Home > cultural commentary > Don’t make assumptions…

Don’t make assumptions…

In between showers, went out to the local shops and to post a letter – a 5 minute walk. On the road ahead of me is a chav – typical trackie bottoms, scuffed hoodie, pulling a scabby dog on a bit of string. And he has his mobile phone out, holding it at arm’s length, muttering, squinting at the screen.
I figure he can’t be peering at a text, he must be using the camera function. Turn round. Behind me is a huge, strong, shimmering rainbow that’s come out after the last shower. That’s what he’s taking a pic of.

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  1. March 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    It’s things like these, Jon, that make characters so interesting.

  2. March 29, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I agree. It was the fact that the action was so outside the characteristics we tend to associate with chavs – I don’t know if the word ‘chav’ means much outside the UK but it’s broadly speaking associated with welfare-dependency, unemployment, unemployability, poor education, public housing, rough manners, and a style of dress that involves hoodies and tracksuit bottoms. Underclass and trouble, basically. But it’s that kind of uncharacteristic-ness that reminds me people are individuals and have widely variable tastes. For all I know, he lives in a bare apartment in a housing block somewhere, in dire poverty, with his self-made clavichord on which he’s learning to play Bach. And that, actually, might be a nice beginning for a story – though I doubt I’ll be working it up into something anytime soon. Just looked at my WIP files and looks like I have 12 short stories are in various stages of preparation/closeness to completion. That’s the thing about having what my parents used to call a ‘mind like a grasshopper’.

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