Extra large rubbish bins are especially popular on bin bingo night.
Extra large rubbish bins are especially popular on bin bingo night. Cordell Richardson

Pull up a chair for beach bin bingo

MANY, many years ago there was a film franchise based on wild and groovy carryings-on that involved weenie roasts and doing the Frug.

American beach movies were Flavour of the Month; surfing was a new sport and the arrival of 'The Pill' changed teen behaviour forever. Consequently, films that featured sand, surf, sex and silly dialogue became the order of the day. Gidget was a household name and former Disney Mouseketeer Annette Funicello was beloved by all. Annette starred, along with crooner heartthrob Frankie Avalon, in the most famous of them all, Beach Blanket Bingo.

Here in our little seaside town, the game of choice is Beach Bin Bingo, and it happens every Wednesday night come rain, hail, sleet or (improbable) snow.

Wednesday night is when our rubbish bins are put out for collection, and if there's nothing good on the television, I've been known to grab a bowl of popcorn, pull up a chair to the front window in my living room, and check out the comings and goings.

We have few permanent residents here; there are a lot of weekenders and holiday homes. A large proportion of the permanents believe it is their right to utilise the bins of absentee neighbours to get rid of those pesky leftovers and science experiments from the back of the fridge shelf, grass clippings, and Fido's byproducts so as not to stink up their own bin.

Of particular value are the bins of the very wealthy; they pay an extra couple of hundred bucks per year on their rates to have a double-sized wheelie they use half as often. I suspect the very wealthy don't care how much they pay for services they don't use; either that or they don't ever bother to read their rates notice so they are unaware they're paying good money for their neighbours to dispose of smelly prawn shells.

My immediate neighbours to the west are only here about six times a year and they have one of the coveted big bins; they are, therefore, extremely popular among those who plan poorly who need extra disposal services each week. Many a time I see someone creeping up from the Paris end of the street (which is what we all call the houses closest to the sand), only to find the double bin has already been filled by some other furtive household. Another neighbour is notorious for taking liberties right along the road; he's not particularly friendly so some take offence that a bloke who doesn't say hello is happy to enter their property and use their bin. One household grew so sick of it they photographed him surreptitiously and pasted the enlarged headshot under the lid of their bin to shame him into stopping.

It didn't work.