28 April 2011

Look what happens when I'm dutiful...

A very embarrassing thing happened to me on Monday. As every dutiful flatmate knows, when the person you live with is away; you take out the recycling. The small black box we'd got from IKEA a couple of months back, had been festering - yes, there is no other word for it - festering a little way past our front door. Just far enough so it didn't stink as you turned the key. And with Liam away for a few nights, I did the dutiful thing.

It is one of the jobs Liam always does. It is one of those jobs that I try my utmost to never do. Along with emptying the recycling, theres taking the rubbish bins out and hoovering. I don't have to ask him to do these jobs. I just let it get so bad he realises it needs doing. Terrible, but true.

I cautiously picked the black box up by both handles- careful to breathe through my mouth- and staggered with it, holding it a good foot away from my body along the corridor. Something dripped from the bottom and landed with a splosh onto my flip-flop.

Down four flights of steps, and an aluminium coke can jumps out the box. It rolls one flight, two flights and rolls some more. I have to place the box down so I can pick up the runaway can. But when I go to lift the heavy black box again, my hand slides down the handle. Ohmigod. Green goo. Wipe it on the takeaway pizza box. No matter.

We are lucky. We have recycling bins that you just chuck everything into- no sorting needed- at the edge of the car park. So I swagger over to them after the four flights of steps with my bottom sticking out, and my knees bent. My spindly little arms are holding on tight.

This is the bit where I have to touch the lid. The gross, dirty lid of the recycling bin, with weird bits of sludge on the handle. So I do it quick; one, two, three, GO!
With my left hand I hold the sludgy lid up, with my right I go nuts, throwing all my recycling into the bin as quick as possible. Glass pasta sauce pots with tomatoey juice lurking in the bottom, cardboard cereal boxes flattened and wedged in tight, Cobra beer, Heineken beer, Singha beer bottles with old dregs... What's this? Champagne bottle? I feel a bit bad chucking that in, but in it goes with all my glass, paper, tin and card, smashing about in the bottom of the wheelie bin, causing great crashes to echo around my block of flats.
I wouldn't be surprised if all my neighbours are peeping at me from behind their lacy blinds, tut tutting at such a noise clattering about their bank holiday afternoon. But hey, I'm recycling. They can't complain.

A car pulls up to my left, nearly knocking my black recycling box over. I tut tut and frown a little at the silver Smoothie in the front seat, who's got his window wound down, a straw hat on and boating shoes. He gets out of his car, the Beach Boys humming from his car radio (I wasn't surprised). He nods at me, and goes to get something out of his boot.
With only a few more bits left in the box, I grab the few remaining cartons, and reach to the bottom of the box, for a flyer which had got wedged in the corner...

Then suddenly, I scream.

A loud, blood-curdling scream which reverberates all around the block of flats and drowns out 'Little Deuce Coupe' in an instant.

I run around in circles, hopping from one leg to another, shaking my arms and legs involuntarily. I wiggle my fingers, my bottom, and my knees are out at odd angles. A shiver shakes down my spine. I'm aware I'm making incomprehensible noises like, Ugggghhhh.

Smoothie looks like he might have pooped himself out of shock.

I'm still hopping, rolling my head around and flapping my T-Shirt in and out. I wince.

'Still there. It's STILL THERE!' I shriek.

Shake a bit more, and Smoothie stalks casually to the box, glances in whilst lifting it with one hand. No fear, Smoothie?

He looks at me like I'm not from this world, bangs the box upside down and raises one eyebrow, to make me feel really stupid. 'It's only a little one.'

Yeah frickin' right.


  1. GAH!
    Gahahhhhhhgggg plllllllubbbbbb.

    I HATE spiders. Icky yicky yuck poo.

  2. Grandma used to say, "If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider run alive!" Unless of course it is a black widow or brown recluse spider, in which case, are you nuts? I ain't lettin' that thing run alive!


    We have black widow spiders on this island, and I'm constantly paranoid about them being on or around the garbage can outside. And there's no way in hell I'm going anywhere near it in the dark.

  4. Ewwwww, that sounds terrible (and a little bit funny at the same time). We're much alike, I also hate emptying the recycling, taking the rubbish bins out and hoovering; but one thing I hate the most is cleaning the toilet. I never did it in my life and never will...

  5. Genius! I absolutely loved this - I've been grouching around all day, but you brought out the biggest smile. Thank you

  6. Oh my God I would have done the exact same thing. I can't deal with spiders! Gross.

  7. This is great, I love your writing style and I can completely relate to this! I can never empty the food recycling bin, I feel sick just thinking of it.

  8. your reaction; spot on! Because a spider is a spider no matter the size!! ewwww!!!!!!

  9. Ugh, I hate spiders, too!!
    I just discovered your blog, and I really liked this post. Taking out the trash/recycling is not my favorite chore either, so I was very entertained by your account! Great post.