Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wheelie Wheelie Annoying
Our wheelie bin has gone missing. We put it out for collection on Sunday night, and by Monday morning it was gone.
The puzzle is: why would anybody want to steal a wheelie bin? I mean, what would you do with it? What possible purpose can a wheelie bin serve, except, maybe, as a wheelie bin?
You can’t cook in it. You can’t brew beer in it. You can’t make a duvet out of it. You can’t wear it like a hat.
Well you can wear it like a hat if you like. It’s just not very flattering, that’s all. It’s also a bit smelly.
We thought some kids had nicked it for a laugh, had pushed it down the road a bit in a fit of high-spirits, in which case you would have expected to find it somewhere not too far away, on its side perhaps, with all the rubbish tipped out. Annoying, yes, but at least explicable: at least still within the realms of reason.
We’ve looked for it everywhere: in back alleys, in gardens, at the roadside, on pavements, on streets here, there and everywhere. We’ve been moving in concentric circles, further and further from our house, searching for our wheelie bin. But no. It‘s gone. It has simply disappeared.
How far can they have taken it? Did whoever stole it have a getaway car? Maybe it’s being held hostage. Maybe we can expect an extortion letter later. “Give us your money or the wheelie bin gets it.”
Was it abducted by aliens? Have the little grey men got it? Did they suck it up using their anti-matter transporter- beam? Are they even now conducting strange alien experiments upon it, subjecting it to some weird autopsy in the sterile surroundings of a laboratory on a flying saucer circling the Earth, probing it with their probes, prodding it with their prods, implanting it with their implants, in a vain attempt to discover the meaning of life?
Maybe they mistook it for a human being. It’s an easy enough mistake to make. Maybe they think that the Earth is ruled by wheelie bins. There are enough of them about.
The thing is - what is really peculiar - is that of all the wheelie bins in all the world, from a plethora of wheelie bins lounging around by the roadside waiting to be collected, they only chose ours.
What is it about our wheelie bin then? Is our rubbish more valuable or something? Is there something about our potato peelings that are somehow more appealing than other people’s potato peelings?
Or maybe I’m the victim of a celebrity wheelie bin collector. CJ Stone’s wheelie bin. That’s got to be worth something some day.
All of which is strange, but nowhere near as strange as what happened next. We rang the council to report our wheelie bin missing - good citizens that we are - hoping to get a new bin to replace the old one in time for the next collection in a fortnight’s time, and guess what?
They won’t replace it. We have to buy a new wheelie bin. We can’t leave our rubbish out in black sacks as we used to, so now it’s going to cost £39 to have our rubbish taken away.
Did someone mention extortion?
By the way, I once slept in a wheelie bin, as the next story explains...