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16 Pretty Bloody Weird Things Only People From Manchester Do

It's over lads, let's come clean: We all secretly wish we lived in Chorlton.

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1. Walking through the food market to get to Greggs.

We've all seen the lovely food made by great independent traders, like jerk chicken, hog roasts, freshly-baked cakes, South American arepas, and more at the street food market just off Piccadilly Gardens. And, like everyone, you've walked past the stalls eyeing up the glorious produce, before heading straight into the nearby Greggs and buying one of their hot, flaky sausage rolls. Don't lie.

2. Regularly getting lost in the Arndale.

You'd never tell anyone this, but you still don't know your way around the Arndale. Some information is meant to be stored in your brain forever – like the phone number for the private hire taxi firm you used to use in the pre-Uber days, or the French bit in "Lady Marmalade". Knowing your way around the Arndale is not one of them. Also, how is it that all routes somehow lead to LUVYABABES?

3. And devising complex plots to find a food court seat.

Finding a table at the Arndale food court is harder than conquering Mount Everest, so (like Everest) you have to set up various life-saving camps along the way. First, you do laps, then you send one team off to bagsy the table, while the remaining people go and forage for KFC. You pity the fools who walk in and buy their food immediately then mournfully walk around for 20 minutes looking for a seat while their chicken gravy coagulates, but you'd never share your unique system (or your table) with anyone.

4. Saying "me" at the end of every single sentence.

BBC / Twitter: @flibblesan

“I love chips, me.” “I hate trying to find a taxi when I’m drunk on a Saturday night, me.” “I know I started the sentence with ‘I’, so people know I was talking about myself, but I am going to stick ‘me’ on the end of it, just to reiterate who I was talking about, me.” "I don't think I say 'me' at the end of sentences, me." Etc.


5. Avoiding the terrifying city centre geese because you know full well they could beat you in a fight.

Like most cities, there’s a lot of talk about who is the hardest. Is it the lads from Hulme? Is it Gorton girls who know all the words to Chaka Khan? It is your uncle who apparently beat the ears off someone over nowt? These answers are all incorrect, because we all know there’s no-one more intimidating and tough as those marauding geese that flank the canals and ponds of Manchester.

6. Eating an entire four-pack of Eccles cakes yourself.

One just isn't enough, even though (when you think about it) they're quite strange. Ever thought “Mmmm, I could just eat a fistful of currants!” to yourself? Unless there’s something desperately wrong with you, of course you haven’t. Then why on earth would you happily eat an Eccles Cake, which is basically 90% currants, 9% butter, and 1% something else? No-one knows. But they're ace.

7. Being jealous of the shirtless youths in Piccadilly Gardens when the sun comes out.

You know it's summer the first time you see a shirtless lad drinking a can of Tyskie in the sun, next to the spice casualties and the grey concrete wall of doom, while toddlers run past screaming as they leg it through the fountains. You give scallies the cold shoulder, but you secretly wish you had the confidence and the time to sit in the city centre smoking instead of being at stupid work with a £3 meal deal.

8. Taking the bread roll debate far too seriously.

You know that whole thing where we’re told there’s "50 words for snow" in the Northern regions of the planet? Well, we have at least 30,000 words for the various types of bread we eat. One hot topic that won’t go away is the barm/roll/bap/muffin debate, and we'll argue about various definitions until the sun goes down for the final time, and never admit it's a waste of time. Maybe the city is so friendly because we spend our anger on daft arguments like this one.


9. Conceding that the price of beer in London is pretty much the same as in Manchester.

We'll still spit out the immortal words “HOW MUCH FOR A PINT?!” in London, even though the craft ale revolution now means you can be ripped off anywhere, even in Manchester. It's now common to fork out a fiver or more for a pint in some bars, but we'll never admit we're becoming as expensive as *spits* London. Plus, real Mancunians know where to find a decent drink for under £3 – but we don't advertise this to all and sundry because we keep these things to ourselves, eh?

10. Admitting that "Vimto" doesn't have a "p" in it.

Aren't Northerners supposed to be taking the "P", not adding them to random words? We've invented a lot of things in our time – professional football was founded in the city, as were passenger railways, and more besides. But our most enduring invention is the "P" we've randomly added to the completely P-less word "Vimto". Say it with me. "Vim-to". Not "Vimpto". Doesn't that feel better?

11. And that The Piccadilly Rats are your favourite band.

Always a pleasure to see Gaz Stanley and the Piccadilly Rats entertaining. @GPiccadillyRats

A lot of famous music originated in Manchester, like the Bee Gees, Oasis, and (er) Simply Red. But no matter what Mancunians claim their favourite band is, it's actually The Piccadilly Rats. Not just because they mangle pop classics while performing shirtless in the street with rubber rodent masks on, but because they’re the band we've all seen the most times, and that means they’re the best.

12. Being secretly proud of the whole "rainy city" thing.

People always talk about Manchester being wet, to the extent that it's been nicknamed "The Rainy City" since time immemorial. When outsiders joke about the bad weather, you want to strangle them, but when official figures recently showed that Manchester wasn’t even in the top 10 rainy cities in the UK, you were secretly disappointed that it wasn't the wettest place after all. It's our thing.


13. Daydreaming about zapping slow walkers on Market Street with an electric cattle prod.


Market Street is a treacherous affair at the best of times, especially when the Christmas markets are on, and the chuggers are in full force. Come the weekend, the slow-walkers are out en masse too, dawdling around, while you secretly daydream of cattle-prodding them out of the way, while (at the same time) being careful not to jostle anyone even slightly, because that would be unforgivable.

14. Getting genuinely angry when people quote Liam Gallagher at you, or shout "OUR KID".

BBC / Giphy

You pretend to laugh it off, but when they follow it up with an assumption that you wear bucket hats and listen to "Madchester" music, that's the last straw. Sure, a certain vintage of Manchester bloke will favour Adidas trainers over Nike, but it's not like there are swathes of lads waddling around saying “’ave it!". "Madchester" was nearly 30 years ago, and it shouldn't surprise anyone that we've moved on.

15. Being a bit disappointed that scallies broke Mobikes.

When Manchester launched its bike sharing scheme, you just knew that scallies would find a way of busting the locks off them, before razzing them around and doing wheelies, then ditching them in a canal. And turns out you were right. And yes, it is funny, but also (secretly) a bit sad. This is why we can't have nice things.

16. And secretly wishing you lived in Chorlton.

An urge that you cover up as best you can by mocking Chorlton as much as possible. If you’re from Chorlton and feel offended by this, you can shut up because you live in a nice area, and can comfort yourself with your house made out of artisan bread. You've probably also debated where the "next Chorlton" will be. Is it Levenshulme? Is it Trafford? Wherever it is, we'll mercilessly slag off the heir to Chorlton's hummus throne while secretly plotting to move there ASAP.

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