Mar 12, 2010

Ruminations on Rubbish

For the uninitiated, a nature strip is the grassy zone between the road and footpath, often punctuated with a tree. This is where residents can place hard rubbish for council collection, which usually occurs once a year. Few things in life give me more joy than cruising the hard rubbish. This is not only about plucking treasures from the debris, but the whole ceremony and psychology encompassing it. There’s a lot you can tell (or imagine) about a person, a household, and a neighbourhood by their rubbish. And it’s much more fun than spying on what goods someone is buying at the supermarket. Some people don’t like their rubbish being viewed or taken, others want to give you things and tell you stories – either about an item or about themselves. Some piles are OCD neat, others like a frenzied crime scene. People scurry on foot, pretending not to be checking out their neighbours detritus. Others are overtly searching, whether dealers in their vans and trailers or folk like me. There is a polite competitiveness amongst those cruising in vehicles. If someone pulls over to check out a pile, there's an unspoken rule not to sidle up beside them. Some are methodical in their searching style, following a map, marking off streets. I prefer the intuitive approach (ie; I’m disorganised). My most recent swoop of the hard rubbish went like this…. as usual, I’m on my way somewhere when the allure of the junk waylays me. Pulls me in like an ocean riptide. My first stop involved the application of Hard Waste Forensics.

Exhibit A – the dead lawn patches indicate not only that someone found a couple of great items (probably heavy & cumbersome) but that they had been on the strip for days. DAYS! Admittedly the goods probably wouldn’t have fit in my car, but still. I’m thinking a 50’s kitchen cabinet with cool linoleum lining. Feeling unlucky and despondent, I continued the drive-by and chanced upon…. a roulette wheel!

Made of Duralite (TM). (Is that an Australian rip-off of Bakelite?) My luck had turned…. sure enough these old petrol price numbers awaited me, featuring a far more attractive font than the compressed modern ones, and nicer colour combo too.

And to top it all off, these trays from an old fridge. Fancy.

I’m smitten with the meatkeeper.

1 comment:

  1. The numbers and the meat keeper (MEAT KEEPER!!) are GLORIOUS (Also really like the photo of the dead grass rectangles!!)