Alcohol: binge drinking and linked crimes such as urinating in alleys and scrapping.
Black pudding: a sausage made from blood
Brits: a hangover from colonial days, living up to something that can’t be lived up to.
Catholics vs Protestants: sectarianism
Density: Britain is the most densely populated country in Europe, it’s likely there’ll be collisions between people who don’t get along.
Empathy: characters who are essentially ordinary folk, barring the odd twist in the psyche.
Fist fights: real knuckle to bone stuff.
Gangs: often rooted in football “hooliganism” and funny songs.
Hatred of the top-dog: Soon as underdog reaches the top, it’s time to knock them off their pedestal, the big headed fuckers (see Love).
Islanders: gazing out to sea and wondering “What It’s All About Alfie?” (The song recently made a comeback via Austin Powers. “What’s It All About Austin?”
Jokes: lots of humour, overt, covert and dark as black-pudding.
Killing: quite often, yes.
Love of the underdog: a desire to see those at the bottom get to the top.
Manners: either super polite or lacking them in spades (if you can lack something in spades).
North-South divide: northerners who hate southerners, scousers who hate woollybacks, Scots who hate everything English and everything vice-versa.
Pubs: the place for people to hang out and get hammered (see Alcohol)
Queues: an unnatural respect for the etiquette of queuing (standing in lines) and the potential for anyone at the back to blow a gasket.
Rock’n’Roll: an infusion of music whether it’s inside a head, from the jukebox or on the radio, not to mention a whole host of sub-cultures who may not always get on (get along); a rich vein for story titles.
Scousers: people from Liverpool.
Swearing: lots of it.
Take-Away Food: big guts, heart attacks and apathy.
Urinals: made by Armitage Shanks from white porcelain.
Voice: for a small place, there are a lot of very distinct dialects.
Weapons: pool cues, knitting needles, knives, rarely guns.
Woollybacks: the name “scousers” (people from Liverpool) give to people from the surrounding area (it’s a dig at farming and sheep)
X Factor: the individual style of a writer depending on the pattern of their scars
Y?: wrong place, wrong time mate.
Zen: not a lot of it though.
Nigel Bird is the author of 2 critically acclaimed collections of fiction entitled ‘Dirty Old Town’ and ‘Beat On The Brat’. Widely published by the best in the business, he won the Watery Grave Invitational in 2010 and was nominated for Spinetingler’s Best Story Online category this time around. A teacher and fatherof 3, he is the co-editor of the soon-to-be-released ‘Pulp Ink’.