Friday, August 06, 2010

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.”
“How come?”
“Well.....,” she trailed off... “’re too happy.”

And you know what? She’s right.


drb said...


You, Litter Ninja, deserve a standup ovation!!!!

hmmm, have to allocate a symbol for clapping.
hug - o
kiss - x
clap -?

Does anyone know?

Cat J B said...

Crickey, that's really gross. You're a better person than me Kath, I'd be ringing the council to get that mountain removed.

You know, I heard about that headache study thing and thought of you....glad to know you're too happy though, that's a great diagnosis :)

Kath Lockett said...

Aw thanks Drb! One other person knows and strangely she's not so keen to shake my hand...

Thanks Cat JB. Poo and Personal Peaks in one day!

Vanessa said...

You are amazing! I would have considered taking a shovel and burying it, not possible?
Hope your brother is better.
As for the running and not fitting into your dress, well you have made me feel better about only making one of my running classes this week, as I sit here squeezed into a size 12 skirt. I have heard that antidepressents can have an effect on your weight. Stay happy regardless of the size of your bum :)

River said...

Hosting a telethon on the northern side?
That Bert Newton manages to get himself on everything!!

I might have thrown a bucket of wood chips or other mulch over it, instead of picking it up. Yuk!
My hat goes off to you, Litter Ninja Queen.

Love the pictures.

River said...

P.S. How's your brother? Everything okay there?

@drb; clap = () ? Two hands coming together?

Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath

Kath is Oz's greatest Ninja
She's known throughout the land
Every Aussie knows her name
But nobody wants to shake her hand!

(slightly plagiarised there).

There is no way on EARTH I would have gone near it with anything less than a hand grenade - actually that could have been bad too.




Elisabeth said...

What a fantastic post, Kath.

You can talk about the most grotesque things imaginable and have me guffawing onto my keyboard and all the time the rest of me sighs a little for your pain, notwithstanding the fact that you failed to participate in the depression study because you are too happy.

I relish reading about the roller coaster of your life. It screams 'home-truths' at me that I never dreamed could be contained in words alone.


Lidian said...

How amazing and brave are you! Lots. Lots more than I would have been.

I had to dispose of a dead bird once from our yard, when the girls were little and playing out there, AND my DH was NOT going to rush home midday to help. Still recovering from this, 10+ years later!

You are truly fabulous and I hope everyone appreciates it!

Oh, good captcha today, you could use it right in your post! -


As in: Adowarnu pick that horrid thing up and dispose of it, but I will anyway.

Baino said...

OMG you deserve a community service medal frankly. Too happy? What's that got to do with migraine. I'll never understand, makes you wonder about the results of research when they're so picky about their subjects. Surely it skews results .

Pandora Behr said...

I applaud you - I couldn't of done that - even changing the brown nappies on my nephews makes me want to puke. You're amazing.
Great blog - as always.

Anji said...

All of that poo and you're still happy.

Our local pooer has taken to leaving presents on benches. Big ones too, perhaps they are so proud of their 'work' they have to show them off to the world.

Kath Lockett said...

Vanessa.... you know (blushing profusely)...I never even *thought* about using a shovel. Would have made things a lot easier! I'm feeling particularly blonde now....

River.... never thought of wood chips or mulch either. Maybe I have a death wish (or is that a shit wish?)

Oh and little brother is OK but has a very sore throat and a big scare. A chunk of steak got lodged in his throat - not his windpipe but further down. He's since found out that his oesophagus has 'side pockets' and 'rings' which'll make more blockages likely, so has been booked in to see a specialist to sand blast it smooth. Or something like that, poor little bugger.

Plastic Mancunian, can I use that poem for next year's council grant?

Thank you Elisabeth. Despite my silliness, I always hope that you can tell the 'home truth' in the writing of it. I've realised that fiction isn't my thing; real life is.

Love the word, Lidian. 'Adowarnu' certainly came into play today when I caught up with Milly who was busily rolling on the grass beside the fence of the school oval ..... on two 'filled' and used condoms!

Baino, what they were saying was that my psychological profile shows that I'm happy; I don't suffer severe depression (anymore). Migraines are still there, but my (very honest) answers show that the depression (or symptoms) just ain't strong enough. It's a rejection that is pretty good news to get.

Pandora, I have to regularly pick up Milly's poos in our back garden as well as 3 years of wiping Sapphire's backside, so maybe I'm immune to it all now.

Anji, you have park bench poo-ers in sophisticated, beautiful France? On park benches? That's taking it to another level!

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deepkickgirl said...

Well, that's good news isn't it. It's nice to know you're too happy for a depression study.

The poo thing is disgusting but believable. The teenagers who use my kids' primary school as a weekend hangout have left such "gifts" in the past. Disgusting creatures.

Keep up the good Ninja work [BTW I cleaned up all the floating rubbish in the school playground last week as I waited for my darlings and not one other parent helped... what's that about?].

Lad Litter said...

"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"

That is GOLD, Kath! Solid gold.

Kath Lockett said...

Deep Kick Girl, I don't know either. I've often had 'spectators' as I do my ninja-ing and they neither smile or frown, let alone offer to help. I'm assuming that they think I'm a different species or slightly retarded or a combination of the two.

Thanks Lad Litter - I was kinda proud of that line myself...(blushing profusely)

Thanks 偉曹琬 - I try!

iODyne said...

if there is a next time and I hope not, just take a bucket of earth from somewhere else and COVER, instead*** of remove, the ordure.
But we haz pride in your steely resolve to carry out your community duties. I HATE broken glass and pick it up wherever I see it, thinking of the poor dogs who might stand on it.

*** now I see others have suggested this one.

I used to get migraines fortnightly and spend 12 hours in pethidine induced coma. then, sold house and moved interstate - never had another one. so bizarre.
Maybe it was caused by new carpet, new paint, renovating, damned if I know. but they stopped.
Wishing you even more happiness.