Opinion

The Only Way is Less-Ex

See? Who says we aren't classy!

Please stay tuned for a short dramatic reconstruction of an event that took place last weekend;

-Two ladies stand at a legally sanctioned public drinking event. They are struggling with four drinks, whilst at the same time trying to operate a mobile telephonic device in order to locate their missing friend. A young man sees their plight and approaches.-

YOUNG MAN: Hello. May I hold one of those drinks for you whilst you use your mobile phone?

GIRL 1: Why yes, that would be delightful!

GIRL 2: Thank you ever so much, kind sir.

YOUNG MAN: No trouble at all, ladies. Let us attempt some polite conversation for your friend appears to be taking some time to get here.

GIRL 1: Yes, let’s.

YOUNG MAN: Okay, then. Here I go. Where would you fine gentlewomen happen to hail from?

GIRL 2: Erm.

GIRL 1: Er.

GIRL 2: Erm… Well, we live in a charming little place just outside London!

YOUNG MAN: Oh, but that sounds simply delightful! And what would this quaint village be called?

GIRL 1: Well…

GIRL 2: Oh, my dear friend! Let us give up this foolish charade! Alas, poor sir, i’m afraid you are mistaken in thinking we are gentlewomen. Indeed, we do hail from Essex!

-The young man’s skin starts to blister and burn, before he explodes into a pillar of white-hot flames. All that remains is a pile of ashes.-

END OF SCENE.

See? Who says we aren't classy!

I was just really, really tired. I swear!

Okay, so maybe that was a little over dramatic, but you get the jist. In all seriousness, this did happen (Sort of). My friend and I did get chatting to a Canadian man at a recent Olympics event, and although he didn’t go up in flames exactly, his actual reaction did go a little something like this; “Oh, Essex! Like The Only Way is Essex! Haha ha ha! Ha ha! HA HA. HA. HA.”

Normally I would remind this young man that he was technically still part of the Empire before calling some guards over to have him arrested for treason, but instead it got me to thinking. Just how has The Only Way is Essex affected the way that native Essex dwellers, such as myself, are treated in real life?

Believe it or not, there have been more than a few instances in which my Essex heritage has been pointed out, teased, or downright insulted. Some people seem to think that being compared to somebody who lives in Essex is an insult – For example, last year I was talking to a couple of girls at an party, when one of them said something that could be construed as stupid, afterwards remarking “Oh God, I sound like i’m from Essex!”. I made sure that our following conversation about where we were from was as awkward as possible for all parties.

I think it’s about time that the truth came out about Essex, so, just as a special treat, I am going to give you now a short review of this remarkable county as somebody who has lived here their entire life;

An average night out in my town starts with a trip to the pub.

THE END.

Okay, so maybe not the most stunning of prosaic masterpieces, but you can’t say it’s not accurate. Of course, I could mention the abundant countryside, the numerous nature reserves and scampering wildlife, but that’s not the point. As far as I can tell, the people of Essex are what make it. Ignore what you see on your television screens, if you want a good laugh, and perhaps advice on where to buy a good quality second hand motor, the only way really is Essex. After all, once you go Essex you never go back… Mainly because you’re probably passed out in a ditch somewhere stinking of Bacardi with some stranger’s name tattooed on your arm. So be nice to us!

2 Comments
  • Phil

    Loved this! Very funny piece – I have a flatmate from Chelmsford with a host of similarly awkward tales.

    • Celia Dineley

      Thanks! Sometimes it’s hard to be from Essex, but at least being drunk all the time takes the edge off.

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