06 June, 2012


It just came off in me 'and, ossifer

John Ward reports one of those demoralizing little encounters where one's good intentions are misunderstood by some miserable git who thinks everybody else is as self-centred as they are.

I had an embarrassing instance of something similar the other day.  My local council has been "improving"™ its domestic waste collection service.  I don't particularly mind them emptying the "non-recyclables" wheelie bin only once a fortnight, as they have been doing for the past several years.  Unlike some of my more transient neighbours I not only have a native command of English but I've been around long enough to understand how the crates of many colours work.  The fortnightly collection of the irreducible residue of landfill fodder is quite adequate to my needs.

Or would be if the buggers actually collected it.  Following the recent improvements, seemingly involving careful "reoptimization" of the dustcarts' routes, our wheelie bins aren't emptied at all.  Personally I suspect we've fallen into a lurking topographical ambiguity. It's not unequivocally obvious which street we are on; postal addresses say one thing, the layout of the road junction suggests a different possible interpretation, one potentially attractive to a binman in a hurry.

As you might imagine I have been in touch with Them.  On several occasions.  And so it came to pass on Friday afternoon that I was gathering evidence for a renewed onslaught on the forces of darkness, making my way along the street peering into my neighbours' wheelie bins to determine which ones had or hadn't been emptied that day, when a lady of the underclass happened by, dressed in one of those ultra-high viz shocking-pink pullovers that seem to pass for haute couture among the pound shop set.  She lowered her can of lager from her lips and addressed me, not unsympathetically as it happens, "Bin mining, Bruv?"

Not just yet, Love.  When my pension fund collapses and my savings are inflated away and there's no work available for retired IT engineers, perhaps.  But not just yet.

It's called 'dumpster diving' here, which has a more sporty sound to it. And it's quite an honourable pastime for many retirees, who need the extra cash from bottle and can refunds because of the exorbitant price of cigarettes, which are highly taxed -- purely to protect us from ourselves, of course.

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