Sunday, November 29, 2009

Transfer Vultures

I have inherited a shiny new plastic jug to drink coffee from, and a large blue wooden box with the house number 13 screwed on the front.

Such are the spoils from people transferring elsewhere. As soon as the word spreads that someone is on their way, others begin to sidle up to him to ask what he's leaving behind. Prime items are electrical goods, stereo, Play Station and the like. If they are parted with, it is to best mates or the highest bidder.

The rest of us make do with useful odds and ends. A decent chair, handy table, lengths of shelving and the like. Even bits of string are blagged; the beginnings of a clothes line.

The plastic jug will be very useful. The wooden box is more a 'because it was there' type of thing; I'm not at all sure what will become of it. Perhaps I will put it out on the landing, where another person will find it and give it a home. We may be vultures, but like all scavengers we are also great re-cyclers.


  1. Seems fair enough to me, is there ever any bullying behind this though? I mean, do people force people to part with possesions or does the process contain more dignity than that?

    Christian Sam

  2. In my experience, it is rarely about bullying. If you are going to strong-arm someone for their property, why wait until they are leaving? Contrary to popular belief, prisons are not like the wild west.

  3. The shiny plastic jug Ben? Aah! It just might come in useful when the next tsunami is due, I suppose.

    The blue wooden box, with the number 13 screwed to it? This reminds me of the TV compere Michael Miles, on the quiz programme 'Take Your Pick' in the 1960's. The only thing is, on that show, you had a choice of a bunch of other numbered boxes also. It seems, that in your case Ben, you just get one box, with number. At least the box is blue, so it is for a boy, in your case Ben, a guy.

    You Ben, only get one box and that has the number 13 screwed on it, 'unlucky for some'. There is perhaps, a hint in that the number is screwed on. So, the answer to what to do with this box?

    As the numbers are screwed on, it must be meant to go to one of the Prison Screws, number 13 perhaps. Or just leave it outside on the landing. The correct 'Screw' is sure to pick it up!

    I agree with the other comment about prisons 'not being the Wild West', although yours is in Somerset. Crikey! Prisons have moved on a little from the Newgate Prison style! Well Ben, have they? You are my link to that Prison World. I would rather believe you Ben, than any government minister, or prison service monkey!

  4. "Put it out on the landing..." - reminiscent of the nature strip economy of recyclable homewares in suburban Sydney. There is nothing wrong with scavenging from piles of discarded whatnot on the eve of council-cleanup, just as there is good sense in the fossicking of odds and ends when they are readily avaialble.