All The Things Everyone Finds Weird About The Midlands
Recently we've been writing articles about what a Northerner finds weird about the south and what a Southerner thinks about the north. At which point one of my colleagues, himself a Midlander, decided to pipe up - in his insipid, implacable Midlands accent - and ask what we thought about the area of his birth.
To be honest we all went a bit silent. It wasn't that he didn't have a fair point, it was more that none of us really had anything to say. He's also editing this article, so we can assume he's going to chip in with some counter-arguments every second which completely prove my point.
See the essential problem with the Midlands is nobody has anything to say about it. If the north and south of England are engaged in a relentless argument with one another, then the Midlands is sat on the fence; it's the geographical equivalent of the quiet kid at school.
But after having a good hard think about it, here's what I came up with...
Nobody Gives A Shit About The Midlands
Just to emphasise this: nobody gives a flying fuck about the Midlands. Literally nobody cares. I'm not even sure what the stereotype of a Midlander is and I don't think anybody outside of the area does.
I did a search for images related to the Midlands and this was one of the first things to come up. Credit: PA
I'm just going to put it out there and say the only reason I'm writing this article is out of pity for the colleague who piped up and asked what I thought of the Midlands. I'm not even sure the area is worthy of putting fingers to keyboard about.
[Midlander's note: We're not sure you're worthy of putting fingers to keyboard, too].
Their Only Famous Musician Got Out Of There ASAP
Ozzy Osborne's from the Midlands and guess where he lives now? To be honest, I don't even know the answer to that question, but I know sure as hell where he doesn't live: the Midlands.
(Shortly after writing the above paragraph I was informed that Ozzy lives in LA, which must be quite the glamorous change from the place he was born).
[Midlander's note: Duran Duran, UB40, Kasabian!, Jake Bugg, to name a few].
Southerners Think They're Northern, Northerners Think They're Southern
Probably one of the worst things about being a Midlander must be that everyone assumes you're on the other side of the geographical fence. As a Northerner I know that everywhere south of the Sheffield is 'the South', and for some reason Southerners assume that if you're outside of London and your accent doesn't sound like your parents employed an au pair when you were a toddler, that you are from 'the North'.
[Midlander's note: We're from the Midlands. You know, that huge chunk of the country that sorts out all the north's and the south's beef. That part, oddly enough, in the middle].
People Thinking Birmingham Is England's Second City
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It's not is it, though?
If you've ever been to both Manchester and Birmingham you'll know that Manchester has far more going on culturally and it's closer to other great cities like Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield. A centre-point beyond London.
A Midlands lad done good. Credit: PA
Birmingham, on the other hand, has the odious task of being neighboured with Stoke-on-Trent, Nottingham, and - worst of all - Derby.
[Midlander's note: Pretty sure he's put Nottingham, the greatest city on the planet, just to piss me off].
I've Been To Derby And It Smelt Of Feet
Now I can hear you at this point getting pretty angry at the fact I've written this and thinking all kinds of things in your head about how I've probably never been to the Midlands, or I've probably just never been to the right/wrong places in the Midlands, or maybe I'm just an ignorant prick with an ill-informed opinion.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but you're wrong on every count.
In fact, I've been to Derby numerous times, to visit a few friends who used to live there. One of the main things I remember is going to Mosh, one of the few nightclubs in the barren wasteland of a city and being overwhelmed by the smell of feet.
"Welcome to Derby". Credit: PA.
This wasn't the only time this happened to me while I was there. I had a similar experience in the Derby Westfield Centre - what I am told is considered the biggest attraction for miles around. As soon as I set foot through the glass doors, the stink of feet once again overwhelmed me, forcing me to leave at once and almost to throw up.
[Midlander's note: You've not been to Coalville, mate]. Also, been to one place in the Midlands, thinks he knows it all. How about Loughborough? Leicester? Beeston? Shepshed? (actually, not Shepshed), Daventry? Melton Mowbray? Stratford-On-Avon? Warwick? Northampton? Coventry? (actually not Coventry), Leamington Spa? Stamford?
What the hell kind of way is that to describe yourself?
[Midlander's note: Dunno, almost as sensible as calling yourself a Northerner or Southerner]?
They View Themselves As Northern
Maybe the worst of all the Midland's sins is that they seem to view themselves as northern. They're into gravy, they like to put their chips in a 'cob', and some of the accents are distinctive. But sadly, lads: that's not quite enough.