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19th September 2007.
An Observation of Chav
It seems we're all slaves to our preconceptions

It’s a few years ago and I’m in Aston. Hardly the place for a good Bluenose like me, but my wife works nearby and I’ve got off the train early to cadge a lift home.

I stop at a local Newsagent/Off-license to pick up an Evening Mail, I like to read the Letters Page to see the how the Littlejohn clones of Birmingham[1] are venting their spleens on any given day. I think the running theme of this day was split between “We ain’t European” to “Illegal Immigrants get state benefits to the tune of £40k per year plus a free car and Satalite TV according to my neighbour”. And let’s not forget our game of Littlejohn Bingo. If the phrases “It’s political correctness gone mad” and “We’re all going to hell in a hand basket” appear on the same page it’s a full house.

Back in the newsagent, as the tiniest woman in the world serves me, an obviously drunk middle aged chap walks in muttering to himself. He seems angry with anyone that’ll listen that he doesn’t have quite enough money for a bottle of cheap cider. As he is served he gets a little irate with the shopkeeper as she constantly informs him he needs a bit more money to purchase the bottle he’s after.

We are the only 3 people in the store at this time and judging the guys attitude and inebriation I decide that I should stick around and see how the situation develops, I’d feel awful if he got a tad physical after I’d left so I pretend to eye the magazines. I decide that any intervention right now would only inflame the situation. I reckon the best thing to do is just keep an eye on things. In the corner of my eye I notice a young kid of no more than 16 or 17 walk in. He looks the very definition of chav and I think to myself “That’s all I need, a hoodie”.

Now our drunk man is far from polite as he tries to haggle for his cider and his language has become more colourful. Chav boy explodes with rage. “Don’t swear at her, she’s trying to help you. Have a bit of respect and you might fair a bit better”.

I’m thinking “Cack, it’s going to kick off now, how do I stop this”.

Drunk man meekly apologises to the kid and to the shop keeper, he buys a smaller bottle of cider and leaves.

Well that’ll teach me. I misjudge the situation, I misjudge chav boy. It turns out he has a lot more respect for other people than I gave him credit for, based purely on his appearance. More than this, he’s not afraid to stand up for what he perceives as good. Maybe a little foolish in today’s society, the next drunk may just turn out to be a thug but it shows that some people want to live in an idealised society. And some of those idealists are young chavs.

Whoda guessed huh?


[1] OK, I’m being a little judgemental, after all, I have had letters printed on more than one occasion.

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