"You can tell you're from Paisley." "You're from Paisley?
You must be tight with money then." "You grew up in Paisley, I'd better watch out, that place is like the wild west."
Here's another, my favourite in fact, said one day on the way to Bearsden: "You're from Paisley and you're going to Bearsden? Do they know? I'm surprised they'd let you through the border if they did."
It's funny, isn't it? Knocking the stuffing out of something continually with humour.
Paisley's an easy target – it seems it always has been. It's had problems with violence, drugs, deprivation and poverty in the past (in some parts of the town the problems still continue), but then hasn't everywhere? It's not exactly alone in its struggle against youth gangs and drug abuse in the UK.
It's not the only town that's lost its high street to the mighty power of out-of-town shopping centres. Neither is it the only place in the country to be populated on the whole by average people paying average prices for their properties.
Paisley's not a posh place – though certain parts of the town are still dripped in the glamour of grand 19th-century architecture – and it's never pretended to be one.
That's what I've always liked about the town I grew up in. Sure it can be a bit rough around the edges, but there was never any pretence about Paisley, and there were never pointless affectations. People spoke to you on their own terms in their own way, not in some faux posh accent they picked up in the Hyacinth Bucket, sorry Bouquet, style.
So let's give the Paisley jibes a rest. They're old now anyway, just like the stereotypes that fuelled them. Try this instead: "So you're from Paisley? What's it like there?"
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