The chips are down for us; Paul Fulford A DIFFERENT VIEW OF LIFE IN BIRMINGHAM.
BEING a Brummie, my shoulders sag under the weight of the chips they carry.
The chip that represents the scorn that people show towards our wry yet warm accent.
The chip that represents the woeful level at which our football teams operate.
The chip relating to the muddleheaded view of outsiders that our green and pleasant city is wasteland of concrete and asphalt.
The chip that comes from the aspersion of outsiders that we're a thick lot.
The super-sized fry comes from the world's refusal to recognise our contribution to industry, the arts and entertainment.
Indeed, there are so many chips on my shoulders that Graham Young's infamous in-car chip-weighing scales wouldn't be able to cope with the load.
And yet a few of them have been shed over recent weeks after visits to Liverpool and London.
There was a vibrancy about Liverpool that made me realise that our home city isn't all it's cracked up to be.
And roads lined with buildings of a grandeur that's sadly lacking in Birmingham after the vandalistic re-development of the post-war decades.
In London, clearly, there's a greater buzz, far more style and some of the country's most iconic architecture.
But there's also a higher degree of consideration and commonsense than that I daily encounter among my fellow Brummies.
Travelling around London by car, I realised that drivers there don't seem to routinely block junctions by jumping traffic lights or seeking to cross when the road ahead is jammed.
And they let other drivers out of side roads when they're crawling along in heavy traffic.
People on escalators stand to the right so that those in a hurry can pass on the left.
They actually say things that make sense when they speak.
They're able to walk around the streets without nosebags full of fried food.
Some of them even wear outfits not made from man-made fabrics and not fashioned in a style that parodies that donned by knuckle-dragging footballers.
Strange, but since those trips my shoulders feel a lot less weighted down. It's my heart that's heavy now.
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