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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Take My Fridge, Puh-lease

Ya know that Simpsons episode where Homer gets a free trampoline ("trambampoline!") and has a great time with it until too many of the local kids injure themselves on it, forcing him to try to return it, however he then discovers what all trambampoline owners know to be true: that once you have a trambampoline, it quickly loses its charm and causes too many broken bones, and eventually you can't even give it away ... and then Bart advises his father that the best way to get rid of the thing is to put a bike lock on it, turn away, and count to three? You know the one?

No?

Well then, that makes this difficult. Let's just pretend you do know the one I mean.

You do? Excellent. Well, I've experienced the same damn thing this week at my house. Okay, maybe not the same damn thing, but a similar damn thing.

Wifey and I live in a house that was the original house on a very long property. Naturally, sometime during the 70s or 80s, the owner decided to build three units behind the house and divide the place into four. So now, although our place is the original and the biggest (slightly) of the four, and it's most definitely a house, it has to be referred to as 'Unit 1'. This also means that we have who-knows-who layabouts and ruffians living in the other three units at any given time, doing who-knows-what to the place and not caring, because it's not theirs.*

* Note: I don't hate all renters; but I do hate inconsiderate renters.

One such example occurred on Sunday afternoon, when the young lads from Unit 3 dragged a fridge out of their garage and brought it down to the nature strip, where they left it, with total disregard for us who had to look at it and move around it, and the fact that it now appears to be our discarded fridge. Because these guys are particularly useless when it comes to disposing of their own rubbish and taking responsibility for their own gear, I silently fumed as I looked out my window on-and-off Sunday afternoon and realised that they had no intention of doing anything about this fridge now that it was out of their sight. It was someone else's problem now that they don't have a clear view of the street. Namely my problem. Thanks, fellas.

It's a big fridge, too. About as big as the one in this picture.

First thing I did was go out there and open the door right up, because anyone with half a brain - which means not the guys from Unit 3 - knows you're not allowed to leave a fridge or washing machine, etc, on the nature strip for hard rubbish collection or the like with the doors still attached. Kids climb in these things and suffocate when they can't open the doors again from the inside. Animals, too - although animals probably aren't playing 'hide and seek' at the time. Also, it means nothing dangerous is hiding away inside the thing to jump out and attack in fear/self-protection when the council workers come to lift it up and take it away. So the guys from Unit 3 were already pissing me off on a few counts for leaving the door closed. And also because our next hard rubbish collection date is over two months away.

Also, one of their number parks his car (complete with his trailer for a home renovator's service - think Jim's Mowing, although it's not that company) parked right along the front of the property in the street, although he doesn't do the clever thing and roll down a bit so passing cars can see the fridge - oh no - he parked so that he completely (and unnecessarily, I might add) blocked the sight of the fridge from any passers-by who might want to load it onto their own trailer. They'd have to have a trailer handy to take it away, too - and because of this dude's lack-of-parking-skills, anyone coming from one end of the street wouldn't even see the fridge. Talk about making it difficult!

(I should also mention here that when I opened the fridge door - and the little freezer door inside it, just to be sure - I noticed that it was very cool inside, and half the freezer was frozen over with huge chunks of ice. So it was definitely a working fridge they were throwing away!)

All Sunday afternoon and night, the fridge just sat there ... half-obscured by the trailer, and not going anywhere. Monday morning I noticed that the fridge door was shut again, so out I went once more and opened it wide. The ice had all melted away, revealing half a packet of fruit loaf and three ice cube trays which had been impossible to detect in the un-defrosted freezer section the previous day. I dread to think how long they've been in there. I didn't dare touch them.

All day Monday, the darn fridge just sat there, stupidly shielded from anyone driving left to right down the street. It looked like it was going to be there forever, or at least until I did something about it.

So last night, remembering the aforementioned Simpsons episode, I took a simple A4 sheet of paper, a black texta, and four bits of sticky tape, went out to the fridge, and stuck the following sign on the back of it, facing the road:

"FREE"

This morning it was gone.

It had sat there, totally ignored, for over 50 hours, and then I added that sign to it, and it didn't even last 11 hours.

I don't know whether to be amused or disgusted.

(I was tempted to stick a sign to it which read: "DO NOT TAKE", just to test the experiment even further, but I didn't want to risk people actually leaving it there who might otherwise have taken it away. I still find it amazing that it took a sign giving people 'permission' to take the fridge away before anyone decided to help themselves to it.)

So what are we? Just a pack of feral scavengers, who only find interest in something if it's free and/or not meant for us in the first place??

And does anyone want any fruit loaf? I have extra.



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18 Comments:

At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 10:09:00 pm, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

I know that episode of the Simpsons! Now every time I see a trampolineI think of poor Homer.

And I had a simnilar experience. A place I moved into needed the oven to be replaced (although it was still working). The guy who installed it wouldn't dispose of it or take it away. His suggestion: put a sign on it saying "in full working order". It didn't last 4 hours and it was gone!

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 10:55:00 pm, Blogger fluffy said...

this amused me greatly bevis. i think you should drag any hard rubbish you need to rid yourself of down to sit in plain sight of units 2,3 and 4. in brunswick we celebrate hard rubbish collection like harvest time in days of merry yore with feasting and blushing maidens and mead. we all take our 'rubbish' out and visit the piles of 'rubbish' of our neighbours. then we pick and poke and take and haul until all that's left is sodden mouldering pieces of busted chipboard and CPUs with the screen smashed in. festive!

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 1:05:00 am, Blogger BEVIS said...

ChickyBabe, thank you for indulging me right off the bat. :) It's funny, isn't it, to think of how many people live by the ol' adage: "One man's trash is another man's -- HEY! GIMME THAT! I SAW IT FIRST, YA SCRAG! GERROFF!"

Fluffy, thanks for the compliment! Wow, it sounds like you have quite the event in Brunswick, even impressive enough to rival Moomba! (Sarcasm intended - to Moomba, not to you.) Units 2 and 4 aren't so bad; they're little old ladies (who certainly like to talk if you're unlucky enough to be outside when they pass by - 'cos they'll happily stop and chat for an hour or two) who are home owners as well. It's just the guys in Unit 3 who are the inconsiderate renters, even though the old ladies often come down and get me to speak to the guys in Unit 3 for them, about playing their music too loud, parking their cars in the way, having loud and scary-looking friends over late at night (8pm), etc. The old ladies get me to do all their dirty work for them, which is often uncomfortable for me, just because they're too scared of confrontation. But I don't want a brick thrown through my window one night after they've been drinking themselves into a stupor, just because I'm the one who's always knocking on their door!

Ahem. But I digress.

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 7:05:00 am, Blogger abetterjulie said...

I am glad somebody took it, but the sheer rudeness and disregard for fellow man (and children) by your numbnut neighbors makes me burn inside.

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:47:00 am, Blogger elaine said...

I love the hard rubbish festival. Especially in the ritzier suburbs (Malvern/Toorak hard rubbish is particularly good).

Two scavengers, one car with plentiful boot space and a tour around the big house end of town has yielded working component stereos, televisions and bookshelves.

All hail festivus rubbishus hardus

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 10:10:00 am, Blogger Michelle said...

The Trambapoline episode is my second favourite, first being of course the "Saxamaphone" one.

Never having lived in units I cant sympathise, but I have had inconsiderate neighbours, Loud neighbours, for that I sympathise.

Now come help me put my washing machine on your verge plz :)

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 10:15:00 am, Blogger Jeremy said...

I think it's "tramampoline".

To go with "saxomophone" and "omamaboe".

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 12:01:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

ABetterJulie, thank you for the vindication - I'm glad somebody understands the inner-fury this kind of behaviour invokes in the rest of us. :)

Elaine, yes - it can sure bring about a lot of fun. Back in my uni days, I was known for a little scavenging, myself. (Not meaning to sound pompous when I say that.) I especially like that you've sussed out the best places to go for the best stuff. And I'm very pleased to hear that you've had such success! TVs and stereos? Well done! A pirate's life for me! (I love your name for the festivus, too!)

Michelle, I actually think inconsiderate-ness is the world's biggest problem. Seriously. If everyone on Earth just thought about how other people would be affected by what they did or didn't do - and gave a damn about it - it would change every blessed thing about the way we live on this planet. Think about it. From removing the door on a fridge you're dumping in front of the house, to perhaps ringing someone to take it away (or, heaven forbid, putting a sign on it yourselves, you numbskulls!), to recycling everything that could be recycled, to driving with more care and consideration of those around you, to not invading someone else's homeland for their oil ... The little things like neighbourly disputes and road rage, all the way up to bombing the crap out of another country. There are plenty of other factors involved, sure; but it all comes back to "inconsiderate-ness". (I ain't helpin' you with your washing machine, though - sod off!)

MrLefty, yes you're 100% right, hehehe. Just reading those words made me chuckle again. Yeah, I'm always mis-quoting his 'tramampoline' line. I don't know why; misquoting is soooooo not me. I think I reckon my way is funnier or something, or I just like the sound of the extra syllable. Thank you for the correction.

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:14:00 pm, Blogger Steph said...

Bevis,Bevis,Bevis. You're not supposed to leave the doors OPEN. That's just an invitation to little kidlets to crawl inside. You're supposed to REMOVE the doors!! Derr! *runs*

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 10:08:00 pm, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

1. i love fruit loaf

2. i love my fridge. it's stainless steel, and real not fake, two doors and it's a jennair which is spooky possums cause it's close to my name. magnets go on the side and nothing touches the front except skin. sounds gross but i mean hands only. scratch it and you die.

3. i virtually furnished an entire flat in japan from their hard rubbish. oh my god you have not seen hard rubbish until you have been in japan. all the foreigners would skulk around under cover of dark to fossick. japanese never would, it was embarrassing. but not to us barbarian gaijin. tv, yep. vcr, you got it. rice cooker, sure! vacuum cleaner, take two! lazy susan for swisho cocktail do, come on, take it.

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 11:51:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

I know, Steph; that's my point entirely. But there was no way I was going to go out and buy the correct tool required to remove doors from a fridge I didn't even own, that had been dumped on my nature strip. Not when there were more than enough tools sitting around in Unit 3, guzzling beer and farting.

MelbourneGirl, three points of my own for you:

1. Does that mean you'd like me to save you some? There are some lovely slices left; barely any mould on them at all.

2. Oooh! I tempting hint toward's MelbourneGirl's real name, everybody! I'm tippin' "Nair Jenkins"

3. Is there anywhere in the world that you haven't lived??

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 9:53:00 am, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

hey bev. will pass on the fruit loaf this time but bring some to freezing mid-winter bbq.

i haven't lived in most cities in the world. really.

great post by the way. i LOVE these posts.

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 5:52:00 pm, Anonymous Cheryl said...

Gimme a fridge! I want it I want that fridge. if i dont get it i'm liable to eat a rabbit!

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 10:26:00 pm, Blogger noshie said...

The whole idea of a kid getting caught in a fridge that has been left on the road has petrified me ever since that episode of Punky Brewster.

 
At Saturday, March 25, 2006 12:45:00 am, Blogger BEVIS said...

MelbourneGirl, fruit loaf at the "freezing mid-winter BBQ" sounds lovely! :) Maybe we should make it a "warm" theme, and have an indoor gathering around an open fire, eating fruit loaf and drinking hot chocolate, etc. Sounds like a nice lazy Sunday afternoon winter activity to me! We can set fire to some furniture if the place we're meeting in doesn't have a fireplace. Get back to me. As for the places in the world you've lived, I think you're lying. Maybe that's why you don't like the Commonwealth Games so much - you're torn and don't know who to barrack for! Also, thanks! :) I'm not sure what posts in particular you mean, but I'm happy to have a pleased reader! Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Cheryl, welcome! I wish I could help you out, but I'm sorry to say that the fridge has been gone for almost a week now. I feel especially sorry for the rabbit you are going to set upon, now that you've heard this news. Let me know how you get on (in my experience, they're very hard to grab because they keep hopping out of reach).

Noshie, yes! Exactly!! We grew up watching the same afternoon television, obviously. The two episodes of Punky Brewster that had the most profound effect on me were when the blonde kid got locked in the fridge and almost suffocated, and when her dog did die (but then miraculously came back to life - and all in time for eggnog at the end of the Christmas episode, lo and behold!). I'm not ashamed to say that I cried during the latter, and learned a damn important lesson (which I've never forgotten either) during the former. How funny that you mentioned this - it's exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote the post (and I think of it whenever I see a fridge on someone's nature strip for hard rubbish collection - it makes me very mad if I see the doors still attached).

 
At Saturday, March 25, 2006 6:21:00 pm, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

i've only lived in istanbul, osaka melbourne and london, and london was only 4 months so doesn't really count. so that's just three.

and by posts i meant to say i love this type of post, or these types of posts. re the fridge etc.

i love mundane subjects. see how much we've all got to say about them?

 
At Tuesday, April 04, 2006 12:40:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

Yes, it's funny how this sort of thing can generate avid discussion, while the more weighty matters are left untouched.

And London counts. I've never lived there at all, so that's why it doesn't count for me. But you've lived there for more than a month, so I say it counts, InternationalGirl.

 
At Friday, August 18, 2006 3:47:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey its pronounced trampampaline!!hehehe

 

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