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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Jane Taylor's shaggy mouse story

I've always had a soft spot for a good mouse story, perhaps because The Glamour Cave is in a terrace and small rodents are a perennial feature of life here. So when Jane Taylor (pic below by Neil Bonnett, told this one at the Bristol Folk Festival the other week I felt a blog coming on.

It was early afternoon on Saturday and Taylor's soulful, bluesy, award-winning songwriting was filling me with the feeling you get when a festival is picking up some serious momentum and you realise you're *really enjoying yourself* Trouble's brewing up some tea, Pouring out a cup for me she sang. Then in between numbers...

"I lost my mobile telephone recently," she said, retuning her guitar. "I was pretty sure I'd left it on the side in the kitchen but it just wasn't there. I looked around... nothing. Then I had a call from a fiddle player I was working with - the last person I'd called from the phone - to say that they'd heard from a farm on the road where I live and that they had it.  She'd also had a text message saying that there was a problem in the area with mice stealing mobile telephones and they'd found a whole nest full of them.

"I thought about it for a while, then realised it was too weird and had to stop. I mean, how would a mouse carry a mobile telephone?" At this point Taylor mimed being a mouse, holding its little paws in front of it, then dismissed the gesture. "But I was busy and away from the house, and didn't have the time to go down there, though my boyfriend - Lee - promised he would in the morning.

"Then the next morning I had an email from Lee, who said he'd been looking into it. And there was a link attached to a news story on the BBC website, about genetically altered mice that had escaped from a lab at a nearby university. There was a photo attached to the story of two mice playing chess with each other and I was - predictably - outraged. 'That's wrong. How could they do that to mice, etc..'

"But I couldn't stop thinking about it and then picked up a landline and called the farm. 'Hello. I'm Jane. I think you've got my mobile phone?' 'Oh. Yes.' 'Um. Could you tell me a bit more about these mice please?' And there was a pause at the other end, before the other person said 'Jane. Who do you believe you're talking to?'  And it was Lee, who'd found the phone in the folds of a bed sheet and thought that instead of giving it back he could have a little fun. He'd spent the night mocking up a page from the BBC website. I couldn't believe it. That's my man..." Sounds like a keeper.

I'm hoping to get hold of a link to the fake BBC page, if it still exists, so watch this space.

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