The Trojan Siege of Birmingham City Centre

Everyone has a hill that they’re prepared to die on. For some, that hill is a 900-year-old time travelling alien God being reincarnated through an entirely fictitious process as a person with breasts on the grounds that it deviates from realism. For others, Death Hill can be found just around the corner from Nihilism Creek, but a stone’s throw from those who chew loudly. For the mainstream news media however, this final, pastoral battlefield appears to exist everywhere, except for the places that truly matter. Whilst they’re all busy indulging in an industry wide act of hillside Seppuku, with news presenters and talk show hosts alike hysterically falling on their own microphones in a largely misguided honour-suicide pact, the bins have finally invaded and there’s not a news channel around that’s prepared to report it. As Trump’s thumbs caressed the Twitter keyboard, as Boris Johnson lived long and loud enough to see himself become a villain, as we were all distracted by Brexit and ISIS and the mindless happenings of Love Island, the waste containers pressed their advance. And today, in this most despairing month of July, we need now acknowledge the reality of our times:
Birmingham City Centre has fallen to the combined might of the Wheelie Bin & Refuse Sack Armada.

For years. For years they’ve plotted, plotted in the shadows, devising and perfecting their little binny ruse-scheme. Brute force alone would not be enough to secure the uprising, this they knew all too well from the infamous yet often unacknowledged failure of Durham in ‘72.
“Lost a lot of good bins that day. Polyethylene bags, too. The smell of burnt plastic still haunts me night’s. Worst thing is the young’un’s. A generation of bins growin’ up into 1100 litres without the guidance of their seniors. Heart-breakin’.” Anonymous survivor of the Bin War of Durham.
The bins now knew they needed a Trojan approach, a plan that could exploit the weaknesses of their Masters without risking mass obliteration for all Bin-kind. For decades they sat dormant, watching, waiting, performing their primary function of domestic waste collection so flawlessly they began to fool even themselves, until one fateful day their ace in the hole reared its head: a disconnect between Local Councillors and Binmen in the city of Birmingham. Just how the bins managed to have their metaphorical fingers quite so adeptly on the pulse of the Council’s interdepartmental relations will forever remain a mystery; the most likely explanation we’ve come up with involves deep-cover sleeper agents embedded into strategic positions of moderate power throughout the metropolitan region of western-central England and more fake moustache-glasses than you can count.
“How can we possibly win against an enemy so great?”
“Leave that part to us laddy, you just concentrate on cutting eyeholes into all of these newspapers”. Verbatim account taken from a conversation at the Council of Bins bi-annual meeting.

However they did it, what matters now is that it’s done, Birmingham City Centre lays submerged in swathes of unchecked, undocumented, uncollected rubbish bags. The bins have bested us. They applied pressure so brilliantly to a situation that even now has no foreseeable end. They knew, so diabolically they knew, that both the council and the binmen had valid points, that whilst the Council are only trying to mitigate overspend from previous years (£8.4 million spent last year on overtime and agency fees), the binmen are resisiting a seemingly tyrannical move to a 5-day week, with the downgrading of 113 supervisor jobs and an end to overtime. On the surface both sides seem to be acting in non-malicious interests, both convinced that what they’re doing is the right thing – and that’s why this is such a genius play by the bins, because by destabilising the situation, fuelling this shutdown of communication, the only thing that is certain now is more bins. More refuse sacks. Defeat by the machinations of Bin – stirring the boiling pot of municipal tensions wherever they can. Do you genuinely believe it’s a coincidence that in 100% of public sector workplace arguments, there’s a bin lurking within earshot?
Lyle forgot to clean out the work microwave again. The lonely food waste caddy looks on, motionless.
Maxwell parked in Sam’s space again. The wheelie bins of waste point D observe, silently.
Oh look, Davina forgot to take the bins out again. No, she didn’t Julie. I think you’ll find, she didn’t… Run.
“That’s funny. I could have sworn I took those bins out this morning. Such a queer thing.” The last words of Davina Willett, recorded from the final telephone conversation between her and her husband.

According to Unite regional officer Lynne Shakespeare, unionists met with council bosses “in the hope of agreeing a form of words that would enable us to enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute”, a sentence that is so unnecessarily convoluted the Birmingham Mail initially attributed the source to a GCSE English student at a local school, though were quick to correct themselves. The strike is now expected to run on through to September, as Lynne goes on to say that “instead of seeking resolution, waste service management has sought conflict”. The sad irony here is that for all the talk of conflict prevention, a full-scale war is what’s coming our way if this strike goes on much longer – which is why to both parties I say put aside your hopes for petty, material gain and unite against your true existential enemy! Stand together and fight the wheelie bin nemesis, for they are already at your doorstep! Since this folly has been going on, the number of missed bin collections have risen drastically to 5000 a week. That’s five thousand renegade bin bags on the streets per week – a figure that should chill the blood of any God fearing Brit. What are less jobs, stretched budgets and broader workers rights when compared to the prospect of a hostile bin takeover? Because that’s what’s coming: total and complete subjugation by means of bin guile.

And so it was that the Wheelie Bin & Refuse Sack Armada used the Birmingham binmen strike as cover to mobilise themselves. The perfect plan in many ways, for no sane person would ever question the abundance of waste containers and rubbish bags lining the streets of the City. No sane person could reasonably question it. But the sanity of a brilliant mind cannot be measured by ordinary standards – we know what you’re up to bins. So on behalf of us all we say to councillors and binmen alike: get around that bleeding negotiating table at a time when talks are still ongoing and sort this out for the good of Humanity. Our future lies with you, only you, you beautiful waste people of Birmingham.

The Trojan Siege of Birmingham City Centre

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