Tib Street streaker of Manchester

Sorry, this isn’t exactly new news… I’m still getting caught up.

The mystery streaker of Tib Street
is, as the Manchester (UK) Evening News wrote about her on July 18…

she’s shown everyone a clean pair of heels – and a lot more besides.

A woman wearing nothing but a pair of trainers and a scorpion tattoo has run down Tib Street in Manchester City Centre at the same time for the last three Fridays.

Of course, had this occurred in most U. S. cities, the “mystery streaker” would have provoked howls of protest and galvanized SWAT teams into action from miles around to put down this terrorist menace. (In the states, if you run unclothed through the streets brandishing an assault rifle there will be a great hue and cry: “Stop him — he’s naked!” And you may rest assured that the NRA will quickly spring to your defense.)

But since this happened in the somewhat more civilized society of Britain,

“It’s all very light-hearted with people laughing and joking,” [one onlooker] said.

“People seem pleased to see her, I don’t think anyone is offended. Tib Street must be the place to be. I’d like to see a lot more of it myself!”

Just good, clean fun. The news stories do not report than any children who saw the streaker turned to stone, spontaneously combusted, suffered from PTSD, or caught some nasty STD. (As would surely have happened in the U. S.)

(A shorter account may be found here.)

But of course, as soon as anything good becomes common knowledge, the laws of karma and human nature dictate it cannot continue. Immediately following publication of the story, the streaker herself owned up to the deed.

I never thought it would get this much attention. I felt so helpless after the London bombings and I just wanted to bring a smile to people’s faces.

There has been nothing else in the papers or on TV recently. I’m a mother and I was thinking of all the mothers who might have lost someone and this was my way of expressing my freedom.

is how Andrea Hall, a 29-year-old mother of 3 children explained her outrageous behavior. It turns out Andrea went for her first streak the day after the London bombings of July 7, apparently to provide a bit of good cheer in a difficult time. She repeated the performance on the following Friday (July 15), but that was the end — no third time as the earlier stories claimed. (Reminding us once again how unreliable any press report can be.)

I think I would only do it again if it was sponsored for charity. It has been a laugh and it has cheered people up.

The funniest comment I’ve probably had is when somebody shouted I was running the wrong way as Tib Street is one way only now.

is Andrea’s conclusion.

Our conclusion? It all goes to show how people around the world are different. The UK isn’t perfect either. While a naked streaker in the U. S. will predictably bring out the minions of morality, in the UK your life is at grave risk if you happen to wear a heavy coat in public in the heat of the summer.

Originally published August 21, 2005