by David G. Thorne
This true story was the second post to appear on the Angriest Man in the Shire blog, before I began adopting the persona of The Hexhamite. As a consequence it doesn’t really fit the jokey tone of the later pieces, and is considerably longer. Nevertheless I considered it worth preserving.
This is not the best of starts, as the incident I’m about to recount didn’t really get me riled up. Shocked yes. Appalled certainly. Mildly annoyed? Maybe. Disgusted? Absolutely. Yes, let’s settle for disgusted.
I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty well read sort of person, although I must admit that over the past couple of years I’ve become a little out of touch with the publishing scene. So this weekend I thought I would get back on track and buy the Sunday papers for the book reviews.
A trip to our local newsagent means running the gauntlet of the tracksuit and Burberry brigade, who spend their days gainfully employed in hanging around the shop doorway, chain-smoking, shouting abuse and generally doing their best to maintain the tone of the neighbourhood. Yesterday was no different, but for once I barely registered the presence of the local trogs due to the abhorrent scene I had witnessed just moments before.
As I turned the corner at the derelict medical centre, I noticed a couple of “canny Geordie lads” standing at the gate of a house with a tatty St. George’s flag hanging from an upper window. “It’s ahl aboot the footbahl. We’re not racist, we jus divvn’t want them asylum seekers comin’ and tekkin wor jobs and shaggin’ wor birds. Ya kna?”
You know the sort of bloke I mean. Tracksuits, crewcuts, sovereign rings and a can of lager permanently attached to the right hand. Standard issue scum. Probably had Luv and Hat tattooed on their knuckles. Gathered about them were three or four sprogs, clearly the spawn of these two fine specimens of English manhood. The whole crew gazed vacantly up the street with lopsided, gormless grins on their orange faces.
Reluctant to pass too close in case I picked up a dose of chav, I crossed the street and saw what they were all staring at. Up the road, a massively overweight kid of perhaps 10 years old, was lying flat on his face on the tarmac, playing dead. His bicycle casually thrown in the gutter for added realism.
“Wanker”, I thought charitably.
Just then a white minibus roared around the corner and pulled up alongside the “victim”. Even from 25 yards away you could tell that the enormously rotund and shaven headed driver was the kid’s father. They stamp them out of moulds in these parts you know.
“Get up now!” roared the concerned begetter, “and get your f**king bike oot of the road.”
And with that he pulled up alongside his mates and their offspring. I shook my head and carried on my way, trying not to stare too hard at the kid. Other people weren’t so kindly and openly gaped over their garden gates with mouths open. The corpulent little pussbag was looking around like a cornered animal now, faced by gawpers on all sides. He was blubbing like a low rent Dudley Dursley, all red-faced and tearful but still managing to screw his face up in fury. I contented myself with throwing the little grunter a disgusted look and looked the other way. You don’t look too long at these people; they start getting mouthy and the next thing you know you’ve got their entire tribe down on you and your brains end up smeared on the pavement. They look after their own round here.
Daddy, by now realising that perhaps he’d been a bit harsh on his boy, began calling out encouragement,
“Howay son, you cannit hev hort yersel. Your fat will have protected you”. His mates roared with laughter. I cringed.
“Come on fatty, come on” they called jovially, as if they were trying to get a wayward puppy to come home. I was flabbergasted that three grown men could behave in such a way.
Clearly the kid was a bit reluctant to return to the loving bosom of his family because he started dithering about with his bicycle.
“Come here now, you fat c*nt!” boomed the father. I put my head down and turned the corner. I felt sick and sullied.
I wondered if I should report the incident to the police. It’s abuse isn’t it? Maybe, but if you cause trouble for these kind of people you’ll end up with your brains smeared on the pavement for certain. It’s the way of the world in deprived areas like this. Fatty, in his turn, will grow up to treat his own tribe with the same cheerful contempt. They, in time, will do the same. People in the North East don’t change.
It reminded me of the outrage in the media a few weeks ago when some women were convicted for encouraging their toddlers to fight, whilst they filmed the incident on their mobile phones, calling the children wimps when they wouldn’t get stuck in.
“How could they?” screamed the headlines, going on to comfort us that these bitches were somehow the exception to the norm.
“The majority of people round here are decent”, is the usual cry from the neighbours.
Sadly it’s not true. Britain has a vicious underclass for whom abuse and casual violence are a way of life. Witness exhibit A: Fatty.
That’s just how vermin are. Doesn’t it make you proud?