Friday, August 10, 2007

Lock up your rubbish

There was a time when we lived in a safe society. We didn't need to lock our front or back doors. Nor did we need to lock the car, and set the alarm, while just slipping into the local shop to buy a box of matches.

Well, maybe there was never such a time, and if there was, then there was also a local community to notice any suspicious activity near the front door. And we didn't have cars in those days, well, maybe just one.

Anyway without getting too nostalgic about the times that may never have been, there is no doubt that today is worse. Stabbings, muggings, breaking and entry with GBH are now commonplace. And nobody seems to care. Not enough anyway, unless it is happening to them at the moment.

These thoughts were provoked by a recent visit to the Carmelite church in Berkley Road, in Dublin's north inner city. I was killing time and decided to walk around the block, in a part of the city I had not examined in any detail before, in spite of having gone to school a few hundred yards down the road.

It is an imposing church and has many long remembered trappings of old - the Infant de Prague, St. Theresa of Lisieux and more - associated with the Carmelite Order.

Then I came to the offering box. This used generally to be a wooden box with a slot in it hanging on the wall. Not this time, in this place.

A full blown safe set into the floor with an elaborate slot mechanism. Amazing.

There used to be the very odd occasion, in the old days, when the offering box was burgled by some ne'er do well, who was assumed to have automatically excommunicated himself on the spot, and had an immediate reservation activated in the eternal fires. But the safe suggested that the force of the old deterrent had waned, and we were now into the final showdown where even Baby Jesus would need his manger secured for fear of abduction.

What a wonderful world!

And just in case there are any southsiders out there gloating and wondering what else would you expect on the northside, I should recount a subsequent southside experience to level the pitch.

I was walking along Upper Leeson St., the other day, when what did I see. Wheelies out for the binman (I haven't seen any binwomen yet!).

Nothing passremarkable in that, you might say. But as I passed them by, something caught my eye. Unbelievable - they were all locked. Yes, the rubbish bins were locked. That really got me wondering what people got up to on the southside.

Were the locks to keep the content in, or to stop some tipper piggybacking on his neighbour's load? Were they to stop identity theft? Could those who had identities worth stealing not afford a shredder, or perhaps the time to shred? Were the locks to keep indigent northsiders from sleeping in these luxury southside bins?

Or had these particular southsiders just been watching too much Beckett?

I feel a thesis coming on!


I am sorry to have to report that the Northside has taken this matter one stage further. This photo of a tethered rubbish bin was taken on Raheny DART southbound platform (on 18/11/2008).

Perhaps the local population has figured that these jazzy bins are a better class of object than the ones they put out for the binman at present. Or, given that this bin was on the southbound platform, perhaps the tether is a response to a Northside fear of Southside entrepreneurship in these troubled times.


Anonymous said...

Those southsiders should be lockin up there bleedin daughters, not their feckin rubbish, Wha?

NorthSouthSider said...

Club Sara abú.

Anonymous said...

Nanny state. Root cause analysis?


Elizabeth said...

I seem to remember a relative having an antique-type pot-bellied stove stolen from the front porch at night. A pot-bellied stove holding some fine green plants. That was on the Southside. So was the other relative who had (fresh? rotten?) eggs thrown at his living room window by no-doubt-irate passing ruffians.

I believe it's high time that this artificial bisecting line was declared dead and buried.

Don't forget that the biggest celeb RTE ever had lived on (gasp!) the Northside.

Póló said...

Indeed. We should fill in the Liffey just like we did the Grand Canal Spur in Rialto/James's St. for the present LUAS line. Mind you, luas is a bit of a misnomer when you actually travel is this snail-paced train.

I don't know whether you are referring to Gay or Bono as the RTE celeb, but I'll bet it was one of the Greenbeats who stole the stove.

While I'm on the subject, there is a very nice Victorian Signalling Staff Machine on the northbound platform in Blackrock DART station which I wouldn't mind nicking myself. Unfortunately it is bolted to the floor.

Anonymous said...

If someone leaves something outside their house these days does it not imply that its fair game...?

Lux Luceat said...

On the Southside, most certainly.

Póló said...

I was at a cybercrime conference yesterday when it struck me.

The southside bins are full of (unshredded?) confidential waste and the locks are to prevent Northsiders invading the (constitutionally guaranteed) privacy of the Southsiders.

I wonder what's in those bins. Anybody got a hairpin?