Wakeup call. Although Gloucester is another unique community that is being poisoned by gentrification, it hasn't quite succumbed yet. For two years that I'll just call "interesting," I worked as a contract data centre manager there. The critical mass of the people who worked for me were Gloucester women: natives, not gentry. Yuppies, these are not your kind of people, but in a lot of ways they were mine: earthy, flawed, very hard-working. They came out of a society in which being pregnant at 16, certainly by 18, was still common, though not as universal as it had once been. I have no problem at all believing the "pact" idea began as someone having the principal on. When the supremely gullible media, and especially Time, got on to the story the locals must have thought they had died and gone to Heaven.
I don't have quite enough time in the evenings to run down to Pratty's** for a look around, but if I feel the earth moving down here in the next day or two, I'll figure it's the collective laughter of about 10,000 Gloucester natives, having put one over on the entire country, and that dive will be the epicentre.
* If you don't know what that means, you haven't been inside the mind of Gloucester.
** At this link, you have to scroll down a little to get an honest take on Pratty's. Let me put it this way. In Gloucester, if you want a quiet drink, you go to a bar with windows (or the Crow's Nest, now that fame has gone to their heads). Avoid 1) bars that have glass block windows and 2) bars that have filled in the windows with concrete block. Both are signs that one drunk too many has been thrown through the windows. Pratty's is a squat concrete block bunker. You figure it out.
Labels: teen pregnancy pact