Every Friday, CasinoBeats is thinking out loud
THE seemingly endless warm blue skies that are making the summer of 2018 one of the best in the UK in living memory have been most welcome to CB.
Sunshine is generally considered a good thing of course but it is specifically welcome this summer because CB is having its house extended. In short, the back half of the family home has been dismantled and is being slowly reassembled to be a bit bigger. The kitchen as was, is gone. The whole of the ground floor is in disarray. The dogs are very confused.
For every day of the project’s five weeks to date, it has been warm enough to barbecue and dine in the garden. These are the highlights. Less salubrious are the meals taken among piled bricks, the constant need to vacuum and the fact that nothing sought is ever where it should be.
Like bin bags. In the absence of the study black sack, kitchen refuse was dumped into near-translucent white drawstring bags of the sort available from discount retailers at a rate of around 40p for a thousand. And then there’s more refuse than normal, due to all the chaos and the wrappers for the builders’ snacks and lunches, thrown straight into the Big Grey Bin in the garden.
Now CB takes great pride in getting the bins out on the right day. And that is no easy feat. In the council’s ruthless drive for efficiency, the refuse that used to be stored on vast municipal sites awaiting processing now resides, for as long as possible, in the wheelie bins of residents. Paper and glass is collected, separately, on alternating fortnights. The Big Grey Bin also on a two-week rotation. The usually empty green bin, weekly.
The BGB is thus on a home’s critical path. Fill that too quickly, and you will be incentivising your heaviest child to jump up and down on top of overflowing bags of trash in order to get the lid to close and thus avoid the not inconsiderable wrath of the binmen. Given it is 14 days between collections and that it has been a fairly constant 25 degrees-plus in the UK for the last month, BGB management has become a headline task.
Which is why using the thinnest of white bin bags to house said waste was pure folly, albeit a hasty act of stupidity not uncovered until it was too late. Yesterday, specifically. Ten days into the latest BGB cycle and as the mercury tipped 28 degrees for the third straight day.
Having reverted to the heavy-duty black bin bags post big shop, and two days on from employing a 12 year old to pogo on the top of the overflowing white bags, a stench arose.
To spare the grisly details, in short, a flimsy white bag had split. The resulting cascade of maggots was astonishing. A wonder of nature, this Glastonbury Festival of larvae seemed to writhe and scream silently, mocking CB’s laziness with the bags and smugness with the Jumping Boy technique.
The smell was as good as weaponised, the sight stomach-churning, the dogs more excited than they have ever been. Rubber gloves, bleach and a team of two took around 40 minutes to clear the onslaught. At one point it was like a scene from the Lord of the Rings, as an endless sea of willing martyrs threw themselves at the battlements at Helm’s Deep. They just kept coming.
But the humans – and to some extent, the dogs, which’ll eat anything – won the day. Bagged – no double-bagged – and binned. Bleached and blasted. The whole area sanitised and renewed.
Blame was apportioned to the builders, to the intense heat, to the numerous barbecues and their meaty waste. Suspicion was cast upon innocent children, all inquisitors seemingly unaware of the terrible, lazy bag choice and the Jumping Boy episode. CB did what any decent person would do and said absolutely nothing.
The lesson must be learned, however. Faced with these kinds of decisions – the it’ll-be-alright, do-it-tomorrow, no-one-will-ever-know choices – only a fool opts for the corner-cutting option without first considering the consequences. Of course, cheap and convenient can win the day – some of the most disruptive and successful market forces of recent times are exactly that.
Yet there are some corners that should never be cut. Long after you think you have got away with it, it will come back to haunt you. Like a disgusting smell.
And if you want to avoid that awkward moment when you hope not to be unmasked – and some uncomfortable stares from an entirely innocent child being heavily critiqued by their mother for their basic bin protocol – then think twice.