Friday, May 24, 2013

Dirty Poles

In an ideal world this post would be about my misadventures in a lap dancing club.

Instead it is about a misadventure with a broken washing machine. Misadventure. That makes it sound like the final verdict is a cop out from an inconclusive police investigation when in fact the verdict is far from inconclusive. It was, ladies and gentlemen, theft pure and simple.

Yes, the washing machine - condemned to death due to a clapped out motor - had been left in my front garden in full view of the street. Yes, my intention was to offload it onto the first rag and bone man that blew his trumpet my way. Yes, I had no intention of making any money from the transaction. I affirm all of the above.

But I put it to you that, lying in situ on my front lawn as it was, and all other intentions aside, that washing machine was still my property and legally mine. To remove it without my permission was theft plain and simple.

So. The local rag and bone man finally appears on his appointed day and I dash outside to hail him over. He grinds his flatbed truck to a halt, leaps out with the look of a martyr doing me a favour and finds me scratching my head at the huge washing machine shaped hole that has suddenly appeared in the reality that surrounds us.

It was literally there the last time I looked and now suddenly it wasn't.

Some bugger had half-inched it in the night. Probably while Karen and I had taken the car off the drive and gone into town to see Star Trek.

Unbelievable. Do these people offer a refuse collection service as well?

I had to apologize for wasting Mr Rag & Bone Man's time. He gave a pained shrug like he was used to this sort of thing and uttered the words, "probably them dirty Poles" before driving off in a squeal of copper piping and freshly fenced drain covers.

Great. Theft and casual, lazy racism all in one day.

To be honest, it's possible he wasn't slagging off all Poles in one foul breath but merely slighting the rival gang of Polish rag and bone men who also ply their trade along our street and, as he sees it, steal his business.

As it was I know for a fact that the washing machine was taken late in the evening when no rag and bone man would even think about stirring from the pub no matter how much free "any any old iron" was waiting to be had. Somebody else had nicked it, ethnic extraction as yet unknown.

And I am mightily pissed off about it but I find all avenues of recompense currently closed to me. The thing was broken and I wanted rid of it. So what does it matter?

It matters because whoever took it had made huge assumptions about the situation. That washing machine could have been specifically promised to someone. That machine could have been in full working order and only outside temporarily while we overhauled the kitchen. That washing machine could have been a novelty dog house.

They didn't ask to find out. They just took it. If they'd knocked on my door and asked me if they could take it I would probably have said yes and good riddance to it. But they didn't even pay me that smallest of respects.

It is the arrogant assumption that they had the right to take it without any kind of legal impediment that really grates with me.

An Englishman's castle is no longer sacred.

These days, unless you can nail it down, the natives are likely to steal the moat.



16 comments:

Alex Walsh said...

Exactly the same thing happened with our 8 year old Zanussi cooker. The bottom oven didn't work, the knobs were busted yet it sat outside our house in a dead end road, on a housing estate that's not on a main road, for all of 20 minutes before it vanished.

If only the bin men were as efficient...

Steve said...

Alex: exactly. Surely the bin men are making a more regular wage than these rogue white goods burglars... and yet the latter are for better motivated when it comes to making house-calls.

Gorilla Bananas said...

So thieves were watching your house, waiting for you to go and see Star Trek, so they could nip in and steal your washing machine? It must have had antique value - it's your own fault for not getting it appraised by an expert.

Craig said...

Perhaps not so dirty Poles if the get the motor working..
They'll probably get it working temporarily and sell it to some poor unsuspecting old dear.

Kelloggs Ville said...

what bothers me is when they find out it's not repairable or not worth repairing and it then gets dumped somewhere. If I'd wanted my waste dumping in a layby I'd have done it myself mate.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: or they had a look around the house and decided the broken washing machine was the only thing worth taking. That's a depressing thought.

Craig: erm. Funnily enough I've just bought a new washing machine...

Kelloggs Ville: if they bring it back I'll be doubly insulted.

Nana Go-Go said...

It would cost you 23 quid for a special uplift to get rid of it up here!Opportunist thieves are everywhere these days - especially if they see a piece of scrap metal lying around and they manage to nick 10 of the same everyday, makes for quite a tidy sum I should imagine and all without the taxman being involved!It's a dog-eat-dog world these days, Steve. Have a good weekend.x

Steve said...

Nana Go-Go: so have the thieves technically saved me money or have I lost out on the relative value of the metals they stole? I'm confused!

the fly in the web said...

If you were to leave it outside in San Jose the ever present street cleaner would have his gang remove it in minutes.

They're all in uniform with a very fetching hat resembling that of old fashioned coal heavers...but whether the council gets any benefit from their recycling activities is another matter.

My neighbour there swears that if you were to put your shopping bag down while unlocking your gate it would stand a fair chance of being scooped up into the official wheelbarrow and be away up the road by the time you'd opened your mouth to shout.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: at least these guys wear a uniform. Thieves here are so sartorially wanting it's untrue.

libby said...

I just assumed it was the way things were nowadays...you leave something by the path and oops..there it mysteriously goes!

Steve said...

Libby: true. I'm amazed our car is still there most mornings.

Vicky said...

We have had a broken whipper snipper sitting under our car port for 12 months and no bugger has bothered to steal that!

Steve said...

Vicky: give me a couple of hours and I'll be over.

Marginalia said...

Our council collects stuff like discarded washing machines. You just phone them and they pop along. It's free.

I think I saw their collection on "Flog It!" recently.

Steve said...

Marginalia: have they been journeying further afield than usual, perchance?