About a month ago I was on a morning jog in the middle of Hyde park (this body doesn’t look after itself), when from across a path, a tall blonde woman waved at me.

woman in a park

I was quite sure that I had never seen this woman before in my life. In fact, scrap that. I was one hundred percent certain that had I ever seen this woman before in my life, i would have remembered. I would have remembered. I am quite good with faces you see. (I was once told that the secret is to focus on the nose. Not sure if that is true or not, but it does mean that I don’t like meeting people with colds).

Now it has to be said that I, have got a bit of a thing for tall, blonde women. Also, (according to my wife) I have the emotional and mental age of a 12-year-old. So, without wanting too, as soon as I saw this attractive blonde stranger wave at me, I stopped and giggled. In a whoathat- pretty (but of course not as pretty as my wife who I know will be reading this) -woman-just-waved-at-me way.

Twelve-year-old. Whatever.

Of course, giggling in and of itself is not a bad thing. If anything, it is actually a very positive thing to do. Everybody agrees, laughing is good for you. The best medicine there is. Google reckons it “decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infectionfighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.” So there.

This means, that it could be argued, that from my end, I was actually doing a good thing. I was improving my resistance to disease; Making me a healthier person, and thus reducing the burden on the government healthcare system. Making a tangible difference!

However, this blonde stranger (who I think might have been called “Jenny” because that was what was embroidered on her hoodie – although it might also be the name a flashy new hoodie-making company; I am not really up to date with that sort of thing) was obviously not as concerned as I was about using laughter as a way of ensuring that the taxpayer’s money goes further when it comes to universal healthcare. And how did I know this? Because all of a sudden, her face changed (in a bad way) and she started crossing the path towards me with a stride that can only be described as ‘threatening’.

I needed to make a decision. Fast. Should I stand my ground? Or run away.

Now the obvious advantage that running away has always provided me with is the amount of space that such a tactic generally puts between myself and danger. Being someone who is rubbish at fighting and confrontation, I always consider this course of action to be quite appealing.

However, on the other hand, here was a person who had waved at me. Which meant that she had obviously wanted to interact. Maybe Jenny had a secret message for me. Hold on. Maybe she was a spy. Maybe…maybe I was being recruited to become a spy myself! Oh my gosh that must be it.

You always hear about this sort of thing – about spy agencies needing to recruit new, smart, tough, sophisticated agents. I must have been on their radar for ages, they knew I jogged in Hyde park and now they were making their move. This was serious business! No wonder my giggling had upset Jenny. (Probably not her real name now I come to think of it, spies always need aliases. I wonder what mine is going to be. I might go for Zack).

So, I stood there and waited for Jenny to cross the path, and to induct me.

Jenny’s first question was why I had laughed. Or as she put it “laughed at her”.

This was it. Contact. Spy world here I come!

‘Because I saw you wave’ I said in my smoothest James Bond voice.


“I was stretching, you idiot” she said.

‘Not waving?’

“No. Why would I wave at you. I don’t even know you.”

‘Spy stuff’ I whimpered.

“Wierdo” She muttered as she crossed back to her she crossed back to her spot.

And this is why I don’t jog in Hyde Park anymore.


© 2018 – VIDA Magazine – Shannon Briffa