Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thing 112 Hug My Binman

For reasons that should be obvious to all, you're just going to have to go with me on this one. Photographs simply weren't an option. To those of you who are stupid: it's because hugging a stranger is odd enough. Asking him to pose for a picture during or after is the kind of thing that gets people locked up. And we all remember what happened last time... less said the better really.

So ya. I gave my binman a nice hug this afternoon. I've never seen a big man look so frightened. I tried to make it fluid looking, a natural part of my day, but I'm just not that comfortable with other people's personal space so I came across exactly how I felt - weird. Poor dude. How would I like it if I was doing my job and some complete stranger walked up to me, thanked me profusely, offered me a handshake and then pulled me into a manly hug? If I'm honest, I think I might actually like that, but that doesn't mean it's the done thing.

That's how it went down though. I was going to go pick up a stranger at a bus stop - apparently I'm loving strangers at the moment - but I was pressed for time, and then he pulled up, like a smelly angel. It's on the List, this was my chance... I took it. I hugged it firmly to me. I resisted the urge to plant one on his cheek, as I say, there's a line here people. Honestly, the guy looked properly frightened. He kept saying "it's okay" and backing away from me.

The Frenchman makes an interesting point: Obviously he was going to be frightened. With the newly shaved head I look like someone on day release from an institute for insane offenders. I mean... just look at me...
Would you really want that hugging you? Thought not.

So why was hugging a binman on the list you ask? (I know you don't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway). One of my old teachers used to threaten me with the job of binman when I was being less than industrious with my schoolwork. I remember thinking - that's kind of a lousy thing to say. I imagine there are plenty of happy and contented binmen out there. Why is there's a fate that I should be trying to avoid? Admittedly it's a smelly job, but it's a necessary one, and I bet it pays good too. Since then I've always felt that binmen get not enough thanks, and sort of a bum deal. So I thought I'd express my appreciation with an embarrassing act of personal space invasion and unsolicited affection. What better way eh?

It's also given me an idea... I wonder would they let me be a binman for a day?? Ride around on the back of the lorry all day. Waiting for strangers to give me hugs... never getting any... always wondering why not.

Seriously though, I'd get right in the way. Ever see how quickly these guys work? They're a model of efficiency. Truck backs up, two men go quick, bins are dragged, dumped and back in place as the truck makes off for the next corner. I just know I'd slow them down, and do it all wrong. Might be worth a try though.

What's more important to worry about now is next Tuesday... I really hope they don't decide to give the weirdos' house a miss on next collection.

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