The seemingly growing and increasingly ubiquitous tribe of underlings known as ‘the chav tribe’ is highly prevalent in the Wiltshire town of
Swindon, in various guises. Whilst members of these tribes are relatively easy to
spot to most frequent visitors to the town centre, the casual visitor to the town or the merely unobservant may find the following information of
use or, indeed, possibly essential to avoid being unwittingly drawn into a chav tribal gathering:
The chav tribe is usually headed by an alpha male. Tribal custom dictates that the alpha male of the tribe, upon ascending to the head of the tribe, must change their name so that the first letters of their original name are adopted and suffixed with the letters ‘ZA’. So, for example, a male chav who rises to the top of the tribe by an act of extreme intelligence and bravery (for example by stealing a bottle of fanta from Aldi) who is named ‘Gary’ will customarily become known as ‘Gazza’. If the first name of the
tribe member is not suitable for his purpose (although the fact that it sounds utterly ridiculous does not preclude it’s use and indeed would
seem to be considered desirable) then their former surname may be adapted accordingly. So, a chav with the surname of, for example, Musgrave would
become ‘Muzza’. And so on and so forth. It is not unheard of for female chavs to adopt such monikers, presumably when the alpha male is absent from the group, perhaps by reason, for example, of being in jail for vandalising a phonebox.
Swindon Chavs can normally be readily identified by attire. This can vary from tribe to tribe but it is mandatory, according to ancient custom, for
at least one item of Burberry clothing to be worn (preferably fake but genuine, stolen, items are also acceptable). It is also considered desirable to wear an item of clothing with indecipherable graffiti
style writing on, preferably a jacket. Cheap gold jewellery (ideally purchased from Argos) is also a must, to be worn over the top of clothing,obviously. Conventional wisdom dictates that at least two sovereign rings must be
worn on each hand, ideally at least one of these must feature a horseshoe style design. Female chavs must wear at least 4 necklaces (of differing
length) and at least one must feature a St. Christopher. Some chav tribes also favour clothing with the names of criminal acts emblazoned upon them, for example ‘Thief’ or ‘Criminal Damage’. Some, perhaps more refined, chav tribes do not follow this particular custom, perhaps considering it to be
stating the obvious. Other physical attributes to look out for include baseball caps (ideally perched on the top of the head), white polyester
trousers (on girls), Henry Lloyd jackets and so on. This is not intended as an exhaustive list and one should be aware that these customs are constantly evolving.
Another clue to keep an eye out for is an individual’s reaction to the sun. Following in the footsteps of many other tribes throughout history,
Swindon Chav tribes’ behaviour is dictated to a large extent by solar activity. At the very suggestion of a ray of sunshine breaking through
the clouds, Swindon chavs react in a very particular way, depending on their
gender; Male chavs (and in particular alpha males) will immediately remove their upper garments, tuck them into their jeans pockets so that they
are hanging out and head straight into the town centre, where they will congregate in all their bare chested glory. Female chavs, although not, in
most cases, going to such extremes, will don tight (normally white) polyester tops that stop just below the solar plexus, thus revealing the
midriff. Custom dictates that the larger and more grotesque the stomach, the more often it must be displayed. Stretch marks are not mandatory
but are certainly highly encouraged. Both male and female chavs will then sit in the sun (outside McDonalds) all day until they turn a vivid shade of
pink. They will then, the next day, wear different items of clothing to highlight their ‘tan lines’.
Swindon chavs have also developed their own regional dialect. It is extremely bad chav etiquette to not intersperse every sentence with at
least two profanities (if there are children in earshot then such an omission is particularly frowned upon). The length of the sentence is
immaterial, the profanity must still feature, even if it serves no purpose. This particular regional dialect has almost entirely obviated the need
for the letter ‘e’, it is customarily replaced in speech by the letter ‘a’. So, a female chav known as ‘Mel’ will have her name pronounced as
‘Mal’. This nuance becomes particularly important when it is considered that Swindon chavs replace the word ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ with ‘well’. So,
for example, the sentence ‘Jizza was well lucky not to get arrested’ will be pronounced ‘Jizza was WALLL lucky not to get arrested’. Also, when
relaying their anecdotes (replete with the mandatory expletives) Swindon chavs (and in particular females) will assert that people ‘turn around’ before undertaking any action. So, for example, a common sentence might go as follows: ‘Jizza turned around and said that Muzza was walll stoned but then Muzza turned around and said that he wasn’t so Jizza turned around and
hit him with an ashtray, it was walll funny’. It is not thought that chavs do actually physically turn around before partaking in actions but this has
not actually been confirmed.
Location wise, the avid chav spotter in Swindon would be best advised to
head down to McDonalds in the Brunel Shopping Centre. This is a particular chav hotspot, presumably due, apart from the obvious reasons, to it’s proximity to Argos and, therefore, the aforementioned cheap jewellery.
It should also be noted that Greenbridge retail park is also a fertile breeding ground, it is no coincidence that this ‘park’ also boasts a
McDonalds and an Argos. In actual fact, the whole of Swindon town centre is a chav spotters fantasy, some ‘must see’ attractions are, however, the
shop ‘Circle 7’, the pubs The Savoy and The Riflemans, Poundland, Poundstretcher and the Brunel statue. That said, one does not have to
try hard to spot a chav and, indeed, if one were to stand perfectly still in the town centre it would not be long until they were approached by a chav,
most likely attempting to borrow 20p as they have ‘lost their wallet and need to get the train to Reading’. (nb. so far as researchers are aware,
there is no special ‘chav discount’ which allows members of the tribe to travel by rail to Reading for 20p. It is therefore suspected that this
is simply a ruse. The use of Reading in this ruse may well be because Swindon chavs are not aware that the world stretches beyond a 35 mile radius of
Further chav customs dictate that if a chav has a baby chav, it must take it into the town centre in its pram so that the fellow chav tribe members
can stand around it in the middle of a thoroughfare and smoke over it. Non-smoking chavs are, research suggests, officially extinct so this
custom is easily upheld. Male chavs are also blessed with overactive saliva glands and must spit at least every 20 seconds. They must also,
customarily, stand at least 10 feet apart when conversing so that everybody in a 20 foot radius can hear their conversation. They must also ride a
child’s bike through the town centre at least once a week, when adult. It is a not uncommon sight to see an older chav in a ‘shop mobility’ chariot
style electric wheel chair stolen from the Brunel Centre driving through the town centre with a small army of chav children in procession. Said
chav elder will, of course, get out and walk when refused entry to ‘The Casbah’ for fire regulation reasons due to the chariot.
The entire Fleet Street pedestrianised pub area is considered holy ground by chavs after dark and custom dictates that it is a mark of respect to
spit chewing gum onto the floor in this area. It is then customary to drink vodka and Redbull until one passes out, vomits, comes round and
starts a fight with a chav from a rival tribe. Who they are probably related to. Chav custom also dictates that when two alpha male chavs
engage in a ‘duel’, all female chavs must gather round in a large circle and emit high pitched guttural noises. Particular chav locations of choice
in this area include the aforementioned ‘Casbah’ (which, rumour has it, has the highest count of polyester per metre in the entire country), the
Grove Company Inn (the obligatory Wetherspoons where old, alcoholic chavs literally live and communicate to each other in indecipherable mumbles all day) and, most sacred of all, Reflex. This latter establishment is an ’80’s bar’ where younger members of the chav tribe rub shoulders with the older, even more respectable, members of the chav clan who are sadly under the illusion that because 80’s music is being played, they are still ‘trendy’ (in the chav sense of the word, obviously). Either that or they inhaled so much lighter fluid down the park in the 1980’s that they do not, in fact, actually realise that it is now 2004 and that the whole 80’s thing is actually a revival.
Once the chav night out down Fleet Street is over, tradition has it that all chavs must descend upon a take away establishment (ideally a mobile
one), gorge themselves on kebab, wipe the greasy remnants from the food container on a shop window, dispose of the wrapper in a street (despite
the proliferation of bins) and then kick through the window of Wilkinsons. The chav crowds then slowly migrate back home, stopping only to racially
abuse a taxi driver and pull all the branches off of a newly planted sapling tree, designed to make the town centre look slightly more appealing to
non-chavs. Once home, they will check that their 14 children, all of whom are under 10 are safe and well after being left to fend for themselves. Once they have beaten the children into submission they will settle down on their sofa that was retrieved from a skip in front of the tv that they bought from the bloke in the pub and watch the tape of ‘I’m a celebrity….’ that they recorded earlier on their (stolen) video player before eventually
retiring to their (stolen) bed to make sweet, unprotected, chav love and make more chav children. And, thus, the Swindon chav tribe cycle of life continues.
It is hoped that the above will provide some guidance for those attempting to negotiate the murky waters of the Swindon chav tribe lifestyle. One is urged to tread with caution, however. If any of the above sounds horribly
familiar to you then I fear that it may be too late……