The Badly Behaved Bin
Most bins in Lancaster are well-behaved.
They gather the litter and tidy the streets. They're quiet. And most of all, they sit still.
But the bin below the Bridge on Ridge Lane is different.
It's a Badly Behaved Bin.
It spews its trash all over the path. It barks at the dogs and befriends the rats. It bites the hand that feeds it. And on dark quiet nights, it howls at the moon.
One wet Wednesday morning, the Bad Bin got bored of its spot below the bridge on Ridge Lane.
So it got up and waddled down the canal.
It yipped at the ducks, sending them flapping and it skipped for the shear joy of freedom, scattering crisp packets and coke cans in its wake. It had pushed a total of 7 cyclists in the canal and reached Carnforth before the Bin Warden caught up... with his Big Bin Net.
Lancaster Council's Bin and Skip Re-education Facility is located in the industrial estate off Caton Road. That's where they turn bad bins good.
In the morning, they are taught to sit. All morning long, the bins must sit perfectly motionless. But the Bad Bin knows the taste of freedom now and no amount of treats or beatings will hold it still.
Every afternoon at the Bin and Skip Re-education Facility, there is a double session of Litter Collection Duty. Bin Re-education Officers with leather gloves up to their armpits nervously drop banana skins and dog poo bags into their newly obedient bins.
But the Bad Bin had a taste for human flesh too. It took 3 fingers and half a thumb before the officers gave up and sent the Bad Bin back to its small, concrete and barbed wire kennel.
On the second morning, the Bad Bin made a break for it, barrelling through a cluster of bleary eyed Bin Re-education Officers and romping towards the canal... and freedom.
Bounding south, it reached Galgate before the bumbling officers dared venture close enough to attempt a re-capture. They would have caught it too, if the Bad Bin hadn't spotted its final chance to escape.
With an agility seen only in the undomesticated wild bins of the African Savanah, the Bad Bin leapt. It flew over the murky water and landed with a sickening crunch in the prow of a smartly painted, red and green canal boat.
With the wind in its face, it purred softly, dreaming of Garstang or Preston or the African Savanah or where-ever this boat was heading.
And it may well have reached that glorious destination if the Bin Warden's Patrol Barge hadn't been lurking around the next corner.
They gave up on the Bad Bin's re-education. Instead they chained it to the signpost below the bridge on Ridge Lane.
Even still, you should always be careful with your fingers around that particular bin. And don't be surprised if, one day, when walking along the canal, you find the chain chewed clean through and a litter strewn spot where the Bad Bin used to be.