Whether you’re a proud, lifelong resident of Britain’s ‘Happiest Historic Market Town 2013’ (source not verified) or simply a newcomer to this exciting land, you are most likely aware that Dronfield is not a particularly diverse place.
When idly strolling along the banks of the River Drone, or through the bustling streets of Chesterfield Road, you may be gripped by an unsettling sense of déjà vu – didn’t I just see that EXACT 14 year old yob two minutes ago? Are these ‘lively’ women in The Manor House not the very same inhabiting The Dragon just 30 seconds ago? That must be the 29th time that OAP has waddled past me today! These suspicions are, in fact, technically correct. Dronfield is home to just 5 distinct residents, but what dangers do these different residents pose to you, who feel you are in no way associated with any of these all-encompassing stereotypes?
Arguably the most commonly sighted species of Dronfeldian, this 35-55 year-old lives something of a double life. By day, she will almost certainly be found in Sainsbury’s (though some rare, less patriotic dissenters may be caught fraternising in Aldi), ensuring that her Taste The Difference meal and bottle of wine for £10 is safely concealing the Basics 70cl Gin at the bottom of her cart. If a meeting does occur between two members of this species in these hunting grounds, bitter one-upmanship will ensue, as compliments to the other’s newly-bobbed hair are soaked in bitter sarcasm, and snide remarks about the adversary’s child’s life choices are presented as feigned enthusiasm (Oh? I hear that college’s Fashion & Design course is really improving these days!).
Several hours and 70cl of gin later, however, these females patrol an entirely different hunting ground. Avid DD readers will be aware of the perils of Dronfield drinkeries such as The Green Dragon and The Manor House during the evenings of the weekend, as hordes of these eager females are unleashed upon the males of Dronfield, assuming a deadly form known as ‘The Cougar‘. Though more information and safety procedures can be found in the article dedicated to these Cougars, rest assured that no vaguely eligible male is safe.
Threat level: 7/10 – risk of regrettable sexual encounters.
Statistics have suggested that Dronfield is second only to Eastbourne in its high concentration of elderly residents, which is immediately visible upon any 6-8am wander through the town, at which point the average age of the town appears to rise to at least 85. Though thinning in numbers throughout the day, the streets remain congested with the ripe inhabitants of the town, who have certainly earned their right to slow down your hurried run to the bus as they cheerily amble along the street – not that this is any consolation as the rare and enigmatic 44 bus drives straight past you 30 seconds before you have reached the bus stop (see below).
Commonly found holding up queues in the Post Office, before realising they in fact intended to be in Natwest to take a minimum of 30 minutes withdrawing £10 in 50p coins, due to their irrational fear and mistrust of cash machines, these residents create the slow-paced, small town atmosphere of Dronfield that we all know and just about tolerate. Even if it does take them 14 attempts to remember their bank PIN.
Threat level: 4/10 – risk of delayed commute.
The Aspiring Yob
On the opposite end of the age-scale, however, lies a newer addition to Dronfield’s community. Unfortunately, in recent years, the proudly organic, Taste The Difference middle-classes of Dronfield have produced teenage offspring ashamed of their free-range, Lloyd Grossman roots, who instead turn to a life of intimidation and crime. Of course in Dronfield, the height of crime possible (without access to a bulldozer) falls short at around the mark of standing outside Greendale shops hoping that smoking still makes people look cool. These 13-16 year old renegades proudly display their defiance against ‘the man’ with angsty updates to Facebook, Twitter and even photos of themselves smoking and/or swearing to Instagram if they’re feeling especially edgy.
Insistent to their mothers (very often Manor-Dwellers) that their nose-piercing ‘isn’t just a phase’, these unfortunate residents of Dronfield are generally happy to shout mild-mannered abuse at passers-by, though their life of crime is unlikely to extend to any physical or emotional harm to others.
Threat level: 1/10 – risk of becoming the subject of edgy Twitter update.
The Bus Driver
A strange phenomenon has occurred in the past decade in Dronfield, in that bus drivers are only ever spotted when you are not in fact waiting for a bus. When walking or driving through Dronfield, one is guaranteed to be held up by an ungodly amount of buses, as both 43s and even the semi-mythical 44s appear to arrive in every street of Dronfield at least every 4 minutes. However, Dronfield bus stops have been designed by leading physicists to ensure that the space/time continuum is affected in a unique way that prevents any of these impossibly regular buses from appearing while you actually require the services of a bus, ensuring that no public transport will arrive when it is actually needed for a purpose other than to contribute to traffic.
Though this phenomenon has been investigated by Dronfield’s renowned scientific community, it is currently only hypothesised that bus drivers are visible only from the outside of buses, perhaps as a result of black holes or extremely sophisticated time travel, ingeniously engineered by Sheffield Stagecoach. Regardless of the scientific explanation, experts are in agreement that Dronfield’s public transport is ‘bloody dreadful, without equal in the civilised world’.
Threat Level: 10/10 – potentially mythical being, capable of disrupting the laws of physics.
That’s right, I’m talking to you. You have been reading this article (hopefully) chuckling along at the way in which everybody else in Dronfield is so easily defined in two small paragraphs, and that they are all quite so predictable and one-dimensional. Unfortunately, the fifth category happens to be catered specifically to your good self. This particular Dronfeldian finds the entire idea of small-town life downright laughable, and an easy target for satire and mockery. A wide variety of ages, this resident is equally dismayed by each of the other four residents of Dronfield, and spends his/her time in 3 parts anger, 1 part horror at the people and place around them, like an angry Pimm’s.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution for this cynical attitude: quickly queue up to withdraw some money from Natwest, and head for a quiet drink at The Manor House…