Next door, the little treasures, have a habit/compulsion to discard quite a lot of their rubbish – drinks bottles, sweet wrappers etc – under the bushes of our front garden. A cursory glance at these discarded packets gives you a quick insight into why they are, for want of a better word, shits. There is so much sugar flowing through their veins that a diabetic couldn’t even approach their house without slipping into a coma.
Recently, on a visit to mum’s, we borrowed one of the many grabby-arm things that she has dotted about the place. Why so many? Well, she’s short. And she’s short in every room. So to reach things without too much faff, she has the grabby arm things. I don’t know what their technical name actual is, but hey ho. She has lots. Now she has one less and we have one more.
I use the grabby-arm thing to remove the rubbish from the bushes. Originally, I just binned it. But any new stuff I find, I now take round to the back garden and dump alongside the other rubbish they have in there. I feel that it’s nice to give the rats which *must* be knocking around, something new to play with. And what’s better than a rat? A rat hopped up on sugar residue, that’s what.
But Carole thinks I have formed an unhealthy attachment to this grabby arm thing. She fears I will never bend again. For some reason, she has it in her head that it’s all I use to pick things up now. In fact, she is so sure of my love for the grabby arm thing that she came home the other day and told me she had found me the perfect job because she had seen a man collecting litter with one of them. And, crucially, he never bent over once.
I mean, I don’t think I have an unhealthy attachment to it. It’s just fun. It’s fun to see what you can and can’t do with it. At mum’s, when Carole and my mum where collecting dad was he coming home from hospital for the one night he made it out before things went awry, I killed some time in the kitchen moving kiwi fruit from one side of the room to the other with nothing but the grabby hand.
I think it’s the scientist in me. I need to know the limits. It’s all I can do to resist taking the claw to the bowl of 10 eggs that is on the kitchen worktop – just to add an element of risk to the proceedings.
But I don’t have an unhealthy attachment to the thing.
Now, if I had two of them that would be a different story…