Disaster! We have missed the rubbish collection.
Mr B, who is In Charge of Dustbins, is distraught that his fail-safe method
of remembering Bin Day, has, well, failed. What is more, while generally our bins are never more than a third full, what with the weekend party, both are over-flowing. The Bin Men cometh and we never saw them. Both our bins (the general waste bin with the
grey lid and the recycling bin with its blue lid) remain in their designated spot by the garage, unmoved by the catastrophe.
Mr B is in denial. What is more he
is keen that I should know that None of This Was His Fault. You can probably tell the direction in which this conversation was heading...
Here is how Mr B's fail-safe
method works. Firstly there is the leaflet, helpfully provided by the Borough Council, which lives in the front of our desk diary. The leaflet, not the Borough Council, don't be silly. This links to a scruffy post-it note which resides on the kitchen work
surface, next to the kettle. There is a message on the scruffy post-it note (which I am not allowed to move, on pain of death or, at the very least, divorce) written, in blue felt tip pen: "Put Rubbish Out."
Every morning and every evening - indeed every time he puts the kettle on - Mr B sees the post-it note and asks himself: "Is it today / tomorrow?" Fail-safe, you see?
Except that in the heat of party preparations I tidied away the desk diary and cleared the kitchen surfaces of stray mugs, slow cookers, packets of biscuits - and various post-it notes. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
For the next seven days we will be unable to create any more rubbish. We shall have to be like a woman I saw on TV once, who held up a small sandwich bag containing all the
rubbish she had collected over a whole year, everything else having been disposed of in some remarkably environmentally-conscious way. It could be very good for us if only I could (i) work out how to do it and (iI) summon up the energy.
For starters we shall have to eat up every scrap of food on our plates. There is no room for leftovers. We shall have to build a compost heap for our potato peelings. We will donate
all our empty cereal packets and yoghurt pots to the local play group so that the littl'uns have plenty of materials from which to fashion ocean-going liners, Jumbo jets and other forms of transport. We are happy for them to keep them, we won't want anything
back, oh no. They will be free to carry their creations triumphantly home to their ever-grateful parents.
We will make use of the envelopes from our letters as
scrap paper. We will Return to Sender all the junk mail which lands on our door mat. We will make papier mâché models out of our daily newspapers and exhibit them at the local community centre, with exorbitant price tags attached. We won't expect
to sell any of them but if we did, it would be a bonus. Indeed, a miracle.
Mr B has found the calendar and retrieved the scruffy post-it note. Next week, normal
service will be resumed.
Hurrah for the Bin Men. We are lost without you...