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Angry Al – June 2006

He's angry. He's Al. He's... Angry Al! This month, Al gets all fired up about everyone's favourite neighbourhood pest, the scally.

Published on June 1st 2006.

Angry Al – June 2006

He’s angry. He’s Al. He’s.. Angry Al! This month, Al gets all fired up about everyone’s favourite neighbourhood pest, the scally…

As I browsed the aisles of the newest, colossal branch of the supermarket that never sleeps recently, I had a shocking and galling experience.

Happily humming along to the piped-in Phil Collins, whilst selecting from the seemingly endless choice of tinned peas, I couldn’t have been happier. ‘Yes Phil’, I thought, ‘me coming back to you is against all odds, you live in a tax haven in Switzerland, and just what exactly is Su-su-sudio?’

There then came a noise which dragged me kicking and screaming from my bliss. It sounded a bit like someone had thrown a drumkit from a clifftop, and it was getting louder. And just as I rounded the end of the aisle (with a fantastic two-for-one on sausage rolls) I saw them, a group of lads varying in age from about ten to sixteen, clad in the instantly recognisable uniform of everyone’s favourite neighbourhood pest, the scally.

The source of the cacophony soon became clear too as I noticed one of them carrying a mobile phone that was pumping out their “music” at a volume that my home stereo didn’t reach when I was their age. I mean, come on. Whoever invented a mobile phone that is capable of that has to shoulder some of the blame for this. What market was he aiming for with that brainwave? You don’t see many old women walking down the street with Matt Munroe blasting from the latest Samsung do you? It’s like a Brixton handbag for the next generation.

We’re subject to it everywhere. Anyone who’s stepped on a bus in Manchester in the last year will have heard it. And why do they have to play such terrible music? I think I can speak for all of us when I say that nobody would mind if they treated us to a bit of Tom Jones or Bruce Springsteen.

And speaking of the buses, are these kids so addicted to smoking at the age of sixteen that getting through a ten minute bus ride without lighting up is beyond them? How on earth is a nationwide smoking ban going to work with idiots like this about? I saw one the other day hiding his lit cigarette up his sleeve! Let me tell you, with the flammability of the shell suit he was wearing, talk about a health and safety hazard. And that leads me on to another question, why do they have to tuck their trousers into their socks? It looks ridiculous! They all look like they’re going for a long bicycle ride and have forgotten their clips, which we know is not the case.

But what really annoys me (because I can live with the other offences) is the spitting. What do they do that makes their salivary glands work harder than the rest of us? There are only two groups that can get away with spitting in my opinion, sportsmen and llamas. Now, forgive me, but I don’t see many of either in the city centre, so why are our pavements covered in this slime? It’s disgusting, and if there is even one Manchester Confidential reader who thinks it’s acceptable, let me know, I’ll gladly make you see the error of your ways.

So what can we do about it? Well my plan is to kill them with kindness. Play them at their own game. When you hear their music, ask them, as politely as you can, the relative merits of the breakbeats of Grooverider or Mickey Finn. When they light up on the bus, sit down with them and give them a potted history of the tobacco industry or regale them with stories of when you were younger and enjoyed a crafty one behind the bike sheds. The minute they think society likes them, they’ll stop. Before we know it, they’ll be wearing chinos and polo shirts and listening to the Eagles with headphones……..dream on Al, dream on.

Angry Al
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