Friday, 10 October 2008

"She Drives Me Crazy" - Fine Young Cannibals, 1989

Having lived in Manhattan for just over seven years, I used to have some very unusual encounters with strangers while walking around the New York streets.

I had one this morning, here in Oxford, which was right up there in the same category.

I was taking my usual walk from the park and ride bus into the office, just after 7:30am. Along the route - and very near my office - is the main county courthouse.

Today's blog-post title was playing on my iPod. Looking back, perhaps it was an omen.

As I approached the front of the courthouse, walking the other direction was a middle-aged woman. I initially noticed nothing unusual about her. But as she got closer, she smiled at me and motioned in such a way as to indicate that she wanted to ask me a question. So I popped out one of my in-ear headphones, preparing for a request for directions or something similar.

To my surprise, though, here's what she said to me - in a very friendly, enthusiastic tone...

"Someone told me that three angels, the Queen, and a chimpanzee were all seen in the Botanic Garden yesterday."

And before I even had time to react, she finished, with another big smile, by saying...

"Habeas Corpus!"

Then she kept walking. And I could hardly believe what had just happened.

Yes indeed. It was right up there with the weird and wonderful world of Manhattan!



At 10 October, 2008 18:16 , Anonymous amyz5 said...

loved that!

sometimes you never know when life's amusements will pay you a visit.

and i love that my fair city is the one that reminds you of these.

At 10 October, 2008 19:34 , Blogger sevans said...


I used to cycle up the Cowley Road to work every day. There was a woman who lived above a shop - who would stick her head out the window and yell similar statements to passersby. She had bright red circles of blush on her cheeks and her hair was in pigtails. Have you seen her? Worth a trip up the Cowley Road, if you've got the time!

Her profound statements used to make my day.

At 11 October, 2008 00:32 , Blogger Stevyn Colgan said...

Great song! That guitar riff (and the silly little dance that Andy Cox used to do as he played) is one of the few delights I can pick from the train-wreck that was the music of the 80s. Deep joy.

At 12 October, 2008 12:51 , Blogger chris hale said...

What a curious incident, Janet.

I note you were near the Court when this happened. Habeas Corpus being a legal term, could it be that the lady was, in fact, a barrister, and was earning herself a tenner from a colleague who said, "I bet you can't strike up a conversation with a total stranger and get the words 'habeas corpus' into it"? If my theory is correct, she doesn't deserve the money.

Incidentally, I'm so impressed that you are able to find an appropriate music title for each entry.

At 12 October, 2008 20:11 , Blogger Janet said...

Thanks for all the comments.

Chris, I mentioned the location because of the "Habeas Corpus" comment - couldn't help but wonder if this poor woman is a burned-out lawyer...

Strange. It still haunts me.


At 16 October, 2008 07:06 , Anonymous CC said...

I so enjoyed this story and your blog... all via BATW.
I'm from Texas, come visit.


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