Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hard Rubbish Hatin'

In most councils in Adelaide, you're given one or two days a year to leave out any unwanted 'hard rubbish' on the kerb for their truck to come and take it away for you. Every September, my neighbourhood is festooned with ancient dryers, dead VCRs, dodgy gas stoves, busted rattan chairs, mattresses, Commodore 64 computer monitors and broken card tables.

This annual event is closely followed with the nocturnal visits by the trash-n-treasure trolls, who apprise themselves of the 'nicer' council districts' hard rubbish weeks and have an opportunitist sift through the debris. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - if things can be used by another person/household/shed and not end up in landfill, but it was a bit awkward a couple of years ago seeing two beanie-clad bogans nearly end up in a fist fight over who was the first to clap their occy-straps on an ancient sideboard. (I had to offer them each a handful of mandarins from the tree in the front yard to distract them).

As such, most of us are happy enough to see the streets looking shabby for a couple of weeks a year, but not when slackos dump their useless crap out every weekend hoping that someone will find it attractive enough to remove for them.

Every street has such a neighbour, and our amiable avenue is no different. He is, though. A very odd little chap. He lives with his rarely-seen wife and two tiny daughters in a corner house with a backyard just big enough for a clothesline and his kids' swing set out in the front garden, along with a dozen water-filled coke bottles strewn on the lawn to deter dogs or cats from excreting there. Not that he'd catch them in the act as each window has those oh-so-gorgeous shutters with the wind-up handles and they are always closed. Like Nicole Kidman's character in 'The Others', no daylight is to touch them or they instantly turn into dust, or become sane or attain the ability to visit the rubbish dump or something.

Anyhoo, it is he who believes that he can place four broken chipboard drawers from a 1970's dressing table out on the footpath in May and hope that someone takes a fancy to them. Or as the above photo attests, his clapped out air-conditioner with a dud DVD player placed on top of it as an added bonus.

Perhaps I should not have particularly high expectations of someone who drives a lime green Gemini that he leaves out in the street in the evenings with each door locked up but with all the windows open. Sure it's a vehicle that doesn't appeal to the average auto thief (or functioning human being), but it sure as hell encourages the average drunken derro on his way back home from the pub - via a pit-stop at our nearby Maccas - to sling his half-slurped thickshake and McChicken wrappers into what appears to be an electric-booger-coloured rubbish bin.

He never says hello to me, so I now make an even greater point of cheerily calling out 'Hello there' every morning as he walks his daughters and I walk my daughter to school: we're only two houses away from each other for Lindt's sake! This gregarious Gonad frowns at my dog and pulls his kids closer to him if Sapphire so much as glances in their direction. Despite this and his hard rubbish 24/7/365 tendencies, he certainly doesn't arouse anything remotely as interesting as dislike or anger within me. No, I reserve that for folk like David Koch, Brian Harradine or that funny-as-death git called Ryan on the 'Rove' telly show.

However Gonad Guy had clearly got right up the nose, firmly into the sinus cavity and was tapping on the back of the eyeballs of the man on the next corner block. From what I know, this man is extremely well off - his primary-school aged kids attend the poshest establishment in Adelaide even though their home - a brand new, sickly cream brick, boxy monstrosity known all over as 'The Mausoleum,' looks directly out on to Sapphire's beautiful school oval. He owns a famous continental gourmet store that frequently gets media attention and raves from famous chefs, and seems to have more than his fair share of childcare, gardening and cleaning help.

One day, Gonad Guy left a cheap plastic outdoor chair out on the footpath with the lazy hope that some poly-cretinous, mono-synaptic half-wit would take it. Said chair languished there for weeks, getting gradually covered in a fetching coat of Magpie droppings, bottle-brush strands and street dust. Not surprisingly, one of the Maccas-munching drunkards picked up the chair one night and, eventually discovering that it only had three legs, staggered onwards a few paces and discarded it in front of Mr Mausoleum's property.

Surely Mr Mausoleum's 'help' would dispose of the chair, or find room for it within their expansive garage/indoor pool/outdoor gym/entertainment/mini-skip storage area? But no - Mr M flung the chair back to Gonad's house, with a hand-written message on the back of it:

Closer inspection reveals the extent of his annoyance:
Crikey! I'm bloody glad he didn't see the sneaky crap that Milly did in his agapanthus plants....!


eleanor bloom said...

Jeezus! I would have been too scared to even take a photo of that! What if one of the rich b**tard's minions happened to be out with a pair of tweezers picking the aphids off the old-world roses or something!

I really don't know which of them is scarier.
And it appears such a pleasant neighbourhood...

Highly amusing post yet again Kath. Although my aching sides have only just recovered from the guffawing instigated by the grass-covered, homosapien, Chiko roll dude. You now hit me with 'poly-cretinous, mono-synaptic half-wit'. Ahh. Brill.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Eleanor. It *is* a nice neighbourhood, but I suspect that there might be a 'history' between the two boneheads.

As for 'poly-cretinous, mono-synaptic half-wit', it was invented by my father (high school biology teacher) and myself on a long boring car trip when he was trying to teach me how unimaginative it was to resort to common swear words. OMG and how's this for the word verification - FECKTHS!

Homo J. Sapien said...

Tee Hee! I reckon the bloke that wrote on the chair would love blogging.

Last hard rubbish I put out a broken washing machine and an electric stove. 5 minutes later a fella came and took the washing machine. 10 minutes later a bloke came and took the stove, and whinged when I told him he missed the WM by 5 minutes. Grumpy weird bastards everywhere.

Love the hard rubbish. I have family members who find old TVs and bring it home, marvelling at their good fortune. "Why would someone throw out a perfectly good telly?" they say. Sure it looks good, until they plug it in and realise it doesn't actually work, that's the best bit.

And my Q is a big fan of the HR and loves having a partner with a ute. "Oooh look! There's a chaise lounge over there!" Yes. A rotting wicker chaise lounge that you can't sit on for fear of falling through it and takes up half the front garden until you throw it out at the next HR.

I think there's a few posts in hard rubbish. They actually made it illegal for the public to pick it up in Victoria (doesn't stop anyone, though there are more "midnight missions" that before). Please don't tell me the fun nazis have infiltrated S.A. as well.

Homo J. Sapien said...

Ooh I forge the best one. Q saw a nice old kitchen cabinet up the road once, but I put my foot down and told her she was on her own. She took off at midnight (like any good Victorian hard rubbish burglar), and brought it home with the aid of a two wheel trolley thing, very proud of herself. Now it turned out to reinforce my theory that often things are thrown out for a reason other than that they don't like the look of it anymore and/or have purchased a superior replacement. This cabinet was completely infested with pantry moth!

We threw out hundreds of dollars of grub infested food over the next few years until I finally convinced Q that perhaps it wasn't so great to have a food-eating insect riddled food storage facility in the kitchen. I initially felt like a prick for not helping her, but vindication was worth the wait (for potentially smug bastards like me)!stwvblg

Homo J. Sapien said...

The "stwvblg" is a failed attempt at your work verification code.

It also translates to "My third glass of Maker's Mark finest quality aged Kentucky Whiskey on the rocks".

Baino said...

Not enough *'s in f**king! Clearly Mr M cannot spell!

Our local council has switched to Cleanaway as the contractor and now we have to call them when we want a pickup rather than assigned days. I think it's better otherwise the scabs come around and like you, I don't mind them taking what they want but then they leave everything strewn all over the nature strip and tear through any plastic bags of rubbish. As a consequence, my verandah has a variety of items ready for the toss . . .I never seem to get around to the phone call! can I borrow poly-cretinous, monosynaptic half wit please?

Anonymous said...

"Please don't tell me the fun nazis have infiltrated S.A. as well."

I believe it's illegal in SA as well.

I've only gone out on a deliberate scrounge once, when a friend whose parents live in Burnside told us tit was that time of year. We went half out of curiosity, but came back with a car full of goodies. For students who've just moved out of home and are looking to furnish their new digs, I can recommend it!

I also have a very nice hi-fi system that someone left on the verge in Medindie - turntable, CD player, tuner, amp and cassette deck, plus some speakers that a sound engineer friend regards with envious eyes.

The Prince of Centraxis said...

It's the form of suburban 'reality' you're describing - where everyone likes to judge everyone else and no-one is really happy or content - that made me leave Adelaide & all cities.

Rubbish? Trolls? You don't know many poor people, do you?

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Hey Kath, if you wanted BE credits, you could have just asked for them...I mean, why go through the battle and waste the time? ;)

I've favorited you on EntreCard, so I'll be dropping now every day. Congrats in advance for your BotB win.

Kath Lockett said...

HomoJ - our previous dryer was a hard rubbish find that Love Chunks managed to fix up and did a good job for nearly a decade. I also found a couple of kid-sized outdoor chairs that Sapphire still uses for her outdoor tea parties.

Anon - yeah, posh old Medindie would be the ideal place for a HR rummage. Our old sofa from my student days came from a politician's house in Hackney. We referred to it as the 'Jennifer Cashmore'. Whatever happened to her? The pollie I mean, not the sofa - that died in my father's shed.

Er, 'Prince of Centraxis' - rubbish, trolls etc. This is just a light-hearted blog, not rocket science or an urge to embrace all that's spiritual and 'centraxy'. Pop your druid's hood back on and calm down mate.

MattJUrban - I like your blog too -makes me realise how much more I'd like to travel; if only from the safety of my computer screen! You must be up at some weird hour to be writing to me at this time of night, surely?

suzette said...

Wow! That rich guy is not afraid of voicing out his anger. I am not the type that would voice this out - even when the neighbour (dunno who!) keeps bringing their dog to shit at our house, EVERYDAY! I wish I have the guts like this rich man!

BTW, today's BOTB is a tough choice for me... both you and eastcoast are my favourite bloggers in BOTB. Perhaps I don't vote this time. Will sure give you my vote the next round. :)

Spicy Bug said...

HAHAHAHA Your neighbor needs some anger management! I have to admitt tho, I do get tired of picking peoples trash up from my yard. This post had me laughing : )

Anonymous said...

BAHAHAHAA Kath that was SO funny. I love a good hard rubbish rummage. Last year I borrowed a ute and went trawling the streets of Mitcham and Springfield in a black beanie and black clothes - i've never laughed so much in my life. it was awesome. PLUS, i furnished my ENTIRE house with stuff. You should ring the council when that wanker dumps stuff on his curb - outside of hard rubbish times, i'm pretty sure it's illegal and he will get a big fat fine. P.S - am DYING to know who the rich guy is....

Kath Lockett said...

THanks Suzette, Spicy and the (nice, not evil 'Hey Hey it's Esther Crapburger') Anonymous!

Noticed today that Gonad Guy has had all of his 'treasure' on the footpath taken, except for one brown vent. Not quite sure I understand the value in a busted air conditioning unit... Now if it had been some wooden chairs, bookshelves or pot plant holders, I would understand...

ashleigh said...

Hmmm long car trips. We've only managed GUMBY DOOFUS (quite unimaginative really), though 3 letter I spy tends to rather tax the imagination of the wee gentlemen...

Strange neighbours you have. As the saying goes, "nowt queer as folk".