpipe in his famous treatise, Le flambeau oriange. But still my congestion persists.

The first mime was an early Irish settler named O'Banky the Coot. Long a talkative if grouchy chap, O'Banky experienced his verbal epiphany while dining at the pub one day. He was eating a local delicacy, tongues in aspic, when the main course began to speak to him in tongues. Tipsy and tongue-tied, O'Banky was unable to reply. He clipped threads from his jacket and tightly lashed the tongues together to stop them from wagging, but they had already made a profound impression on O'Banky. Gradually, he found less and less reason to talk, preferring to communicate through a series of charades, eyeblinks, shoulder shrugs and a rudimentary version of e-mail, the distillation of which became the basis for mimimery, or "talk-no-lips" in Celtic. To demonstrate how far we've come since then, the next sequence of sounds will be brought to you in living mime-o-vision. (cicada) And that, of course, told the story of the tragic if subsequent death of Ethelbert Nevin, who, you'll recall, offered a pantomime rendition of Taneyev's "Convertible Counterpoint in the Strict Style" during the introduction to Episode 27.

The next portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour contains a dearth of the richly upholstered orchestration which some of our listeners have come to expect during this portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour, for which we offer an apology without readily admitting we know exactly why we're apologizing. If you are one of those radiophonically-inclined listeners who genuinely values the inclusion of richly upholstered orchestration in this or any portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour, please be advised that subsequent portions of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour will contain same, unless such matters are deemed inappropriate by the Kalvos & Damian's New Music Research Junta, limited membership in which is presently available. To join, just write, in 25 words or fewer, your guarded opinion of mimes. All entries will be kept strictly confidential, unless the NMRJ decides otherwise.

But enough about whatever it is I just said, which I've happily forgotten. Here now is the embodiment of Mori Rintaro before he encountered a series of events which would change his life, name, and congestable orifices forever, Kolvas.