When it comes to geopolitical conceits and topical sociological issues you’d think that bin news wouldn’t be a particularly rich vein to plumb. Well, my presumptuous reader- (or am I being presumptuous in assuming that anyone is actually reading this?)- you would be wrong. Last month we discussed the septic sensationalism of the Brexit and Bremain campaigns, albeit through the lens of a t’riffic little tale about a traffic warden and a wheelie bin. And now- post-Brexit- in this period of eerie uncertainty, that beleaguered calm after the storm, we turn to bin news once more, for an altogether splendid illustration of the whole damn debacle.
The mirror reports that just three days after the Brexit vote, 22-year-old Matthew White (later described by a judge as ‘well in drink’), used wheelie bins to create his own ‘EU border crossing’ on a UK street, demanding that passers-by brandish their British passports in order to pass through. Funnily enough, the man he eventually head-butted had the most English name imaginable, but the victim- Mr Carrington Hunt- didn’t really go for this sort of nonsense, thank you very much. The first thing I can take from this story is that I now feel obliged to introduce the phrase ‘well in drink,’ into my everyday lexicon. It makes drunkenness sound like some sort of place that you accidentally stumble to through no fault of your own. ‘Oh, don’t mind Steve, he’s well in drink. Even with fair weather he probably won’t find his way out till Tuesday.’
Mr White crudely constructed his barrier out of ‘wheelie bins, bits of fencing, a push chair, and children’s play equipment.’ Given how last few months has seen many people condense complex ideas into childish mental images of rudimentary blockades- as well as very much throwing their toys out of the proverbial pram- it’s almost as Matthew has intentionally fashioned a spectacular conceptual art piece: ‘I AM BREXIT MANIFEST- WITNESS ME!’
We are all now, of course, living Matthew’s hangover. The cold light of day is giving us a bit of a headache, and as texts messages start to flood in, we have to ask ourselves the question ‘what exactly did we do last night?’
Of course, as a nation it seems we agree that the only sensible next step is to employ the standardised, tried and tested hangover tactic: turn the phone off, put the kettle on, and hope it all goes away…