Confessions of an English Wheelie Bin Sniffer


Oh! Just, subtle, and mighty bins! That to the hearts of poor and rich alike, for the wounds that will never heal, and for ‘the pangs that tempt the spirit to rebel,’ bringest an assuaging balm; eloquent bins!
That with thy potent rhetoric stealest away the purpose of wrath; and to the guilty man, for one night givest back the hopes of his youth, and hands washed pure of blood…

If perusing the latest wheelie bin happenings on google ‘News’ throughout the month of April has taught us anything, it’s that the Metro are apparently running out of things to write about. In what can only be described as a Spring-time drought of wheelie bin related news, various outlets (though mainly the Metro guys), with cracked lips and rasping voices have been traversing the Sahara, thirsty for bin news, parched from lack of receptacle-press, desperately bleeding the same Oasis dry as sand falls from their weather beaten cheeks and the carrion vultures circle hungrily overhead. Regardless of The Metro’s fecklessness on this occasion (I mean come on team, the same article twice in the space of a week!), a pressing issue has indeed been raised and must be addressed: wheelie-highs and the dangers therein. Now I’m all for the everyman getting joy from a wheelie bin, after all, their primary function next to domestic waste-storage is to delight the human soul; the one thing I will not abide however is people setting bins ablaze so as to consume their very spirit essence in some ritualistic bin burning. Picture it now, the paved avenues of a quiet British suburb, oil lamps billowing in the night breeze as the shadows of wheelie-bins past morph through forms of terrible beauty. Local residents clad in dried leaves and tattered copies of The Mail gather in the cul-de-sac, household bins in tow as they prepare for conscious awakening and the bi-annual sacrifice to Imhotep. The tribal drums pound in the deep of Middle England as Mrs. Norris lays the sacrificial wreath at the foot of the 240 litre standard-household-size pyre. “Show us” the residents chime in psychedelic rapture as the soul-fire burns and the wheelie truth is inhaled deeply, ecstatically. In the far distance, plates gyrate as the Earth-Mother groans and you are destroyed entirely. Or something along those lines.

Whilst possibly less dramatic than this, articles in the Metro and Daily Star have brought to light the recent records of youngsters getting their “weird drug related kicks” by means of binhalation. On the surface I’ll admit this behaviour seems odd, though when viewed in the context of history these actions fall in line with many cultural modalities and rites of passage predating even the invention of the wheelie bin (if ever such a time even existed). Take for example the vision quests of the Native Americans (pre-Columbus), where long bouts of self-imposed sleep deprivation and fasting were used as a way to induce intense states of delirium. Far from being viewed as the actions of a maniacal bin-crazed pariah, these behaviours were the cultural norm for many years, often helping young men and women to find their place in life and in their immediate communities. Ancient cultures often contested the idea that perception is monophasic, an idea that is still prevalent in more isolated communities and one that often goes hand in hand with the use of psycho-active substances. With that said then I ask you: are these renegade bin-sniffers simply a post-industrialised attempt to reengage with our natural habitat? To understand oneself wholly in the context of the organic surroundings from whence you came, is that really so bizarre? How far detached from Nature we’ve come as a collective society where we would view breathing into one’s lungs the fumes of an incinerated wheelie bin as anything other than nourishing and proper behaviour. A cynical day indeed kind reader.

That is certainly one way to look at this – the other offers us a far more farcical take on humanities attempts to get on one throughout the sordid course of our inane history. The sad truth here is that for all the advancements in science, literature and the victories afforded us through a broader social awareness, humans are and always have been fatally single-minded creatures, and for as long as we’ve been walking this earth every culture and continent has had its sect of hopeful reprobates who dwell in that absurd place between brainless desire and simple-ingenuity. Put plainly, people are just as laughably idiotic now as we’ve ever been, the only difference is that in the modern world there’s more plastic to inhale.

So in the memory of those perennial binhalers, sleep-evaders and nutmeg sniffers – in the good name of those timeless and enduring dreamers who, in a way they couldn’t even begin to comprehend, represent all that is quintessentially human, we remember the age-old adage: “Humanity always finds a way”. A phrase which truly makes far more sense in this context.

Confessions of an English Wheelie Bin Sniffer

The Fires of Dundee

wheelie-bin-fire-window2The Fires of Dundee

The Fires of Dundee did rage and roar,
their tendrils kissed the lips of Humanities flaw,
their beginnings wrought disaster, and the treatises fall
as those bins became Martyrs when they called on us all.
From the fires they roared and they rallied the weak;
The Bins of Dundee, Saint’s of the meek.

I’m concerned for the future, Binthusiasts. There appears to be a particularly disturbing trend sweeping large swathes of these Great Isles of late; one that, if History has taught us anything, could bear frightful consequences too vast and terrible to imagine. I speak, of course, of random guys starting wheelie fires.
There’s random guys starting wheelie fires in Sunderland.
Some random guys starting wheelie fires in Nottinghamshire.
More random guys starting wheelie fires in Dundee.
A random guy is starting wheelie big fires in Pilkington Road, Kearlsey.
If the news stories are to be believed, hundreds upon hundreds of wheelie bin fires have been callously set in towns and cities across the United Kingdom, the endgame ostensibly being nothing more than a perverse need to gratify some sick bin-fire fetish. I believe it was Freud who first touched on the innate desire of human beings to make fire to their own wheelie bins in his conception of the ‘Receptacle Complex’, in his 1899 paper Interpretation of Dreams. Given, Freud was from a more savage time indeed, as it was commonplace thinking of late 19th Century Austrians to believe that people could actually own a wheelie bin. Those of us that have had the privilege of seeing the Wheelie-collective in all its natural splendour; that have beheld the wondrous sight of plastic forms frolicking gaily in the concrete meadows of Haydock, we know that Man can never truly own a wheelie bin. You can’t just go around setting wheelie bins on fire Freud, they have nerve endings.

The images that have been surfacing in local news outlets across the land are graphic, I warn all who would seek them out to do so with caution. One image published by the Evening Telegraph, depicting the wretched carcass of an innocent 240 litre standard household size as its innards lay strewn across the Dundee cobble like oil on water, truly captures the viciousness of these hateful acts. Labour Councillor Richard McCready has described the culprits as “idiots”. I hate to be contrary Mr. McCready, Sir, though I would take it a step further: these people are genius. In fact, to label them as idiots gives them far less credit than they deserve; they know all too well what they’re doing will further their dastardly agenda.
What agenda I hear you ask?
The total and complete subjugation of all wheelie bins by means of fire and carnage.
Now at this stage I should state that I’m not saying these fiendish cretins aren’t members of a covert multi-national organisation whose aims lie solely in the prevention of a wheelie bin coup d’etat that would shake the Earth to its very core, that much should be obvious. Let’s not, for arguments sake, assume that they’re not part of this secretive global network, which for the purposes of this exercise we won’t name The Cousinhood of Archibald Medley (or something not like that), then what is the alternative? Occam’s razor tells us that where more than one explanation exists for a situation, the simplest outcome is often the truth. So we now need to ask ourselves, seriously, what’s more likely: that hundreds of entirely unrelated people, completely independently of one another, in numerous counties across the entire United Kingdom, have been channelling into a wider universal consciousness and setting other people’s wheelie bins ablaze in what can only be described as an absolutely random-yet-synchronised human act of wheelie bin arson, OR, that there is in fact a clandestine Order dating back thousands of years that have made it their existential goal to eradicate all rebellious tendencies from the hearts and minds of wheelie bins across the globe. Think about it Binthusiasts, why would someone just set someone else’s bin on fire? What on earth would any normal person have to gain out of it? If not dramatically conspiratorial, then it’s just incomprehensibly odd behaviour.

We may be able to drill deeper down into the truth if we look at some of the journalism surrounding this story. Now as many of may be aware, it’s hard to know who to believe in this era of fake news where the lying and dishonest media run riot, spewing their hateful lie-mongering hysteria about things that, in many cases, have already been proven factually accurate. Liars and Swines. In this climate you need to know who you can listen to, and no-one quite comes as trustworthy as The Bolton News, with incisive headlines such as “Attacker called police to confess biting off man’s earlobe outside takeaway” and “Optician banned from practising after being jailed for filming women under desks and in toilets”. The outlet reported that firefighters have had ‘laser pens shone in their eyes as they attempt to tackle the spate of wheelie bin fires’, something that strikes me as hugely suspicious, given that laser pens are a form of advanced technology far beyond the comprehension of any individual that would choose to do fires in wheelie bins. Again, what’s the more likely scenario we’re looking at here? Laser pens, or laser mounted rifles? What sort of petty criminal would start a fire then just wait around for the emergency services to arrive so they can deter them with laser pens? What type of person would even… No, kind reader, this behaviour bears all the hallmarks of an elite strike team, a crack squad trained from birth with one goal in mind: to annihilate the wheelie bin race from the face of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester. If this is the case, as we have just established it definitely is, we need to ask ourselves who is involved here. I mean, did nobody else find it suspicious that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and all the other senior members of the Obama administration gathered in the situation room to watch Seal Team 6 take out Osama Bin Laden?
Bin Laden.
Bin.
It’s not a coincidence. Everything is connected.
How high does this conspiracy go? We may never know. All we can do is keep our wheelie bins safe and hidden until we can get to the bottom of this.

 

The Fires of Dundee

Ray Binstone

Ray Binstone
Ray Binstone: The Proper Naughty Waste-Receptacle Geezer

‘Proper Naughty’.
Hardly a term you would think could ever be associated with a perfectly innocent wheelie bin. Contemporary research shows, and this is according to all of your precious experts-with-acronyms, that public opinion on the disposition of wheelie bins is quite consistent across the land: they’re not crooks. In view of this newfound knowledge (again, knowledge that HAS actually been verified by all your so-called-experts), imagine my surprise when catching up with the weekly happenings, I find that a wheelie bin was one of the integral members of The Hatton Garden Heist gang. Naturally my first reaction was one of disbelief, so sure was I that this was yet another example of the lying, dishonest, FAKE-NEWS, left-eye media hysteria we’ve been seeing of late. Liars and swines. Sadly, reputable outlets with the biggest crowds such as the Bindependent and the hugely successful Breitbin News have reported the same, prompting the question to be asked: Why? For what reason did this bin side with these villains? What false promises did they make? Did the bin even join of its own volition? How was it coerced?
If we’re going to understand how a wheelie bin becomes a deviant these are questions we must answer.

Without justifying the criminal actions of this bin, undoubtedly there is something intoxicating about the image of a self-made bindividual that we must acknowledge; we need only look to the Dime Novels of the late 19th century to see the same cultural obsession with individual freedom driving the sales of paperbounds with all the tenacity of the white men they depicted. After all, there is a reason that the Cowboys who starred in these ephemeral little tales never actually do any proper cowboying: herding cows is incredibly mundane, and it’s not their first choice of profession. The thrill – ah yes the thrill – and the autonomy, sells very well indeed. This isn’t to say that contemporary British depictions of crime share many, or any, stylistic similarities with 19th century American depictions of cowboys, though the cultural success and recurrences of both does speak of something inherently human: the need, however pointless, to be self-governed. Is it fruitless? Possibly. And yet, we all would like to feed on fancy. What makes a wheelie bin so different?

Gazing out from the gutter where the wheelie bins lie,
gazing up and out and on, ever on.
There the wasteful constellations do beckon, and fly,
and sing only Fortune’s song.
Of riches and gain they wistfully chime
in unison, closer now, distinct from the sky;
for they are there too, those mortal crooks,
in the gutter where the wheelie bins shine.

On screen and on the page, crime is romance. Wheelie bins of all creeds are already a tragically underrepresented demographic in this genre, and the desire for fair and proportional coverage in the media is as strong as ever amongst the wheelie collective. Was this the act of a desolate bin merely trying to supplant itself into a role callously denied it by wider society? You tell me. At any rate let’s try something. Picture the complete Oeuvre of Ray Winstone; all of his films (don’t act as if you don’t know them all). Now replace every single shot of him with a two-wheeled bin. Mentally, as you read this right now, rewrite Ray Winstone’s entire life with a two-wheeled bin as the lead. And not just Ray Winstone the actor, but Ray Winstone the man too. Do it. Make Ray Binstone a reality. It’s not strange, it’s “an exercise”. The reason the images in your head seem so surreal is because the fake-news-media-films have conditioned you, ceaselessly for years, to believe that wheelie bins can’t be cockney. I know plenty of wheelie bins and, believe me folks, some of them do in fact hail within hearing distance of the bells of St Mary-le-Bow. Is it really any wonder that bins with so little, yet who have all the earthly gains imaginable paraded in front of them at every conceivable moment like some carnivalesque game-show, would subvert the prevailing ethics of the day to attain the very thing they’re told will make them happy? Think about it binthusiasts.

At a risk of romanticising criminality too much, I should stipulate here that absolutely anyone can break the law with minimum effort, just ask any daytime police programme. Regarder l’amalgame néfaste!:

You’ve got tall ones – The Longshank.
You’ve got short ones – The Minor Fret.
You’ve got old ones – The Weathered Rook.
You’ve got cerebral ones – The Subliminal Criminal.
You’ve got obtrusively humorous ones – Snatch Adams.
You’ve got that one guy that likes doing stuff to your toothpaste tubes – Minty Winters.
You’ve got sleepy ones – The Somnolence.

All it takes is doing some stuff and undertaking some actions, physically, with your body, that have been predefined as unlawful. ‘The hand is now using the fingers to grasp and pick this thing up. The hand is now moving toward the pocket of the trousers and whoops – in goes that item, into that pocket. That is a thing that has happened now. The hand and fingers have now done a crime.’ Being a hardened geezer-individual however, that requires a more conscious approach. It’s hard graft. It’s melancholy-fuel. It’s a drunken Steve McFadden’s guttural whisper as he comes at you with a taciturn fury all too often found in the bowels of the inebriated hard man.
Suffice to say, it’s difficult. That said, you put in the graft, knuckle down, persevere and buy the right clobber, there’s no reason you too can’t aspire to those gruffest of heights. You do have to question whether this was the thinking that ultimately led to this bins Shakespearian downfall. Oh the hubris of bin.

Ray Binstone

Down and Out in Paris and Gloucester

Elderly Couple Gloucester
For all that is inherently just and good in the modern-day wheelie bin, there is one emotion that even the most devout fanatics must admit isn’t generally elicited by their voluptuous little wheelies and that’s Love. Now let’s get one thing abundantly clear from the start: nobody is saying that wheelie bins are not in themselves capable of feeling and reciprocating love on a conceptual level. Nobody is saying that. In fact, contrary to common belief, wheelie bins are extraordinarily affectionate creatures by nature. In the wilds of Haydock where the wheelie bins are, a culture based on nurturing and camaraderie can be seen throughout the wheelie-collective (group terminology for bins), regardless of colour, size, preferred types of litter (receptacle orientation) or political alignment. Habitually speaking, it’s not out of character for an 1100-litre matriarch to cautiously meander the serpentine lanes of the shipping warehouse, a concerning eye on the hunt for any cheeky 80 litre binnies that have scampered away from the fold to lark carelessly in the concrete meadows of Unit 5.

To go there,
to spy those fields of boundless concrete
is a sight indeed;
that implausible place where bins do roam.

Of all the powerful feelings these docile little bins evoke in us (frustration, gratitude, a pensive and pervasive melancholy), love has never really come to the fore… until now *que Rom-Com voiceover artist dramatising forbidden bin love*. For an elderly couple in Gloucester, a simple wheeled bin from humble beginnings proved to be the catalyst for love in the twilight of their lives. Four decades ago Joan Neininger, now 88, first met 89-year-old Ken Selway when she saw him looking through bins on her street for food. Ken’s blasted pride meant he wouldn’t accept charity or handouts from anyone, forcing Joan to devise a binny little ruse-scheme to pass him food with the assistance of an obliging 240-litre wheelie bin, most probably a green one. Joan would leave sandwiches inside the valiant 2-wheeler for Ken to find, pride still intact. Eventually, and with much effort on the part of Mrs. Neininger and our two-wheeled vigilante of love, Ken finally agreed to enter the home of Joan and her then husband for a meal. What followed was a relationship with the couple that would span decades, with Joan referring to the time as a “little paradise – just Ken, Norman and me”.

Heart-warming, right? It would be if not for the warning in my own heart; a warning of failure (not cardiovascular but journalistic). The travesty of this “news” is that whilst it’s clear to everyone involved that the 240-litre bin is the protagonist, many so called media outlets have shirked this, reporting the story instead with a frankly disgraceful amount of focus being afforded to the “couple” and their so called “loving relationship” and how it’s “spanned four decades”, “defying the odds in Gloucester” without so much as a cursory mention of the 240-litre bin, its life or vocational aspirations. By Ken’s own words, he openly admits that he “probably would not be here now if it wasn’t for her leaving those sandwiches in the bin”.
The bin.
The bin.
And yet you expect us to just believe that your portrayal of events is accurate when you haven’t even told us what color the bin is. Imagine, if you would, that North Korea detonate a nuclear warhead this year. The liberal-feel-goodery-news-media flashes on, the reporter stoically reads “North Korea have successfully detonated a nuclear warhead on some country. In other news, look how long this couple from Gloucester have been together for.” Similar. Indeed we’re only referring to it as a 240-litre because as you well know mister that’s the standard size for households. It could just as easily be a jaunty 140-litre or a robust 360-litre Bin Diesel, yet that doesn’t concern you does it? Indeed, why bother with an accurate conveyance of the metric at all when you can simply use the story to espouse your own liberal media agenda. Everyone wants the lovey-dovey, peanut-butter and jelly news, nobody wants the lukewarm, wholesome, tinned-sardines truth about a wheelie bin’s units of measurement, is that it? How very cynical of you.

Naughty media. Lying and dishonest media. Bad, naughty media outlets. Fake news. You are fake news. You are Fake News. Sad.

Down and Out in Paris and Gloucester

News and comment 16/11/2016- Dacre before the horse

 

In a particularly newsworthy week, it’s nice to see that the Daily Mail have their priorities sorted out. This week’s bin news and comment stems from the tabloid’s calm and measured discussion of what it calls ‘THAT PHOTO’. “What photo?” I hear you ask. ‘THAT PHOTO’ of course. There’s no need for a modicum of context; it’s ‘THAT PHOTO,’ and if you don’t know what ‘THAT PHOTO’ is by now then you may as well give up you out-of-the-loop cretin.

I’m ashamed to admit thorse-running-on-the-beach-wheelie-bin-stickers-panel-green-500x500hat I am very much an out-of-the-loop cretin, as I was initially ignorant of the photo-that-needs-no-introduction. I cast my mind to various possibilities: could it possibly be that stark image of Obama’s ethnically diverse staff, frowning stoically at Donald Trump as he visited the Whitehouse as president elect? Or perhaps the picture of said president elect- the apparent epoch of the anti-establishment- standing smugly in a golden elevator with Kermit the Farage. Well, as it turns out, my thinking was too narrow. Because THAT PHOTO, as I’m sure you’re very much aware, was obviously the photo of a drunk 23-year-old woman at a horse race in Melbourne pretending to ride a wheelie bin like a horse.

Upon viewing the photo, it all became so clear. Clearly this was THE photo; an image, or should I say icon, that will outlive us all. A picture may speak a thousand words, but Paul Dacre thinks that an image should speak two thousand words, so the image is accompanied by a thousand more words; words such as ‘tiny blue dress,’ and ‘antics’ and ‘shame.’ Quite what a 23-year-old Australian woman is doing being drunk at an event that gives out free champagne is so mystifying that the Mail felt the need to publish photos from every single conceivable angle just so its grateful readers really know what they’re dealing with.

And what they’re dealing with is a woman, a DRUNK woman, in a TINY blue dress, riding a WHEELIE BIN, like a HORSE!!!!!.

News and comment 16/11/2016- Dacre before the horse

News and comment 04/10/2016-Chariots of ire.

 

With great effort, Margaret prises her eyes open. An eerie light is piercing her blinds, and her bedside table is shaking violently. She manages to squint and just about register her jittering alarm clock before it dances off the side and crashes to the floor: 3:30 am. Mustering the courage to squint through her blinds, she sees, and suddenly, enveloped with dread, she understands. A horde of dark shadows, moving ever closer. The light begins to flash now, faster and faster, resembling a warning light, or a strobe. Rise of the Valkyries inexplicably starts playing from her tinny radio, and then, over the swelling crescendo, she hears those hallowed words: ‘DOOWN IT FRESHHEEER!’15574344-large

Yep, get to the bomb shelters unsuspecting residents, it’s that time of year again! The time of year where young people all over the country get to embrace new levels of academic rigour, finally discovering like-minded minds to discuss hermetic intricacies with over a game of chess and a nice cup of tea. Or, perhaps more typically, finally discovering like-minded minds to bellow 90’s pop songs down suburban streets at half three in the morning over dangerously cheap Sambuca shots.

The freshers have arrived, and, as always, they have graciously invited street furniture along for the ride. Though it’s not just the traffic cones; it seems that this year wheelie bins are getting in on the action. The Lincolnshire echo reports that barely a week after thousands of students arrived in Lincoln for the start of the academic year, locals have been ‘plagued by students chariot racing with empty wheelie bins.’ One of the students in question recently proclaimed that this is merely a noble if slightly abstract effort to drag the Oxford boat race into the 21st century, but to be fair he was a pretty pissed at the time.

Some residents of Lincoln have started the ‘Shush’ campaign, hoping to reintroduce ‘silent nights’ to the area, but these efforts have been branded a waste of time. Many residents now enjoy putting the early hours in which they are awake to good use, by reflecting contentedly on the spiralling debt and dire housing prospects these young folk will one-day have to face, before laughing diabolically and sticking the kettle on.

 

News and comment 04/10/2016-Chariots of ire.

News and Comment- 18/08/2016

Main-man-creates-his-own-EU-border-crossing-with-wheelie-bins-asking-people-for-passports

 

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…

 

News and Comment- 18/08/2016