In most councils in Adelaide, you're given one or two days a year to leave out any unwanted 'hard rubbish' on the kerb for their truck to come and take it away for you. Every September, my neighbourhood is festooned with ancient dryers, dead VCRs, dodgy gas stoves, busted rattan chairs, mattresses, Commodore 64 computer monitors and broken card tables.
This annual event is closely followed with the nocturnal visits by the trash-n-treasure trolls, who apprise themselves of the 'nicer' council districts' hard rubbish weeks and have an opportunitist sift through the debris. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - if things can be used by another person/household/shed and not end up in landfill, but it was a bit awkward a couple of years ago seeing two beanie-clad bogans nearly end up in a fist fight over who was the first to clap their occy-straps on an ancient sideboard. (I had to offer them each a handful of mandarins from the tree in the front yard to distract them).
As such, most of us are happy enough to see the streets looking shabby for a couple of weeks a year, but not when slackos dump their useless crap out every weekend hoping that someone will find it attractive enough to remove for them.
Every street has such a neighbour, and our amiable avenue is no different. He is, though. A very odd little chap. He lives with his rarely-seen wife and two tiny daughters in a corner house with a backyard just big enough for a clothesline and his kids' swing set out in the front garden, along with a dozen water-filled coke bottles strewn on the lawn to deter dogs or cats from excreting there. Not that he'd catch them in the act as each window has those oh-so-gorgeous shutters with the wind-up handles and they are always closed. Like Nicole Kidman's character in 'The Others', no daylight is to touch them or they instantly turn into dust, or become sane or attain the ability to visit the rubbish dump or something.
Anyhoo, it is he who believes that he can place four broken chipboard drawers from a 1970's dressing table out on the footpath in May and hope that someone takes a fancy to them. Or as the above photo attests, his clapped out air-conditioner with a dud DVD player placed on top of it as an added bonus.
Perhaps I should not have particularly high expectations of someone who drives a lime green Gemini that he leaves out in the street in the evenings with each door locked up but with all the windows open. Sure it's a vehicle that doesn't appeal to the average auto thief (or functioning human being), but it sure as hell encourages the average drunken derro on his way back home from the pub - via a pit-stop at our nearby Maccas - to sling his half-slurped thickshake and McChicken wrappers into what appears to be an electric-booger-coloured rubbish bin.
He never says hello to me, so I now make an even greater point of cheerily calling out 'Hello there' every morning as he walks his daughters and I walk my daughter to school: we're only two houses away from each other for Lindt's sake! This gregarious Gonad frowns at my dog and pulls his kids closer to him if Sapphire so much as glances in their direction. Despite this and his hard rubbish 24/7/365 tendencies, he certainly doesn't arouse anything remotely as interesting as dislike or anger within me. No, I reserve that for folk like David Koch, Brian Harradine or that funny-as-death git called Ryan on the 'Rove' telly show.
However Gonad Guy had clearly got right up the nose, firmly into the sinus cavity and was tapping on the back of the eyeballs of the man on the next corner block. From what I know, this man is extremely well off - his primary-school aged kids attend the poshest establishment in Adelaide even though their home - a brand new, sickly cream brick, boxy monstrosity known all over as 'The Mausoleum,' looks directly out on to Sapphire's beautiful school oval. He owns a famous continental gourmet store that frequently gets media attention and raves from famous chefs, and seems to have more than his fair share of childcare, gardening and cleaning help.
One day, Gonad Guy left a cheap plastic outdoor chair out on the footpath with the lazy hope that some poly-cretinous, mono-synaptic half-wit would take it. Said chair languished there for weeks, getting gradually covered in a fetching coat of Magpie droppings, bottle-brush strands and street dust. Not surprisingly, one of the Maccas-munching drunkards picked up the chair one night and, eventually discovering that it only had three legs, staggered onwards a few paces and discarded it in front of Mr Mausoleum's property.
Surely Mr Mausoleum's 'help' would dispose of the chair, or find room for it within their expansive garage/indoor pool/outdoor gym/entertainment/mini-skip storage area? But no - Mr M flung the chair back to Gonad's house, with a hand-written message on the back of it:
Closer inspection reveals the extent of his annoyance:
Crikey! I'm bloody glad he didn't see the sneaky crap that Milly did in his agapanthus plants....!