Wednesday, October 13, 2004


I was asked the other day if the chav phenomenon had reached Hungary or not. I was surprised that an Englishman, a West Yorkshireman to be precise, should seemingly wish to stake some sort of nationalistic claim to the little buggers but I can assure him that the Hungarian equivalent, while not indistinguishable from his English counterpart, is certainly a divergent evolutionary branch of the same lineage.

Hungarian chavs can be divided, for the purposes of this study, into three main sub-species; the bog standard, the aspirational and the made good.

The bog standard variety would probably easily be recognised by any casual tourist to these parts...think East 17, think charity shop and 'seen better days' and you would have some idea of their haute couture. Their source of income is usually anything which isn't nailed down and it is spent on bling, foreign beers and stereo systems more expensive than the cars into which they are fitted. I say foreign beers but this is dependent on their fence not having temporarily blown down and the vigilance of the local constabulary. If you spot one sidling up to the bar and ordering (furtively and out of the side of his mouth) a shot of house pálinka and a white wine spritzer/red wine and coke, you can say with some assurance that the crime figures are down that month. Conversely, spot a clutch of them chugging Budweiser/Becks out of the bottle and those car keys in your pocket may just be surplus to your requirements for the near future.

The female of the species, the liba (or goose to you non-linguists) is also a pack animal and should you suddenly materialise amongst a plethora of naked, pierced and tattooed midriffs and find yourself torn between a desire to put your hands over your eyes or your ears (the goose appellation is indeed apt), you will have stumbled across a pretty fair representation of the type. In bars, they will be perched behind glasses containing liquid of the most lurid colours imaginable and watching them teeter off in pairs to the ladies room on impossibly high heels should be included in the published list of tourist attractions.

The main product of the bog standard chav is pavement pizza.

Your aspirational chav now, is considerably more difficult to spot at first. Your best strategy would probably be to track a clutch of bog standards and wait for them to go into a kind of "we are not worthy but please allow me to insert my tongue into your rectum" type routine and it is pretty certain that the centre of all this ritualistic fawnery will be your quarry. By dint of obsessional body-building and frequent demonstrations of mindless thuggery, he will have so impressed the local talent spotters that they will have given him a job in one of their security firms. He will immediately be put on bouncer duty and will have to lever himself into a black suit for the purpose. He will not take the label off the sleeve and will, under all circumstances, wear white socks. When off duty he will have one other suit, either lime green, electric blue or maroon and he will often wear the jacket with a pair of black trousers. The white socks however, remain. His drinks of choice will be foreign beers, Chivas Regal, Jack Daniels and Johnny Walker red label. Some become so enamoured of the opportunities for mindless violence that they never aspire to bodyguard or chauffeur duties and remain on the clubs until they venture down the wrong alley on the way home one night.

Their girlfriend of choice is the trophy liba. She will have (preferably) naturally blonde hair, legs up to her armpits and will have mastered the art of walking on spike heels. She will however, still be perched behind a glass of lurid colour, only this time it will be decorated with umbrella, sparkler and assorted fruitery. You are advised not to even glance at her unless you are armed with something very large indeed.

The main product of the aspirational chav is broken bones.

The chav made good is the most difficult of all to spot and identify. I mean, not all load mouthed wankers flashing wads of cash around in bars and restaurants are chavs made good but the opposite is certainly true. To really be able to nail one, you have to be invited into their home. You will probably be driven there in the most fuel inefficient vehicle available at the time, will pass through the remote controlled gates (only barred...the neighbours must be allowed to see their wealth, after all) and alight in a driveway only to be surrounded by a pack of Rottweilers/Alsatians/Pitbull terriers who will look at you as if they think all their Christmases have come at once. Fortunately, their fear of their owner is greater than the pleasure they would no doubt get from tearing you apart and you enter the house. I should make clear at this point that most chavs made good are self employed in the Delboy tradition and have made their pile selling shit, tack, tat and kitsch to tourists. Their ideal English habitat would be Skegness. Here it's Lake Balaton and Zalakaros. Anyway, you enter the house and it is here that the full horror awaits. Think garish, think tasteless, think Turkish bordello, think, "Fuck me up the bottom with a big, black strap-on!" Less is more is not a concept your chav made good could wrap his reasoning gear around, no way. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing. I was once given such a tour and from the Sony Home Cinema (think small multiplex), through the battery powered Ferrari copy driven by his five year old daughter all the way through to his remote controlled corkscrew (I kid you not), I got chapter and fucking verse. Where he'd bought it, who he'd bought it from, how much it'd cost him and how much he'd managed to barter them down by. Walking through the house was the equivalent of yomping through an obstacle course comprised of as yet, unsold stock.

His drinks of choice are Pernod, Tequila, Southern Comfort, Jim Beam and any Scotch whisky that costs more than Chivas Regal. All of the above are kept in the freezer. The dress is a kind of 'fuck you' chic regressing to a quality lower than that of the bog standard. The white socks however, remain. The most powerful emotion he feels is when he removes the wad from his trouser pocket. This is obviously best performed in front of an audience and at very high volume.

The main product of the chav made good is pure unadulterated bollocks. Believe NOTHING.

I hope I have been of some assistance.

Hey ho.

No comments: