Monday, February 19, 2007

The happiest chav

Every once in a while in my daily travels of this fine city I run into a bloke with an Eminem-style haircut who's missing a front tooth. He is most often to be seen wearing a dark blue shell suit ("track suit" for those of you playing along at home) and talking on one of two mobile phones that he carries everywhere. Most of the time he's having a conversation with someone who doesn't understand a word he's saying: "No, right, I gottih inuh pos. Wha? I say I gottit in nuh pos. In the post. The package I got. No, I got it in the post. No, mate. I got the package IN THE POST."

The way he speaks, stands, smokes, walks and dresses, he is as chav as the pope is Catholic. But here's the thing: he's a really friendly fellow. He is the happiest, friendliest chav that ever there was.

Usually I see him on the train or bus and he will say hello and have a quick chat with me about the weather. Then he will talk to old people about what they're doing that day, then the bus driver about sport. It always baffles me how congenial and strangely likeable he is.

I have decided, in fact, that he is the chav Jesus.

On the train this morning, some ass-hat came charging onto the train at Ninian Park in that "I'm really angry and I want everyone to know because somehow that makes me a man" way, and sat down across from the Chavenly Host.

"Rugby weather, innt?" said the chav, attempting to strike up a conversation.
"Fuck you. Where the fuck are you from?" said angry man.
"'Ere."
"Here? Where's fuckin' 'ere?"
"Cardiff."
"You're fucking (wearing a Manchester United Football Club logo on your shell suit)."
"Me mum's from Manchester."
"You're not from fucking Manchester, then."
"Me mum is."
"Where?"
"Dunno."
"YOU'RE NOT FROM FUCKING MANCHESTER! YOU'RE FROM FUCKING CARDIFF!"

At about this point I thought: "Oh, this is one of those moral tests to see whether I will pitch in or whether I will sit back and do nothing, thus allowing society to spiral further out of control until Britain becomes some kind of rainy Darfur."

So, I decided that if angry man attempted to physically attack the happiest chav, I would do the right and decent thing and drive my keys into his face as hard as I could.

And where was Craigy Bach?! The Conservatives talk tough, but when it comes to defending good-natured chavs on trains they're happy to leave the dirty work to the Americans. As usual.

Although, I have to admit that I was able to come to my decision so easily in part because the happiest chav is quite large -- about 6-foot-7. It's a good bet that if angry man had attempted to start a fight, he would have been unconscious before I arrived with my handful of keys.

This is a fact that may have occurred to angry man, as well, because in the time it took me to decide on what to do he had mellowed almost completely; he and the happiest chav were chatting amiably about their predictions for the Manchester United - Reading replay match. The happiest chav hadn't raised his voice, he had just carried on being amiable and had managed to defuse the situation. It was a moment of magic.

13 comments:

Eric said...

Chris,
Some might say that you could learn a lesson from this encounter. Instead of said chav getting upset and raising his voice and becoming visibly frustrated, like what seems to happen to a certain Texan/Minnesotan/American who lives in Cardiff that I know, he just went on being amicable and the situation diffused. Very different than being hit in the face with a piece of candy and storming off.
That is if you're in the mood for learning, which after spending countless hours at University, you probably aren't.

Chris Cope said...

You're one to talk, you candy-throwing son of a bitch. I've got a pair of keys with your name on 'em.

TadMack said...

Playing along at home as I am, I did a quick search on Chav... ah, the familiar mall bangs, the Britney bleach job, the pseudo hip-hop look with the trailer tags... Now we're on the same page.

Mind you, I knew what a shell was, but had never heard of a chav in my (apparently sheltered) life...

Kim said...

Ah what did they do for immediate "useful as a weapon in a pinch" before keys? There was an inbetween period where it wasn't necessary to wear swords as an accessory right? Maybe hat pins?

Elisa said...

'The Happiest Chav' I love that. You could write a kids book.

Also chavs in Dublin (called 'skangers') are never happy.

Brian said...

Didn't the skangers give Dublin a good scorching sometime last year?

Chris Cope said...

Kim, I think that's when walking sticks, canes and riding crops were in favour.

Monica said...

Wow, you guys are really building bridges over there. It's practically the United Nations compared to South London these days.

Big Primpin' said...

I read your new column, and in it you used the word favorite. But in your reply to Kim's comment re: Happiest Chav -- splenid entry, btw -- you use the word favour. So I can't help but wonder what the process is in determining when to use and not use the Euro presentations. Kind of like when Bobby Knight decided in his late 50s to start calling himself Bob Knight, or when a gay man finally comes out and suddenly his voice takes on a softer pitch, or Michael Jackson before and after pictures. I'm bored.

Chris Cope said...

BP -- I tend to use British spellings these days because I live here and want to be in practise (see what I did there?) for the occasional papers I have to write in English. My use of "favourite" becomes "favorite" when it goes through proof ("when the story gets sent to copy editors," for those of you who didn't work for the company that Big Primpin' and I used to work for).

bryan torre said...

I think you should coin an acronym for those of us playing along at home. (FTOYPAAH? FTYPAH? FToYPAaH?)
Just a thought.

a. fortis said...

Thank god for Wikipedia. Thanks, TadMack. The pictures (sadly) helped. Scary thing? I've seen that episode of Little Britain.

Gary said...

I'm afraid I'm with angry Chav on this one. Everybody knows that if you have a connection with Manchester you support Man City not Man United.

Happy Chav should support his local team and not be some glory-hunting-baseball-cap-wearing-socks outside-of-shell-suit little prat