Sending Mimes Into Heavy Traffic Is a Great Idea

mimeOne of my major gripes with traffic police is that I can't always make out what they're telling me to do. Wait, is he waving his hands like that because he wants me to proceed or is he waving them like, "Stop, for the love of God, stop!!" I like to tell myself this is because the police officers need to make bigger, more obvious movements.

(It's probably because I need to wear my glasses when I'm driving, actually.)

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I would get along just fine with or without glasses in Venezuala's capital city, Caracas, where the traffic cops were recently replaced with -- this is so brilliant, I can't even stand it -- mimes.

MIMES!

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Apparently driving conditions in Caracas were so bad they made the streets of NYC look calm and orderly. Drivers were completely ignoring the directives of police officers, sometimes even going the wrong way through oncoming traffic. Why? Well, probably because most motorists are so accustomed to ignoring the warnings and whistle-blowings of those cantankerous cops.

Whereas mimes in brightly colored clown suits wearing white gloves are slightly more difficult to ignore. Or that's the theory behind Operation: Mime, anyway.

The mayor went ahead with the idea after he heard about the successful use of mimes to resolve a similar situation in Bogata, Columbia. I'm guessing his thought process went something like this:

Hey, it can't hurt. Even if it doesn't work, what's the worst that could happen? These crazy drivers focus all their road rage on the mimes instead of other cars? Big deal! Fewer mimes, fewer accidents. It's a win-win!

I can only hope and pray that major U.S. cities take their cue from Caracas and try out the same tactic. After all, isn't laughter the best medicine? (You know, for road rage?)

Plus, I hate wearing my glasses.

What would you do if you saw a mime directing traffic?

 

Image via Scott Clark/Flickr

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