In the dumps
It’s been raining every night after school this week or we’ve been out and about and it’s been too dark to do any Litter Ninja-ing of any sort, save for the odd can or Red Rooster bag I pick up as I’m passing by.
That said, there was one bit of litter that I did see – and smell – and passed by several times, stewing inside.
The street we live on backs onto the local high school and there’s tiny little grassy strip that cuts it in half to stop people from speeding and to confuse furniture and pizza delivery men. Two very unenthusiastic bottle brush trees live there, suffering from the regular clouds of cigarette smoke or from being leaned against during marathon snogging sessions from teenagers.
That’s just during the week. On the weekends, the trees are subject to having beer bottles smashed against their apathetic stabilising poles and a bit of illiterate scratching on their trunks and my tongs are used to gingerly pick up the scarier pieces of glass so that the kids can continue their Monday-to-Friday smoke-and-grope sessions in relative safety.
This time, the Loser Boozers had left an offering of a different kind; one that was much harder to pick up despite its size.
In fact it was so grand in stature that locals had begun to talk about it amongst themselves. Amy hurried young Patrick along, saying, “I don’t want him to get too close a look at it, but how can you not? Who on earth is capable of making such a thing?”
The thing was a human turd. Or big, brown, moist pyramid of excrement, oh-so-discreetly ‘covered’ with two men’s handkerchiefs, presumably used as wipes beforehand. This thing was so large it even threatened to overtake the community’s collective disgust and replace it with concern for the health of the person who laid such an awful egg. Had they survived? Were they able to walk again? Had the A&E Department been notified?
It was located in my designated Litter Ninja zone.
For three days I stewed, knowing that I could not ignore it and hope that it would go away. It was so immense that a village on its southern slopes had all but perished during a mud slide and Bert Newton was hosting a telethon on the northern side.
Our suburb is a peculiar mix of bogans, barristers and everything in between and frequently comes alive to the sound of renovations. Skip bins in Melbourne are everywhere and it appears to be an unspoken inevitability that the darkness brings out people from neighbouring weatherboard cottages, holding enormous IKEA boxes, busted microwaves, three-legged outdoor chairs and the traditional stained mattress.
Maybe I should contact some waste management expert to help me – their skips were already starting to mate and increase in number around my ‘hood like the urban equivalent of rabbits.....
......A couple of days later there other things on my mind besides the Chocolate Cheops four houses up. My editor hated the last article I submitted and actually said the words ‘big stick’ and ‘waste of my time’. My cholesterol level is now 7.4 (up from 6.5 the same time last year) and despite my regular runs I can no longer fit comfortably into the size 12 dress I was planning on wearing to a posh event later in the week and my little brother ended up in hospital.
Grabbing five shopping bags I strode up the street, whipping out some junk mail from Mr Divvy Van’s letterbox as I went. The papers sorta kinda covered the man mountain and the bags were used like big doggy doo gloves. Several layers later, the fifth bag was tied up and thrown into a nearby skip, with a nervous hope that the old sheet of corrugated iron that it landed on wasn’t going to pierce it....
After several OCD hand washes, I decided to phone Monash Uni’s neurological research unit as my sister-in-law had suggested. They were looking for people who suffered from regular migraines and depression to see if they could find a chemical as well as psychological link.
Would I be prepared to undertake a phone survey first, to determine if I’m a suitable candidate? Absolutely. Migraine symptoms, duration and frequency = definitely suitable.
Depression? Let me get back to you. Can I call you back, say later this afternoon after I’ve properly analysed the results and had a chat to my supervisor? Of course, knock yourself out. What do I care – I just hammer threw a two kilogram bag of poo into a skip!
Ring ring, ring ring, 3pm.
“Hi Kath, it’s Rebecca. We’ve had a look at your results and..... I’m really sorry, but you’re not suitable to participate our study.”
“Well.....,” she trailed off... “.....you’re too happy.”
And you know what? She’s right.