Remember the 1979 Walter Hill film “The Warriors?” The one about all the street gangs? Yeah. Well, in my misspent youth, I was a member of the Hi Hats. The street gang that dressed up like mimes. If you watch this trailer, you can catch us at the 34-second mark.
Look, I know what you’re thinking. Whenever anybody finds out about this element of my past, they ask the same questions. “Mimes? You were trying to come up with a concept for your street gang and you went with freakin MIMES? Was, like, every other conceivable possibility in the entire world already taken or something?”
The answer is … I genuinely don’t know. Look, this was the 1970s. There was a lot of pot around, and people didn’t always make the most rational decisions. I think when we were just sitting around and brainstorming ideas, somebody might have thrown out the word “Mayans” and it got misheard. Then it just turned into one of those decision-by-committee-that-takes-on-a-life-of-its-own type of deals. Next thing you know, we’re walking around the streets dressed like mimes.
And no, I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to establish a reputation as badasses under those circumstances. In fact, there was really only one other gang that found us intimidating. They were called the Interpretive Dancing Needlepoint Enthusiasts. For a while, we used to go into their neighborhood and pick on them, just to feel better about ourselves. Then their parents got wind of it. They called our parents, and … well … that was the end of that.
It was back to hanging out and listening to the other gangs laugh at us. Then at night we’d go home, wash off the greasepaint and cry ourselves to sleep.