Adolescence: a volatile time. A
time in which the blissful ignorance of childhood suddenly becomes a bizarre cacophony
of confusion and rage, which can often manifest itself in nihilistic acts of violence
and vandalism that serve to protest against nothing else other than the bloody injustice
of it all. We empathise, we really do. We
just wish that these demonstrations of frustration weren’t targeted at the
poor, innocent wheelie bin. As a cursory scroll through this news archive
shows, these underappreciated stalwarts of our society have a hard old time, often
victimised due to the fact they just happen to be there.
week comes the news that the dastardly youths of Orchard park are stealing residents’
wheelie bins and setting them alight for no particular reason. We think it’s a shame
that these youths don’t focus these passionate, pyromanic energies towards more
productive pursuits, such as playing cricket or writing sonnets. Perhaps an
intensive rehabilitative course is in order, replete with our very version of ‘It’s
a wonderful life,’ in which our hero sets a wheelie bin alight and spends the
rest of the film waist deep in rubbish while his guardian angel begs the lord
to grant him his wings, if only so he doesn’t have to walk through everyone else’s
other side of the spectrum, it’s good to see a wheelie bin afforded the respect
it deserves, taking on the role of a ‘V.I.P passenger,’ on a train from
Basingstoke to Waterloo. One angry, paying passenger stated ‘“I thought why
would you put something like that on a rush hour train rather than in the day
when it is less busy.” Fortunately, with this being a British train, no one
kicked up a fuss, therefore avoiding sparking the Rosa Parks snapshot that could
have gone on to define the Wheelie bin liberation movement, which would cunningly
draw upon on the fears of bins that don’t want to be lynched in parks.
British stories this week. The Daily
Mail, who always helpfully seem to confirm my carefully nourished prejudices
about them, is again bashing the “elf and safety” culture because the wheelie
bin men are not allowed to cross a minor suburban road with wheelie bins. In this case I have to agree with them of
course, over feeding third class ambulance chasing lawyers is a luxury we can
no longer afford.
On the bright
side we have super hi-tech bins, ok not wheelie bins but litter bins, appearing
in London with built in plasma screens giving news and travel info and
presumable adverts. Also in the
entrepreneurial vain, we have an inventor who converted his wheelie bin into a
super-efficient composter. But best of
all are the 10 year old wheelie bin entrepreneurs from the Isle of Wight who
are going into competition with us producing wheelie bin numbers – all power to
In honour of
the Rugby world cup we have a bunch links to wheelie bin stories from down
under. The antipodean general craziness
certainly gets adequately reflected in their news worthy wheelie bin
We have a guy,
who might have had a couple of beers, throwing his wife’s $50,000 of jewellery
into their wheelie bin. She’d put them
in bags to hide them from thieves.
Hopefully more sober, but you can’t be too sure, someone put a wheelie
bin on top of a huge communication mask in a fit of bonza revelry no doubt.
spoken and the debt fuelled party that Gordon encouraged for us all is going to
be slowly tuned down over the coming years, poor Gordon he only wanted to be
loved. So what’s all this got to do with
wheelie bins you may well ask? Well it’s
about the direction of travel maybe, Gordon’s munificence has resulted in NHS
consultants getting paid twice as much for far less hours but it’s had little
impact on the sink estates, where as we see this week the local lads threw
bricks at the firemen trying to put out wheelie bin fires they had started.
change in direction will also tone down the petty rule based mentality that has
pervaded the provision of public services from parks to recycling. We hear this week from the august Express (so
it may or may not be true) that the bin men refused to empty a wheelie bin
because two tea bags and six baked beans went astray. The extraordinary outcome was the council
defended the wheelie bin men for making the right decision. Let’s see how Cameron’s big society impacts
these kafkaesqe denizens.
Summer has bought more existential angst into the world of
wheelie bins. The Economist, nicely
using BritishBins as its title, concatenated Cameron’s big society concept with the ongoing war over
wheelie bins between the “little Hitlers” in the councils and the “slightly”
right of centre Daily Mail cohort. The
Economist’s conclusion, as might be expected from this hallowed organ, was to
use the financial carrots of the capitalist genre rather than the Stalinist sticks
preferred by Mr Brown and his cronies.
So you get a Marks and Spencer’s voucher if you recycle nicely and put
everything in the right wheelie bin. However, as M&S don’t sell deep fried Mars Bars, this may not be the greatest
encouragement to the denizens of the sink estates.
Of course, being
British, what has caused a much greater furore, is the video of a respectable
middle aged lady dumping her neighbour’s kitty into a wheelie bin. This is a crime clearly more heinous than
that of lighting up a wheelie bin next to a house full of kids which, as we
know, is also a popular pastime in the places that Cameron’s big society is
going to find hardest to reach.
It wasn’t so
long ago that we commented on inebriated boy racers (apparently happily)
terminating themselves racing wheelie bins down the local village incline. Now it seems to be turning into an
international sport with wheelie bin races reported from Germany and Kent this
just this week. The Germans, being
Germans are taking it all very seriously, with illegal go-faster tweaks. I hope these guys wear crash helmets.
as ever prosaic objects, also feature in the world of crime again this week.
One brave lady fought off her knife wielding attacker with her wheelie
bin. Another felon’s luck ran out in a more
gruesome way. He hid in a wheelie bin in
a jail break and got squished in a compactor; a relatively common event, even
excusable for alcoholics, but not the smartest move if you’re sober.
I’m into modern
art, so I’m going to bang on about it a bit, after reading about Michael Landy’s Art Bin. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen
the picture of him posing in his Wheelie
Bin. You might have heard of Landy
before, he’s the guy who shredded his whole life a couple of years ago in a
shop window. I mean literally everything
he owned, photos, clothes, passport, tax records - in the shredder. His point I think was quite clear, even if
some of the people that gave him stuff weren’t too impressed.
Now his latest
idea with his wheelie bin is to sow some seeds of confusion in the self aggrandising
contemporary art world by getting big name artists like Emin and Hurst to throw
big money pieces into his wheelie bin to be destroyed. I like it the concept. It passes my personal “is it art” test,
although I imagine the Daily Mail might be bemused.
the “is it art” are the lads from Hemel who borrowed everyone’s wheelie bins
and placed them very artistically in the middle of a local roundabout.
As to other
wheelie bin world view stories, the election campaign is getting going, more of
that at a later date. Much more
interesting is the man who got so disgruntled with way the Brisbane suburban Bowen
Hills brothel treated him that he threw a wheelie bin through the window of the
brothel – love those Aussies.
And now we see the Home Office spending untold resources trying to cover their own incompetence and threatening the elected member of parliament, Damian Green, with life imprisonment. It makes you wonder who's serving who.
The reason we're pondering this question is that our friends from Lancashire Council are spending £60,000 per year on wheelie bin police. So tell me again, who is that bureaucracies are supposed to serve?
What to say about those
Dragons? As successful self made entrepreneurs, you have
to admire the skilful way they've ridden their luck to
get where they are. I'm not quite so enamoured by their
participation in the current egomaniacal celebrity
culture, but each to their own.
So, what has this all got
to do with wheelie bins? Well, Peter Jones showed
his risk taking daring-do when he invested fifty grand
in a pensioner's patented wheelie bin 'Lid Lifter'.
Let's hope, for Mr Jones' sake that Joe Public has got
his gullibility. Don't get me wrong, I love potty
inventions, but the first USP of this one is it opens
the wheelie bin lid for you when you have a garbage bag
in each hand. Does anyone ever take two garbage bags to
the wheelie bin?
The second USP
I guess is that it saves you time. Like how many
thousand times would you have to open a wheelie bin to
equal the time it takes to unstring and restring this
gadget each time to bin men come? Good luck Mr. Jones.
saying that when politicians start to see the light at the end of the tunnel
they order more tunnel. The financial
drama in Europe and the USA this week seems to confirm the point. Back in the
lowly world wheelie bins we have Bedford council picking thousand pound fight
with anyone who leaves their wheelie bin on the street. Then we have residents in Manchester, whose
wheelie bins have been removed by that august council in favour of communal
bins, who are demanding their return.
much as the bureaucrats and politicians play their seemingly unavoidable
societal games, we have great examples of fanatical entrepreneurs using wheelie
bins to make their fortune. The fact
that they are both eccentrics, in the great British tradition, is irrelevant.
By the way it’s not just egomania that generates these little wheelie bin missives, although it helps. It appears that having changing written content on our front page assists our search engine position, keeping our volumes up and thus our wheelie bin prices down.
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