30 June, 2012

The new knights of the road

I have great admiration for our dustmen. Not only because they pick up our rubbish and recycling for us, which is such a vital role in our society, but also because they are all round good eggs.

They are unfailing polite. They always say good morning to me when I’m walking the kids to school and stand aside to let us past. If you pull in when driving to let the dustcart go by, the men are hugely grateful. And if you wait patiently in your car behind the dustcart until they’ve finished emptying all the bins, well, you really get the red carpet treatment.  The other morning when I did just that I was saluted and waved through with a flourish. I consider our dustmen to be nothing less than the new knights of the road.

However, if you show any sort of impatience, blow your horn, or try to push past the dustcart, woe betide you. You’ll be stuck there twice as long as you would have been had you been patient. And you’re likely to experience a few choice words or an obscene gesture or two to boot.

And who can blame our dustmen? If I were trapped in a huge lorry surrounded by the stench of rotting garbage while performing a community service, I’d be expecting to demand some respect too.

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