Everyone wants the ‘Essex’ lifestyle don’t they? The boobs, the bling, the accent? Don’t you wish you could cruise your dad’s Lamborghini through Chigwell KFC drive-in, work as a ‘promoter’ (yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not a job too) and spend the majority of your time extrapolating body hair? Don’t we all. Well, now you can with OTB’s handy five-step guide to becoming an Only Way Is Essexian.
Take everything you know about the world – what goes where, which is the capital of what, when, why and how, and give it a good scrub. Even locations you might, in your non-Essex state, think of as self-explanatory – North London for example – should be excised from your mind like a pesky red spot on a perfectly orange forehead. What’s the capital of India? Delhi? No! It’s Pakistan of course. Where’s Kent? That’s right, you have no idea. Yes, even though you live in Essex you do not, I repeat DO NOT, know where Kent is. Got it?
Every good Essex boy and girl knows, f**k natural beauty. Pod, Jenny Frost and the Snog Marry Avoid crew are shunned anywhere east of Leyton. To start with, and save money on expensive tanning products, bathe in fermented vinegar. Then get hold of several dead spiders, some packeted human hair (preferably from a desolate Chinese woman), ten pieces of plastic in the shape of human fingernails, charcoal and a few bits of glass (for vajazzling, but be warned, only to be attempted by professhonawls).
Load a teaspoon with the charcoal and drag over your eye socket. Snip the legs off of the spiders and glue them on (PVA is fine) to your eyelids, before gluing or stapling the discarded hair underneath your own. Nearly there! Next, affix the placcy fingernails to your hands. You’ll no longer be able to pick anything up, so get a friendly passer-by or confused neighbour to stick the bits of glass to your pubes with blu-tac. Voila!
There are various ways to get down with the TOWIE bunch. Car saleswoman Gemma did it by taking Kirk for a spin in a Merc (not murking Kirk), and lamenting her stale love life to him, to land herself a blind date with his ‘Tony Soprano’ daddy. Chloe did it by enjoying a “corned beef” spray tan from Amy, and getting her bangers out at every opportunity. You could try those methods, you could set up a makeshift tanning booth with some poster paint and a hose in Lakeside carpark or you could just relentlessly stand at the bar in Sugar Hut, Essex’s answer to the Chateau Marmont. However you do it, make sure you’re constantly telling everyone around you to shut the f**k up.
In some cultures, the elders of the tribe are closely involved in the courtship ritual. Such is the way in Essex, which is why Mark Wright brings his 77-year-old grandmother to parties with him, and Lydia’s Mum is constantly taking the p*ss out of Arg, or asking him if he’s ever felt homosexual urges. To emulate this practice, make sure your parents know all intimate details of your love life at any given time, and are ready to step in with advice, or, like Kirk’s dad, a bit of vicious love rivalry to bolster your confidence with the opposite sex (yes, they were both trying to get off with Chloe..)
This is essential if you’re to really become one of the Essex lot. A chat with your postman might go like this: “Hi! I’m so glad you delivered this takeaway menu, because I’ll need to know about local takeaways when my new boyfriend Larry comes round tonight, after he dramatically split up with his ex Sally last week! So thanks!” Or a casual pleasantry with the bus driver could be “I hope you drive this bus fast, because it’s touch and go whether I’ll make that big meeting with a London record producer about my burgeoning rap career!” Etc. FYI: It’s not 100% necessary that these events actually happen, just that you pointlessly bring them up.
So there you have it – five easy steps to becoming one of the hallowed few. Shut up!!