This piece was written for an ‘in house’ competition for one of the writing groups I am part of; it didn’t win but that’s OK. You can see the winner here if you would like – or dare to!
Although I don’t personally have the pleasure of using the new recycling wheelie bins, I sometimes hear the chatter of them; today for instance. I was picking at a few errant weeds in my front border when a quiet conversation weaved its way through the hedge and caught my attention, mainly because of the rather superior tone that was being taken.
“He always gets left out there, look at him, all black and dowdy, always last to be collected but then that’s understandable I guess.”
“You can be such a snob at times.”
“Excuse me, doesn’t my natural pedigree show, blue blood always comes to the top you know.”
“Well it’s blue and on the top but you are hardly something very much different…..”
“I beg your pardon,” the voice cut in, “I know you’re green with envy but have you seen my special compartments? You can’t deny that I’m here to provide the more valuable service, this bit in here, that bit in there and only the best of course, would you like to have a read of yesterdays Times?
“No thank you, I’m more of a Gardeners World reader.”
“Humm, I guess you are. Anyway, all the dirty rubbish gets passed on to him. All that black bag business and constantly smelling like some, well I don’t know what I’m just surprised I’m expected to stand next to him, he can get a little whiffy you know, saying that, so can you on a hot day; is there nothing you can do about yourself?”
“I’ll have you know I’m just as essential as you, I was specially purchased you know, not everyone has one like me, we are very particular who and what we service.”
“Well that’s just it isn’t it, you service whereas I’m a necessity, EU regulations don’t you know! You two have been around for years doing your best, but now I’m providing the new and most valuable service.”
“Watch out he’s coming back.”
I was almost tempted to pull back the bushes as see what was going on but didn’t want to be seen as the nosey neighbour. After a rumble and a scrape, the conversation continued.
“A good dump today was it?”
“I do have to say it’s nice to get rid of it, I think two weeks is a little long even with a good fitting lid like I’ve got but of course you don’t have to think about that in your cosy separated life do you?”
“Now now my good man, we all have our part to play, someone has to deal with the dross, and if the lid fits, or in your case not very well,…hahaha.”
Even I could see that this wasn’t very a kind attitude but another sound of movement dragged me away from the thought.
“See you later boys, I’m off to do my Special job, all that fresh-cut grass, mmmmm, sweet heaven.”
The voice faded and was soon accompanied by the gentle hum of a lawnmower. The remaining parties were quiet for a while and I was struggling to find any more weeds to remove but continued the pretence anyway.
“You can be quite harsh you know, even a dirty old thing like me has feelings you know.”
“Well, yes, I’m sorry, but it’s him, he’s itching to get in-between us, every time he goes out I dread that he’ll muscle his way back in and then where would be, we household chaps have to stick together don’t you know.”
“I do, but it’s still not very nice to listen to, you understand how I would be lost without you, how I managed all these years on my own I shall never know.”
“Now then you silly smelly old thing, you settle here next to me and I’ll sort the other one out, we can sit here quite nicely and sort out the troubles of the world together, I don’t think I could do it on my own if the truth be told.”
“Thank you Henry, you are so good to me.”
“That’s OK Bert, someone has to take charge so it might as well be me.”
Things went rather quiet but I had a picture in my mind of the two of them happily nestled in the corner of the yard quite happy in their own company. The haughty voice piped up again.
“I do wish you could straighten up those numbers though, they do rather let the side down… what, what?”
“Now then Henry, you know you like me being a little kinky, mmm?”
Back in my kitchen I tied off the top of the carrier bag that I used for rubbish and tossed it into the industrial sized steel bin in the communal area, the receptacle grunted it’s usual gruff thanks and I nodded in return.