Opinion: A wheelie good story

THE wheelie bin, that two-wheeled plastic monstrosity we've been brainwashed to use to weekly decorate our front lawns, has interfered with our relationship with the bloke we've been educated to call a garbologist.

His early counterpart used to jump the front fence, collect your rubbish, kick the dog and include your throwaways with the rest of the stuff in his truck.

He became part of the family, even if the dog didn't think so, and was left a full bottle with the empties at Christmas.

Nowadays he's hidden away in his truck operating levers that - if you've wheeled out the right coloured bin on the right day with the right stuff inside and placed it right side around in the right place - will toss it in with everybody else's.

Few get to know him well enough to put him on their Christmas list.

His predecessor was able to give you a credit rating. From the contents of your bin he could tell how you were travelling financially.

An empty Moet bottle, fr'instance, would be a fair indication the bank manager needn't be worried.

A surfeit of empty baked beans tins, though, would suggest that either the wife was away or it was a long time until pay day.

From the cabin of his truck, the modern garbologist doesn't get to see what you have in your bin so you can't ask him for a reference.

Apart from other rubbish, the wheelie bin is used for stories - mostly ribald.

One of the less lurid tells of the collection truck driver who when the wheelie bin was missing from the front lawn asked the male householder, "Where's ya bin?"

"On holidays," he's told.

"I mean where's ya wheelie bin?"

"In jail. I just tell people I've bin on holidays."

Enid, a Lismore woman, has built a close relationship with her wheelie bin.

She had it parked on the driveway below where she was on a high wall throwing weeds down into it.

That was until she slipped and went feet first into the bin.

It took off down the steep driveway with her hanging on like Queen Boadicea off to war in her chariot.

Yep, the wheelie bin has certainly changed our lives.

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