Monday, February 15, 2010

The Joys Of Hard Rubbish

It's Hard Rubbish time in our neighbourhood right now. This seems to be a phenomenon that is known by different names all over, but remains the same wherever you go. For those who know it as something different, I'm talking about the glorious few days where everyone puts the stuff they want to get rid off out onto the curb and then everyone else goes around scavenging. Kinda like a garage sale, only everything is free, and taking it is technically illegal. It's great.

I've been going for a lot of walks these last few days. I haven't really been intending to come home with a bunch of junk, but I do anyway. I have found too many things that have been just too hard to resist.

The best, by far, has been the old-school hospital wheelchair that I found. It was only a block away, surrounded by a bunch of normal chairs. At first Vegatrain didn't believe that it was a "wheelchair", but rather just a chair on wheels. I assure you, it's a wheelchair. The proof came when we lifted up the cushion and saw that it had a toilet-bowl shaped hole in the seat, for doing one's business. We are thinking about putting it in the courtyard, with a bucket under the hole and a sign that says "Guest Bathroom".

I also came home the other day with a pair of perfectly good rollerblades. I don't understand, are wheels out of fashion now? Either way, I don't care, because free rollerblades. I will be the girl who rolls from place to place, blading my troubles away.

Naturally, I have now been keeping my eyes peeled (wow, I only just realised how awful of an expression that is. I don't know in what sense eyes are supposed to be peeled, but I want no part of it) for excellent finds. The problem is, I occasionally get a bit too excited and find myself thinking 'Wow, someone's throwing out a VESPA!' before realising that they have, in fact, just parked their Vespa next to the curb, near the hard rubbish.

This led me to wonder if anyone has ever actually stolen someone's vehicle in this manner. Which led me to wondering if this would be an acceptable defense in court. Most people would say that stupidity is probably not a valid legal defense. They would be wrong. Well actually, no, they would be right, but that doesn't mean people haven't attempted to use it.

You may remember, a few years ago, there were two Australians working in a ski resort in Canada. These two geniuses attempted to hold up a bank, forgetting that they were still wearing their work uniforms, complete with name tags. One of these guys had actually been a patient of my father's for some time in the past. When the legal trouble began, his mother went and saw Dr Dad and asked if he could write her a medical certificate. She apparently thought that it was worth a shot to see if she could get an expert medical opinion proclaiming that her son was so certifiably stupid that it was actually a medical condition. She thought this might help his case. Dr Dad did not agree to help her out.

Good on her for trying, though. I like to see creativity in the legal system.

-Smackie Onassis

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