Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Leamington Is Full Of The Strangest People, No. 3: Tin Can Andy

Still from John Carpenter's The ThingAnd so may I present what is probably going to be the third in a three part series about some of the strange people in Leamington Spa that you may meet if, like me, you actually lived here.

For those of you that have missed the first two (what were you doing? Leading a life?) Number 1, Bob The Shopkeeper is here and no.2, Pooper-Scoop Pete is here.

Today though we are going to speculate on the strange existence of Tin Can Andy.

Like most towns across the UK our household waste collection service is divided over a 2 week period. One week it will be the pre-sorted, pre-flattened, pre-washed recyclable stuff. The next week it will be the uneaten food stuffs, body parts, landfill fodder and stuff the charity shops wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.

On the recycling waste weeks, so early in the morning that the birds are still brushing their teeth and gargling with Listerine, you can hear the squee-squee-squee of Tin Can Andy’s shopping trolley. Well. When I say Andy’s shopping trolley I really mean Asda’s shopping trolley.

As I’m so paranoid about having my bin nicked I don’t put my recycling boxes out until the very morning of the collection. I’m usually up pretty early anyway as I have kids and anyone who has kids knows that 6.0am is a lie-in.

It is during this early morning chore that, if I am lucky, like spying a red deer emerging from the mist, I sometimes spot Tin Can Andy moving surreptitiously amongst the red boxes and bags that his community has placed outside their doorsteps ready for the waste disposal team to empty.

Tin Can Andy you see likes to rummage around other people’s recycling waste and re-appropriate... you’ve guessed it... all the tin cans. By the time I see him he must be about half way through his “round” as his trolley is usually piled up already with his ill-gotten aluminium gains.

Now I confess I don’t know what to make of Tin Can Andy. Part of me feels an undeniable sense of indignation. Technically these cans are not his property. They belong to the people who have left them out in good faith for the council bin men. Technically what he is doing is theft. Isn’t it?

But then the other half of me thinks, what the hell. It’s only junk. Who cares?

Presumably – though this is yet to be confirmed – there is money to be made selling old tin cans to scrap metal merchants? Certainly given the number of drain covers that have been stolen from the Warwickshire area over the summer people are crying out for metal, whether it is “scrap” or not. But would the money you’d get from a tin can really make the sheer effort involved in acquiring it worthwhile?

So my other theory is that Tin Can Andy is building something out of the tin cans. He is, in fact an alien. One of those multi-morphing alien creatures from John Carpenter’s The Thing. And out in his backgarden, in a clumsily dug cavity under his B&Q shed, there is an underground tunnel leading to a half built spaceship. Once Andy has acquired enough cans of baked beans he’s buggering off home again to Alpha Centauri or Clacton, one of the two.

To be honest I couldn’t care less.

As long as I don’t have to see his upside down head scampering across my lawn on giant spider’s legs I’ll be more than happy. Though to be fair, he does keep the occurrences of cat poo invasion down to a minimum...


32 comments:

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Maybe he's onto something, maybe the price of aluminium has risen sharply and he is rolling in it.

I suggest you get up even earlier next time and snaffle all the cans first. That'll teach the bugger!

Sweet Cheeks said...

Here we get about 5 cents per pound for tin cans.
We have lots of Tin Can Andys running around. A tricky business too, because it IS against the law to go digging in someone else's trash.
I wish I could have stray cats arrested, for chewing open our bags of trash and making a huge mess by our bins.
;-)

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: that's not a bad idea. I'd could use a second income!

Sweet Cheeks: hmm... I wonder if there'd be a reward for his arrest? I could use a second income, etc...! ;-)

the fly in the web said...

Steve...bounty hunter!
A new career...travel, excitement...!

Steve said...

The fly in the web: and I can even sing the theme tune to The Fall Guy too. I'd be made for the job!

Fran said...

Hey you! I object to this post's title! How about SOME parts of Leamington ...? Some of us are completely, completely normal. (Okay, so the blog tells otherwise, but never mind.)

Steve said...

Fran: the trouble is "Leamington Is Full Of the Normalest People" sounds too desperate; too earnest to be true. 'Cos you and I know that Leamington isn't really, don't we? And I'm including both of us in that sweeping statement.

The Dotterel said...

You're missing a trick here, Steve. Apropos an earlier post of yours, you should persuade Andy (doesn't sound like too much of an effort) that he's wasting his time with tin cans and that the real money's in cat-shit. Or cats. Either solves your problem.

Steve said...

The Dotterel: nice idea and I really appreciate the fact that you are trying to solve some humungous problems for me but in all seriousness the cat shit will just fall straight through the bars of his shopping trolley. It's a no-goer I'm afraid. ;-)

Selina Kingston said...

Oh i feel sorry for him. He probably can't move in his house for the collection of cans in there.
And I can't help but smile at your indignation. I shouldn't ...... but you do make me laugh!!

Anonymous said...

I personally would bag them up separately for him .With the amount of Pepsi Max I drink(it's what keeps me going!!!!),if he is getting paid for them then he would make a small fortune from my house alone!
Good luck to him.
Ally

The Sagittarian said...

Maybe you should just put your cans in a separate bag, with his name on and save him the bother of rummaging? Community service you know...

Readily A Parent said...

If you were juvenile enough you could put out one of those "surprise" cans - you know the kind that has snakes jump out of it.
Not real snakes, mind, that would be cruel.
Oooh, or fill em with blood and write "murder victim 2" "murder victim 3" on the outside and see what he does.
Just, you know, in case you get bored one day.

Being Me said...

Hmmmmm you make an interesting point. And so I ask...

Andy or

Wall-E?

Steve said...

Selina: hmm... that's a thought, maybe he's homeless and is actually building a house out of tin cans Blue Peter style?

Ally: I'll try and direct him round to yours. Next time I see him he might be driving a Ferrari...!

Amanda: oh I can't make it too easy for him; everyone has to work for a living, right?

Readily A Parent: brilliant! I was wondering how I could dispose of the bodies and... er... yes, anyway, what a spiffing joke that would be. Ahem.

Being Me: or just wally? ;-)

Keith said...

All a tin man is ever really looking for is a heart.

Heather said...

Maybe he's building a giant aluminium arc, you know, for when the waters rise and and we get flooded and stuff. One day you'll be begging to be allowed on his baked bean arc...or, you know, not.

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

I used to collect tin cans for Blue Peter appeals. I'm sure they helped build hospitals or wells somewhere.

Steve said...

Keith:... and according to the old rhyme: beans, beans, they're good for your heart...!

Heather: you could be right. Technically though I have a part share in that arc already as some of those tin cans were mine!

Trish: that's a nice thought. If Andy is helping to build a hospital somewhere good for him.

French Fancy... said...

I love this little look at Andy the weirdo - and also this alternate rubbish collection is a new concept for me. One thing that is very odd round here - we are meant to put our old food - raw and fresh - in the recycling bin. Yes - two weeks of rotting chicken cut bits is really going to be good for something, I'm sure.

Steve said...

FF: I think that stuff like that has to go into the green bin as opposed to the black bin or the red box or the red / white bags. Apparently it's very simple. I did have some instructions but I recycled them.

Rol said...

Maybe he's just really hungry.

Steve said...

Rol: I'll leave a few tins of cat food out for him next time. That's the kind of guy I am.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

I like the fact that body parts go in your 1st week trash removal. Good thing for serial killers to be aware of. (Just in case they thought they might dispose of them with the tins cans and such.)

Steve said...

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip: I'm just doing what I can to reduce the UK's carbon footprint... too many bodies in the landfill sites is bad for the ecosystem. Plus it really confuses trainee archeologists when I dump them with Saxon grave goods.

Kelloggsville said...

I'm with Readily a parent - the snake in the can trick - that's got to worth watching.

They nick the jam jars around here. I suspect a WI gang trawl the streets at night surreptitiously sneaking away the jam jars whilst criticising my net curtain colour.

Is spud gun shooting illegal? I think a pot shot is called for.

missbehaving said...

We have the same thing here, we can put our cans out for the council once a month or some group with the school district will collect them once a month, and a couple of old guys come round and take some of them. My neighbour complains to me about this every month, how these guys are stealing.
technically yes they are, but I feel their need is greater than ours, I doubt very much it was their first career choice and if they can make it work on the tuppence we would get, for the entire school district, good luck to them.

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: not sure our spud gun has the range but we've got a cracking pair of super soakers that the kids use. Andy would appreciate the wash, I'm sure.

Miss Behaving: that's very philanthropic of you and is, I'm sure, the right attitude to take. I feel suitable chastized. Right boys, stand down the super soakers!

Clippy Mat said...

Tin Can Andy's doppelganger comes down our street.
Or
perhaps that tunnel under the B&Q shed stretches a l-o-o-on-g way.?!?

Steve said...

Clippy Mat: B&Q have been sold out of spades for weeks. That's all I'm saying.

Suburbia said...

Someones just nicked my bin :-(

Hey, I hear the Turner Prize is 'interesting' this year; aluminium based action

(hee hee)

Steve said...

Suburbia: I totally sympathise with your loss having suffered the same fate a couple of years ago. As for the Turner prize... if I find Andy has won it I'll be putting in a claim for some of the cash. I'm pretty sure I could identify all my tin cans if I had to.