I’m asleep on the fold-out bed in Tyson’s room and when he pokes me in the back with his usual, ‘I wanna get up’ I hear the screeching of the rubbish truck and all the oxygen that was in the process of being utilised by my lungs is shunted out with the much used phrase – ‘Oh Jesus God No!’ – because I forgot to put our choccas-to-the-top bin out last night. I jump from the bed as I if was double-bounced. I’m on the verge of tears.
The Bin Returned Home Empty!
Tyson runs down the hallway which alerts me to the fact that he has slept-in for one of the few times in his life because the rest of the family is awake and busying about. There’s no way I can hide my heinous error.
My jeans, jumper and Roman Sandals go on fast – Superman style – and I’m running outside to the curb to see every other bin in our street scattered across the ground or standing tall with their lids open, like the mouths of carnival clowns. They’re laughing at me.
Once I grab the wheelie bin I sprint it to the Ford Territory like a warring Indian riding a war-horse and press the magic button of the rear door. It opens with a whoosh and my fingers grasp the lever to ease the backseats down.
As I’m heaving the bin into the Territory, Jack, my eighty-seven year old neighbour, comes out and says, ‘You could just put it across the other side of the road.’
‘They’ve taken it all already, Jack’ I scream. ‘It’s all gone!’
‘Oh,’ he says.
The bin’s lid has stayed shut because it’s flush against the Territory’s wall and when the car door closes without any space issues I’m overwhelmed by a sense of relief, and on the verge of tears again.
As I’m reversing the car out of the drive-way Jack is waving me around, navigating, keeping an eye out for other cars but when I yell, ‘The Territory has a rear camera in it and I can see everything on this screen in the Command Centre,’ I don’t think he hears me. Either that or he doesn’t trust modern technology. Once I’m out on the road I wave him my thanks and I’m fanging it down the road in search of street with full bins.
I’m getting more and more frustrated – amazed – by the fact that every street within four blocks of our house has had their bins emptied already. Reservoir Mum is back home wanting to catch the train to work and the kids must be going nutso for breakfast right now. The pressure I’m dealing with is immense and the only way to get through it is to go to the Command Centre again and hit the Media button, which transfers music from my phone straight to the Territory’s speakers.
The first song to come up is Part-Time Lover by Stevie Wonder, which sees m apt because that is what this car is to me. Ford have gifted the Ford Territory to me for one month so that I can fang it around with the family, give it a good seeing too and write a thorough review.
As I cross Boulderwood Parade and head over to Yarra Avenue I’m starting to jive a little and I can’t help but wonder if carrying a full wheelie-bin in the back was the sort of thing Ford had in mind.
Finally, a street with full bins! I pull over and jump out, Roman Sandals hitting puddles of water, and run to the rear of the car but when I lift the door a man comes out of the house directly opposite me – wearing a suit, holding a briefcase – and so I shut the door, walk right around the car to the driver’s side door again, pretend to look at the ground as if I’d lost something important, jump back in the car and drive away, certain that he would have been too distracted by the shiny Ford Territory to worry about the dodgy, panicked looking man that came out of it.
Two streets later I find another row of un-emptied bins and try again and this time everything works a treat. I put the bin on a corner, leap into the car and fang it home wailing out Part-Time Lover like it’s the last chance I’ll ever get to sing, and then it occurs to me that this would be a great story to introduce the part-time relationship I’ve got going on with Ford.
Yes. Because at this early stage of our commitment the Territory has taken a wheelie bin in the back for me, co-navigated me out of the driveway with neighbour Jack, taken my best fanging on the wet and narrow suburban roads, and soothed me with choice 80s music thanks to its high-tech gadgetry.
When I pull up in the drive-way I’m on the verge of tears again: happy one this time. I’m going to have to keep reminding myself of the part-time nature of our relationship or it’s going to be hard to let this baby go.