Wednesday, 6 May 2009
One thing about small town market day s the number of yokels who arrive from the rural areas. You can tell the men at a glance. For one thing they are strangers whom you never see in the normal run of things, and in a small town you often see the same faces day by day. For another they look like country folk! We live in politically correct days in which stereotypes are not allowed to exist. We are not allowed to recognise swarthy Mediterranean types, blonde Teutonic Germans, or badly dressed loud Americans, but they do exist no matter how much we deny this. The stereotype of the somewhat gormless bumpkin, out of place in town, appears here on market day. They usually wear flat caps, have uncut hair, and jackets that were bought in a sale one January not long after the English queen took her throne. Their boots are not fashionable, and have not been since Gladstone left office, and the men all too often have bicycle clips just above the ankles, even though the wife brought him to town on the once a week bus. Without a tractor to get around on, a spade or saw, or any other violent looking implement in his hand he feels awkward and as out of place as he feels. He is of course right to feel this way. His lady often is no different from the regular run of girls in town, and one is left asking how on earth they got together? Cynics would put forward the theory that as close relations it was a family duty to marry one another but they are just being rude!
Of course their accents give them away. Not only are some of them so loud they would deafen Italian women talking to Spanish señoritas but it sound like 'The Archers!' As country folk round here they only use vowels of course! Aye EeeOOOhhhh IIIIIIiiiiiiiiiii YOUUUUUU is the sound when the men talk, although they do tend not to talk unless spoken at by her. Often she is asking why he is looking at the 'Bull' and not listening to what she is saying about the stalls.
In the past I delivered to a small village just outside of town and there was a very strong 'village' attitude about the place, not always a bad thing of course. One male had all the indications of a life spent working in the fields. he also retained the surly inability to smile when passing, a 'grunt' may have escaped him but it could just have been deep breathing. This creature had a wife, of similar age, and every month the book club box would arrive for them. I looked at it one day, and considered the couple in all their glory as I read 'The Romance Book Club!' I suppose with Farmer Jones's ploughman in the house she didn't find romance too often there. At least not when he brought the oxen home for tea!