Christmas Markets 2015 Review: Sex, Cups And Nandos Leave Visitors Unamused

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Earlier this week Manchester City Council released figures stating 72% of Germans preferred Manchester’s Christmas Markets to their own countries. It was great news for the city; stoking the fires of interest and adding extra fever pitch. On Saturday at 10am the markets opened but by Sunday the overall mood was as grim as the weather.

So what went wrong? Why the backlash on social media?

Project manager for the markets, Winterford Shitemeister, said: “Each year we collect feedback about the markets. We then correlate that data and make changes where we feel public opinion was strongest.”

Changes for 2015 included swapping the plastic refundable £1 glasses and mugs for revolutionary biodegradable ones, giving you twenty minutes to finish your drink before they dissolved. Not a problem if you were supping lager, but those not born with asbestos lined throats who were left desperately swigging red hot mulled wine before the mug came apart in their hands were unamused.

Winterford said: “Other feedback we received was from young professionals in the city centre who said there wasn’t anywhere to enjoy the markets child free; so we made Brazennose Street adults only.”

“…the hashtag #fuckoffpoundland began to trend on Twitter.”

Brazennose Street’s ‘Adults Only’ section left organisers red faced when one stall proprietor mistook the meaning and sold prosthetic vaginas for lonely gentlemen.

“They told me my stall was in the adult’s only section,” said Madge Grizzle, owner of Madge’s Vag’s. “I assumed they wanted me to sell my specialist eBay stock rather than my hand carved teddy bears.”

The main annoyance to visitors, though, appeared to be a few stalls allocated to well known retailers. Poundland set up shop facing Ted Baker on New Cathedral Street but found the hashtag #fuckoffpoundland trended on Twitter. Aldi faced harsh criticism when one of their stores took up the whole right-hand side of St Ann’s Square but when Nandos opened within the coveted Albert Square section, it was a step too far for some and rumours of bribery circulated.

“Something smells fishy,” said Bob Nipple, proprietor of hand carved chess sets and the stall owner next to Nandos. Despite the growing calls for an investigation into corruption, Bob took a different approach to why he thought the restaurant had opened; fascism. “It dates back to World War Two. Nandos is Portuguese, and they were fascists along with the Germans, weren’t they?”

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Chris Hewitt’s indie-published children’s book Saving Christmas is available to buy in paperback and Kindle on Amazon worldwide

www.amazon.co.uk/Saving-Christmas-Chris-Hewitt/dp/1539101479

Also available on iBooksKobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and Smashwords.com

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Police Refuse To Police Police Street

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They once knew it as a quiet side street offering a shortcut between Kings St and St. Ann St; but Greater Manchester Police (GMP) released a statement this week explaining that because of high levels of crime, they would no longer patrol Police St.

GMP said in the last half of 2015 there had been a 35% increase in violent behaviour while anti-social behaviour soared up 70%. When pressed on the cause, GMP singled out Waterstones. DI John Sprinkle said: “People assume because it’s a bookshop that customers are mild-mannered but that isn’t the case.” He pointed out the stores miss-management of caffeine from its Cafe W as the problem.
“They get into arguments,” he said. “It starts as a debate and then voices rise, before you know it they’ve stepped outside to settle differences. It’s the pub mentality and they think because they’re using the back entrance nobody sees them.”
Waterstones has two entrances/exits in the Deansgate store.

The front is accessible on Deansgate; but the back entrance is situated on Police St and businesses operating in and around the area are concerned. Eyewitness accounts of the goings on liken Police St to scenes of 1980s football hooliganism with fighting, chanting, graffiti and even criminal damage of property.

“Bill Bryson’s new book signing was madness. Somebody slapped a police horse…”

So, is this so called lit-violence tarnishing what residents would call the nicer half of the city? The CEO of Waterstones, Shilpa Calhoon, explained: “They have blown the figures out of proportion. The store has seen a tiny amount of unruly behaviour but to ease a police presence in the area, we see it as an overreaction.”

Pressed on the matter of fight club style meet ups at the store or book rucks as they are referred to: “Absolutely not. Waterstones offers a unique experience of book buying coupled with the cafe lifestyle. Our customers are law-abiding citizens they’re hardly the mafia.”

DI Sprinkle sees it differently: “I’ve been there on the front line. Bill Bryson’s new book signing was madness. Somebody slapped a police horse with a hard-back edition. Who does that?”

Online retailers are reaping the rewards of the store’s unnecessary media coverage and public safety concerns. They boasted a growth in sales from Manchester areas as shoppers look to safer options.

DI Sprinkle added: “Who wants to risk a shanking over Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook when you can buy it online from the safety of your own home.”

saving-christmas-450

 

Chris Hewitt’s indie-published children’s book Saving Christmas is available to buy in paperback and Kindle on Amazon worldwide

www.amazon.co.uk/Saving-Christmas-Chris-Hewitt/dp/1539101479

Also available on iBooksKobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and Smashwords.com