Today is the day before Bin Day. And although it’s only ten o clock in the morning, I am already in the grip of pre-Bin Day nerves.
For those of you blessed with a normal psychological profile, pre-bin day nerves is a nasty condition characterised by irrational anxieties about bins - and particularly bin collection. Imagine you’re in the middle of some humdrum housewifely activity, like watching your tears dissolve in the washing-up suds, when a question pops into your head. The first question might be mischievous, even playful, like “What happens if I forget to take out the bins?” or “What happens if I take out the wrong bins?” But then it all gets a little crazy, as in, “If I can’t entirely close the lid of the black wheelie bin (and the bin therefore represents a dire infringement of council health and safety guidelines), what is the maximum gap permissible between the lid of the bin and the body of the bin before the bin-men refuse to take the bin?” And “Will I get an orange contamination sticker if any unsuitable items are found in my bins? If I get a sticker, will I be seized by such a spectrum of irrational emotions (ranging from humiliation and feelings of hopelessness right through to rage and finally depression) that I end up in the loony Bin? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ...
I know there are practical solutions, like subscribing to the council’s text reminder service, but whenever an incoming text hits my phone, it makes a sound only audible to whales. Furthermore, I’m not allowed to place my bins on the kerbside before 4.30pm, because if I do, there will be seagulls, and wolves, and possibly locusts, and the village will look like Egypt after the Ten Plagues of Yahweh.
As for worrying about taking out the wrong bins, yes, I have downloaded the Council’s Waste Collection Calendar, so yes, I know that black bins are collected fortnightly, and green bins are collected weekly. But I’m a ‘lunar month’ kind of girl. I go by the ebb and flow of my menstrual cycle. If I’m rocking psychiatrically in the children’s playhouse in the garden, and there are huge crescents of zits on each cheek, and I’m eating a Haribo Mega Party Pack, including the plastic, then it’s day 26. If I’m shouting ‘jizz’ in my sleep, and acting like a complete and utter whore, it’s day 13. So as far as I’m concerned, the Waste Collection Calendar is just a piece of sexist, phallocratic dogshit.
And if all this angsty bin collection crap weren’t enough, what about the shimmering, maggoty lakes of disease at the bottom of the wheelie bin? It’s bad enough when you get hit by spray from a toilet brush, but when it’s bin juices, and it catches you on the top lip, or worse, in the eye, then depending on the incubation period of the particular disease you have contracted, it’s only days before you get nose bleeds, and jaundice, and festering boils, and you start to look like Zommer from Moshi Monsters.
I’m starting to think that the only real solution to my pre-Bin Day nerves thing is to get my partner to do it. In some households the men are responsible for the bins!!! Can you believe it?!!! Last week, I told my partner this, who then explained, very patiently, that although he was aware of the practice, he didn’t want to patronise me. I was so touched that I cried into the washing-up suds. And then I took the bins out.