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Chancing Your Luck

Tom Mason explores the shady world of the Friday night chancer and has nightmares about it later.

Published on November 27th 2006.

Chancing Your Luck

Wide-boy, Admiral WKD and Matalan Mystique are standing in the corner. Supping their drinks, they are unmistakably dressed up for a night on the tiles – checked shirts, shiny shoes and the unmistakable swagger of three men who’ve just communally bathed in a vat of aftershave.

Like a pack of hungry lions they survey the planes, scrutinising the clientele of the bar. She doesn’t know it yet, but some poor girl is going to wish she stayed in with a bottle of red and watched Jonathan Ross.

Something catches Admiral WKD’s eye and there’s an excited exchange of words between the men. In a standard flanking formation, they leave their shadowy lair and make for an unsuspecting group of girls on the opposite side of the bar.

One of the girls smells the lynx effect down-wind and nervously turns her head. Alas, it is too late. The chancers are already upon them and there’s no escape. If this were a wildlife documentary, David Attenborough would be speaking over a warbling violin and five-year-old children would be wondering why the zebra suddenly has a hole in it.

The unsuspecting prey

Wide-boy takes the lead, introducing himself to the group. Unenthusiastically, one of the girls volunteers her name. It’s a schoolboy error on her part and Wide-Boy sees his window of opportunity. In a manoeuvre that would make Casanova turn in his grave, he takes her reluctant hand and kisses it. Admiral WKD and Matalan Mystique latch onto the remaining two girls and do the same. Matalan Mystique whispers something into his victim’s ear. We don’t catch it but pick your favourite from:“Is that a ladder in your tights, or just a stairway to heaven?”“Take 20p and go and tell your mum you’re not coming home tonight.”“I’m no Fred Flintstone but I bet I could make your bed rock.”

The chancers set their sights on a group of ‘lucky’ ladies

Meanwhile, Casanova’s corpse just can’t take it anymore and shoots itself in the head.

Luckily, this innocent collective of girls know how to fend off this blunt and clumsy attempt at courtship and quickly feign a group toilet trip. The chancers tell them they’ll be waiting for them when they get back. The girls wisely decide to find toilets in another bar.

Alas, this isn’t a once in a lifetime spectacle of nature. Chancers are a common breed around Manchester and like the looming spectre of a pissed-off Japanese ghost, you’re never safe from their menace. You could be having a quiet drink with a friend. You could be celebrating your birthday. You could be auditioning for the Withnail and I sequel. Like any good horror film, the chancer can strike anywhere and at anytime, always happy to subject you to their clumsy social skills and unashamedly bad chat.

So we offer a plea to the chancers of Manchester – please stop harassing groups of girls with your sleazy moves. Spare a thought for the hassle you cause, spare a though for how silly you look and spare a thought for those of us that have to cringe at your school disco-esque courtship attempts. There are better ways for people like you to find love, and internet dating will welcome you with open arms.

If by some sudden knock to the head, you like the sound of Wide-Boy, Admiral WKD and Matalan Mystique, they’re available in Bluu, Friday-Saturday, 9.30pm-2am. Inevitably.
Tom Mason

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