Tuesday 14 February 2012

A Tuesday Tale - meeting the charity shop 'lowlife'

I'd only been working at the charity shop for one Saturday afternoon or so but was beginning to get the hang of the dreaded steaming machine. My eyes were also being opened about the total rubbish that sadly we were 'given' - don't get me wrong, we had some fantastic donations and were so grateful when people thought of the shop. But for example cracked and chipped crockery, three-legged chairs (I kid you not!), half-used lipsticks and trainers where one big toe area had been totally cut away (presumably to accommodate a broken or damaged toe - ouch) weren't exactly going to be at the top of anyone's shopping list were they?

So, outside the back of the shop, we had a mahoosive skip and anything that we couldn't clean, fix or recycle had to be ditched.
The skip was about twice the size of the one above, and located in our own back yard area. I couldn't see to peep over the top of the thing - anyhow, I was too busy indoors wrestling with 'Hissing Sid The Steamer'.

But, one of our 'ladies' trotted out with a load of stuff and threw it into the skip - an action which was followed by a loud yell of indignation. When she looked closer there was only a guy, inside the skip, who had the cheek to shout 'Watch it, I'm busy in here!!'. As fast as she'd been loading the skip he'd been ferreting out stuff and passing it to his mate who was calmly loading up a supermarket trolley 'borrowed' from Asda just nearby.

His mate 'legged it' and he scrambled up out of the skip, before being chased down the street by an irate band of volunteers waving an assortment of brooms and shouting at him and his 'mate' to hop it.

That was the tip of the iceberg - much worse tricks were employed by the local lowlife, to be saved for another day I think - but, later that evening I did wonder if he realised that he was lucky it was only a couple of disgusting old cushions that clocked him on the head - it could have been a bucket load of broken crockery or a three-legged chair!



  1. Another great tale, Hissing Sid reminded me of the Keith Michelle record of years ago, someone and his band, can't remember the title now, Noel Edmunds used to play it a lot.

    Kath x

    Captain Beaky, just remembered by Guinness book of hit singles.

  2. One of my favourites of all time Kath!! I liked the little French Mouse smoking zee Galouise and zen 'poof' as zee gas was escaping from zee drain :)) Di xx

  3. Another fab tale Di. :-)
    A x

  4. Oh Di muy stomach aches from laughting l would of loved to have been there and seen there reactions so funny........still laughing now:) Sandra H

  5. Hee hee. Yep, you are quite the storyteller.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!!


  6. Dear me,Di, there must be some truth in that old adage that states that what you consider junk others will consider treasure ... though by your description I would hardly think there was treasure in that skip :) Another rib-tickler ... Hissing Sid, The Steamer ... it's all in how you tell 'em :)) Look forward to next weeks tale. Elizabeth x

  7. To funny! Shows to go ya 'one man's trash is another's treasure'. The shops here in town keep their trash behind locked gates but having seen the stuff they do sell I can't help but wonder what they deem unfit for sale.

  8. Oh wow di your days are never dull. hehe .hugs heidi x

  9. How have I managed to miss your Tuesday Tales? I have been a bit lax with my blog hopping of late but tonight I have stopped by and after reading tonights tale,I have looked back and read every Tuesday tales you've written! Youve made my evening! See you same time next week if not before!.x

  10. Goodness me! Whatever next? xxx

  11. Yup. Been there! LOL! Used to volunteer in the British Red Cross shop when I lived down in Kent. Some of the customers were so abusive- and cheeky ("I'll give you 50p for this. What? Why not? I don't care what your tag says, it's a charity shop!")
    I kept to the backroom sorting.

    What struck me was that the better the quality of clothing, the worse the condition. We could get clothes from really cheap shops and supermarkets, and they had been washed and washed and washed and looked after to within an inch of their lives. Then we would get shirts from Saville Row (I kid you not) that had brown rims of dirt round the collars and cuffs. We'd get designer clothes that were filthy. We'd even get used underwear that were still shaped as though someone had only just stepped out of them! I think people thought we would just clean them, but we had no washing machine. ANything dirty went to the 'ragman' for recycling, for a small donation.

    SOmeone haded in bags of baby clothes, gorgeous things, but unwashed and smelly. I took the lot home and washed them there, brought them back and did a whole window display with them. So much lace and satin! I couldn't bear to see them thrown away.

    We also used to find abandoned shirts in the changing rooms where people had put on the one from the shop and left theirs hanging on the hook!

  12. What a funny tale! If I had been the lady tossing the stuff I think my hair would have stood on end--not expecting someone in the bin! It makes you wonder what they do with all those castoff castoffs? Do they take them home like treasures? Are they that hard up? Are they hoarders of whatever catches their eye? Me mum in law is a hoarder and the stuff that catches her eye.... and the sheer amount of it. ugh.


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