Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Northern Mankeys

It's often been said that Northern people are the salt of the earth. Granted, it's said by Northern people mainly. I'd guess that Southerners would also consider themselves as worthy of similar praise. It's not very often that these views are cross pollenated though.

I've always considered myself a Northerner, although officially I'm classed as a Midlander. I belong to that stretch of land North of the Watford gap and South of Meadowhall that neither North nor South wants to lay claim to.

I suppose I've always thought of myself as a Northerner as I've always worked South of where I live. Even if its no more than half an hour away my accent becomes accentuated against the more dulcit tones of the more Southern habitants and I feel different to them because of it. And then there's the mickey taking. Which makes me protect my roots.

Now I work in the North I am now being referred to as a Southerner, my accent is less brash than theirs and I'm not sure I like it. I'm fighting against their insistence.

There's nothing wrong with being a Southerner, but it's hard to change your opinion of where you believe your roots are after so many years.

Although after my experiences with my fellow Northerners in the past few weeks I might like to re-appraise my standing.

Firstly, I was sticking strictly to the 30mph speed limit whilst driving out of Manchester the other night. I was following the speed limit, mainly as I've been the recent lucky recipient of 6 penalty points for speeding and didnt want to get caught again by any crafty boys in blue and their box brownies.

I was obviously going too slow for the rabid girl behind, who let me know this fact as she blessed me with the Nescafe handwave as she passed. My first wanker sign as a driver. And from a woman driver. How ironic. I think it's my first anyway, I cant remember. Maybe I'm regularly subjected to it whilst I wind my merry oblivious way up and down the country.

Why do you always think of the best replies, or the best things to do when its too late to do them?

The second happened only a few days afterwards. I'm currently looking to buy a car and was searching the Autotrader website for the make that I quite liked, and saw the exact one. The Brucie bonus was that Autotrader measured it at a solitary 1 mile from my home. So I excitedly rang the number.

"Hello" came the disinterested greeting.
"Hello, Im ringing about the car advertised in Autotrader" I said
"Yeah?" replied the talkative one
I could see that this was going to be hard work
"Is it still for sale?" I asked
"No" grunted the ape. Capable only of one word replies it would seem. Im so proud to live near such esteemed human beings.
"Oh right, so you've sold it then?" I asked.

I didn't know if it had been taken off the market because of lack of interest or something. He would have said he'd sold it if he had and not let the conversation go on.

"Well yeah if it's not for sale" He lurched into life.

And just before I'd got chance to tell him to cheer up and take his bloody car out of the magazine if he'd sold it, or something that can't be repeated here I was greeted with the sound of: 'bzzzzzzzz'. Which was the most sense I'd had from the entire conversation.

He'd put the phone down on me. And spoken to me as though I was an idiot. The more I thought about it the more I was incensed. It took me all my willpower, which isnt much, to not ring him back. But I didn't. I just paced for about 10 minutes and counted to a very high number.

And it just goes to show. There's nowt so queer as folk. Even your own kin.