Saturday, 6 June 2009

Visiting purposefully ugly towns by accident.

You know those few episodes of Neighbours a few years ago when Susan started getting forgetful, and you started thinking "Uh oh, something's not right here..."? Well, this happened to me this afternoon. I got on the wrong train by mistake. I have never done this before in my life. If I was a cast member of a popular soap, I'd be seriously worried about my "life"'s longevity on the show.

I was too pre-occupied with my bags and the feeling of professionalism I always get when I do anything remotely purposeful on my own. I'm a grown-up. Well, that was the feeling anyway, until the train I'd just boarded started moving in the exact opposite direction of Lancaster and the announcer shat on my high-flying "maybe I am capable of being a real person" thoughts with the proclamation that we were, in fact, going to York.

As well as considering my possible fate, I realised something even more bloodcurdling than the fact I may have fictional possible MS. I have become my own nusanse. I am a Yuppie. I'm 21, and I've somehow completely abandoned my scruffy morecambe roots, and become a Yuppie. It even smelt slightly ominous in the outskirts I ended up in after my brief trainline sojourn - sort of a mixture of dust, fumes and toast. With mayonnaise. I'm also now pretty sure the council build purposefully ugly structures in deprived areas, as some kind of joke played by architects. "Make the poor sods feel worse! Ha ha ha! Brilliant!" they say, as they create another big grey block of flats. And the town planners get in on the action, plotting sites for gas towers and electricity pylons next to playing fields and housing estates. it's no wonder everything's apparently "gone to shit" - why would you wake up in the morning with anything other than resentment for the world in your heart if when you opened the curtains all you were met with was 1970s tower blocks and an electricity substation? A whole world of grey, terracotta and nauseous green grass, planted to boost morale. A town as a necessity. It's the most depressing thought I've ever come across, and I'm fairly award-winningly pessimistic.

I'm not claiming that I mourn the death of "community spirit", Jesus, communicating with people I live near to merely because of our distance towards each other seems frightening and pointless, like striking up a conversation with the man on the bus with the flasher mac on - I like talking to people with similar interests, thanks. Having a house on the same street doesn't quite bring me to clap my hands girlishly and squeal "Me too!" (On the other hand, if you lived on my street and displayed interests in current affairs, alcohol, ridiculous action films and general misanthropy, this could be the start of a rather beautiful friendship). I'm not saying that it's a shame "community" is dead; for a start, it's a bit presumptuous of me to assume that it died in the first place, I'm just saying that as an arrogant, twattish-type of person, I can't understand why towns should be so grim, and why people put up with them being that way. Hence the reasom I realised I was a tasteless insufferable Yuppie tit - I felt scared, out of place and lonely on the station platform waiting for my actual train to come. Stood with my Starbucks coffee slush puppie ("I'm not quite grown-up yet" it seemed to say) I realised I wasn't who I used to be. For a start, there isn't a Starbucks in Morecambe. I actually worried about being mugged. For fuck's sake, I think I need to get out of the city. I know it's only leeds, but it's driven me soft. It's only a matter of time before I stop referring to myself as working class. And then who will I be? A cunt, probably.

So if you see me in the street with a trendy white coffee cup ("venti", whatever that means) knock it upwards out of my hands so that it covers me satisfyingly with boiling hot latte. It's the only way I'll learn.


onoflalks said...

"Venti" means "twenty", cus the cup hold 20 ounces. Whatever an ounce is.

Katie said...

Ohhhhhhhhh, I seeeeeee.

Can't it just be medium? (I'm fairly sure about 100 aspiring stand-up comedians have asked this question in a funny way - I'm actually curious. Why?)

mr bear said...

you may leave morecambe, but morecambe will NEVER leave you

Martin Higgins said...

My mate Nico is from Morecambe. I have been there once. That is all.

peterRepeater said...

Morecambe in etymology stems from the celtic word 'muir' meaning 'the sea'. Surprising.

I've had these thoughts for years now. Where does my working class upbringing start and finish and what the hell am I if I don't sign-on and fiddle my gas, and buy red diesel from a dodgy trucker for my clapped out Ford Orion?

I blame cosmopolitanism.

cosmopolitan (adj.) 1844, from cosmopolite "citizen of the world" (1614), from Gk. kosmopolites, from kosmos "world" (see cosmos) + polites "citizen," from polis "city". Cosmopolitanism first recorded 1828.

Katie said...

So it's not just me though....but do I feel guilty that I'm not working in a seafront chippy to pay for me to drink red WKD at the weekends, or should I be happy that I've "risen above"? Or should I kill myself for feeling that I've "risen above"? Because that is a twattish thing to think, isn't it?

peterRepeater said...

This is one of the easiest countries in the world to better one's self. Besides, without the differential of a class system, we'd all be children of communism, marching under the banner of socialism.

Hold your middle-english head high, Katie. I like to think we have the benefit of knowing what it's like to subsist with a healthy balance of self-appreciation; and no matter how affluent we become, we'll still make our kids scrub the front door clean with a toothbrush to afford their weekly fix of cider on the heath.

Katie said...

You have made me feel about 2000% better :) I am now appeased (although I'll go to Costa from now on)

Richard Vivmeister Hirst said...

Whoah, whoah, whoah. Hold the frig on a second... there's people in Morecambe who are called names like 'Nico'?

Katie said... must be going "upmarket" or "foreign"...two words Morecambe people are disptincly afraid of.

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