Life on Marsden: I’m turning into the worst sort of middle-class snob

I was cross, but I wasn’t sure why...

Share
Related Topics

“Excuse me, but what are you doing?” As I said it, I knew I’d become the kind of awful adult who asks disapproving questions to which they already know the answer. I’d been watching a man and a woman going through my bins; the answer to the question was evidently “we’re going through your bins”. But the woman just briefly held my gaze and then carried on rummaging. Deprived of the answer I sought, I meekly retreated indoors and watched them through net curtains like a middle-class a***hole.

I was cross, but I wasn’t sure why. Everything they were sifting was surplus to my requirements. An old toothpaste tube. A knackered hairdryer, which I wouldn’t have used even if it was working, on account of having barely any hair. An old pair of trousers with a gaping hole in the crotch that had become impractical verging on obscene. I wanted nothing in that bin, and also knew that when council workers turned up on Monday morning to empty it I wouldn’t be standing out there in my pants demanding to know what the hell they’re doing with my stuff. But this felt different, and as I watched them move onto next door’s bins I mentally composed approximately half of a letter to the Daily Mail.

Later I found out that this couple have been doing it for years.

“They’re not very friendly,” a neighbour informed me – although if my day consisted of examining old trousers while angry people ask me what I’m doing, I probably wouldn’t be very friendly either. On their third or fourth visit, I realised my discomfort was a privacy thing; I wondered what the contents of my bin might reveal about me. A discarded matchpot shows that I briefly considered painting a wall in a hue called “Teal Tension”. Indian takeaway cartons reveal my habit of over-ordering. Blister packs of Loratadine give crucial medical information about my hayfever. Granted, this isn’t sufficient to steal my identity, although if they’d bothered looking in the adjacent recycling bin they’d have probably found enough information to empty my bank account and travel to Costa Rica on a forged passport. So eventually, I wised up and calmed down. This was OK. By not accosting them, I help them to scrape by, and simultaneously give myself a lesson in not being such a git. Win-win.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Police officers attempt to stop illegal migrants from jumping onto trucks headed for Britain in the northeastern French port of Calais on October 29, 2014  

Tighter security in Calais won’t solve the problem

Nigel Morris
 

Football needs its Martin Luther moment, and soon

Boyd Tonkin
US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines