Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Of men and muffins

Every now and then a complete stranger can make your day.

Having under a week left in London, I decided that I would make the most of it and go to see a show. I had initially planned to see more than just a couple of shows while I was here, but have only managed the two so far. So tonight I made my way into Picadilly Circus, found a half-price ticket booth, and looked at what was on offer.

I have plans to see Wicked in New York so that was out, otherwise it was fair game. I was initially drawn to La Cage aux Folles (the Birdcage) with John Barrowman, but then I noticed a flyer for a play called 'The Woman in Black" - a horror-noir that has been running in London for 20 years. I figured that it would be cool to see something a little darker and so I got my ticket, and headed to the theatre.

I was a little early, so I walked to the corner to people-watch, and eat my sandwich when I looked up at and saw a street sign "Drury Lane". During my time here in London, I have seen several famous streets or areas - Puddle Lane, Bond Street, Picadilly Circus, Mayfair, and all other kinds of Monopoly famous. But this was my first nursery rhyme street.

I was pondering this when a man walked past me, with a nod and polite eye contact. What happened next seemed to happen all on its own, and without a word of a lie happened exactly like this:

Me: "excuse me, do you know The Muffin Man?"

Stranger: (confused) "The Muffin Man?"
Whoa, this is actually happening.

Me: "The Muffin Man"

Stranger: "Do I know The Muffin Man"
He's playing with me - but he looks so confused!

Me: "...who lives on Drury Lane!"

Beat. He looked at me and shook his head. Then he turned away and did one of the most spectacular double takes I had ever seen. Smiling, all he could do was say "no way" and walk off, realising only now what had just happened. Me, I just turned around and, feeling particularly pleased with myself, headed into the theatre for what turned out to be a particularly wonderful show.

It was a very surreal, but particularly awesome experience. One that I may never get to do again.


  1. Aaah, The Woman in Black. I saw it over 10 years ago and it had been running for ages back then already. I loved it too!

  2. you shouldn't play with humans...you might break them