Um, don’t really know about this one, but I had fun writing it yesterday. There’s a
shit-ton lot of bad language, just to let you know.
That Time I Got My Leg Stuck In a Bin and It Turned Me Into a Superhero
I’ve got my leg stuck in a bin. Why the fuck have I got my leg stuck in a bin? I’ll tell you why, and it reminds me of that shit old joke. Why does the flamingo stand on one leg? ‘Cause if he stood on none, he’d fall over. Har. Har. So here’s my joke: Why have I got one leg stuck in a bin? ‘Cause I managed to get the other leg out.
I’ve just graduated from uni, in London no less, which basically makes me a proper adult. And what do you do when you’ve just marked yourself as a proper adult? You get proper drunk, right? You get so drunk that when your mate says Why don’t you put those bins on your legs and pretend to be a robot? you actually fucking do it. And they’re those thin cylindrical silver bins that are crap for throwing away anything except Pringles cans and even thinner bins, so they fit snugly over your legs and it’s hilarious because Mate you know who you are? You’re the braindead lovechild of C-3PO and a Dalek which is funny for some reason when you’re pissed (although why braindead?), and even funnier when Alan and Lucy try to re-enact what they suppose sex between C-3PO and a Dalek would look like, and then Ivana says I think they’re just acting out their own sexual exploits and you spit your whisky everywhere laughing and it’s Good Times.
It’s less hilarious in the cold light of day when you wake up on the kitchen floor and your legs are still in bins. I get the right one off simple enough, my leg just kinda falls out along with some instant noodle packets, a slimy yoghurt pot and what I really hope isn’t a condom, because ewww and it’s a kitchen so ewww to the power of like five. But the left leg just won’t come out. I dunno if it’s ‘cause of the angle of my foot or the way my jeans are all bunched up, but the grey cylinder death trap simply won’t budge. I try to undo my jeans and slip my leg out, but no dice. I’m stuck.
Alan appears bleary-eyed in the kitchen about 10 while I’m sitting contemplatively on the floor.
“Ril, you got your leg in a bin,” is his opening line. My name’s Cyril, hence Ril.
“Oh really?” I say. “Which leg?”
“The left one,” he says.
I stare at him, trying to melt his face. “Enjoy your night of robot sex?”
“Enjoy your night of no sex and having your leg in a bin?”
It makes no sense but he’s kinda got me there.
Shortly Lucy turns up. “Ril, you got your leg in a bin,” she says.
“You two are made for each other,” I reply, and lie down on the cold kitchen tiles. “Pull me out, yeah?”
Lucy grabs my outstretched arms and Alan grapples the bin. They pull.
It fucking hurts, and I tell them in no uncertain terms.
“Suit yourself,” Alan says. “You can wear the bin forever.”
“They’ll call you Bin Man,” Lucy adds. “Your superpower will be really unwashed underpants.”
“That’s a rubbish superhero,” I say, and I’m pleased with my pun. “Please save me from such a fate.”
They pull again, and I bite my tongue. Still no fucking dice. Great.
“I think you’re going to have to go to A&E,” Lucy says.
“Great,” I say. “Call me an ambulance?”
“Okay, you’re an ambu-”
“Shut up, Alan!”
Lucy stares down at me as I lie pathetically on the floor. “We can’t call you an ambulance, it’s not an emergency.”
“It is an emergency!” I protest. “If I stay here much longer, I’m going to get…”
“Yes! And bored.”
Lucy puts her hands over her mouth in horror. “Oh the humanity.”
“Well what do you propose I do then?” I say. “I’m not paying 30 quid for a bloody taxi.”
“Walk,” says Alan.
I don’t dignify him with a response. What the hell am I going to do, just step outside onto the streets of London and catch a bus to St George’s? Not bloody likely. I’ll get called all sorts of things, like Bin Wanker and Bin Laden, and the abuse from morons half my age will make me so ashamed that I’ll end up putting another bin over my head just to escape it all, and then I really will be Bin Man, just like Lucy said, but I won’t be a superhero, I’ll be a supervillain, and just wander around headbutting low-hanging potted plants while my evil villain cackle echoes tinnily from inside the bin. Forever.
Ivana arrives in the kitchen wearing tiny black panties and an unbuttoned oversized shirt that belongs to her stupid oversized boyfriend. Her nose ring is perfect and her arse is perfect and she looks especially perfect from my vantage point of lying on the floor. She’s definitely seen me staring at her before so when she comes and stands directly over my face she’s definitely doing it deliberately. For the briefest of moments, I wonder whether she’d sleep with me if I became a superhero. Sadly Ivana’s class of superhero probably puts her out of Bin Man’s league.
“What are you doing, Ril?” she asks, staring down at me with those big panda eyes.
“Just chilling,” I say.
“Do you realise that one of your bins has fallen off? Your leg is naked.”
I snort with laughter, partly because she’s funny and partly because I want her to think I think she’s funny.
“Got any bright ideas?” I ask. “The brain trust here has failed me.”
“I tried to call him an ambulance,” Alan intones, “but he told me to shut up.”
“Shut up, Alan,” I sigh.
“No ideas,” says Ivana, “but hurry up, okay? I want to throw things away and you’re hogging half the bins.”
“I’ll throw you away,” I say.
Ivana kicks me affectionately in the head. “I like you better on the floor,” she says, and I have no idea what that means, but I kinda like it.
Time passes and I’m hungry so Alan drags me to my foot and I clank around the kitchen like a demented pirate cyborg. Two packs of papery noodles later and I’m re-energised, so in a fit of adrenalin-fueled insanity, I say the following thing:
“Oh fine, I’ll just get the bus to the damn hospital. Who’s coming with me?”
“I’ll come,” says Ivana. (Yes!)
“We’ll all come,” says Lucy. (No!)
We traipse out of the house, hungover, bedraggled and bin-attached. I’m still wearing my clothes from the night before. Lucy suggests we all carry bin lids and wear saucepans on our heads, which makes Alan and Ivana practically cack themselves with laughter. They chicken out of actually doing it though.
All the way down the road, it’s step clank step clank step clank step clank through the sleepy Sunday morning air like the shittiest church bells ever. I half-expect people to draw back the curtains of their repressed urban lives and shake their fists at me comically, but instead I get totally ignored as I step clank step clank all the way to the bus stop at the T-junction.
“We have made it, Robot Master!” declares Lucy as we arrive. The three of them have been marching behind me in single-file and in time to my clanking.
“Vat are your orderz?” Alan adds in a terrible, terrible, really fucking terrible German accent.
“The Robot Master requires transportation!” Lucy says, before I can reply. “Comrade Ivana will procure us a vehicle!”
I throw my hands up in the air, which almost causes me to lose my balance. “Are we bloody Germans or Russians?”
“We are robots!” they yell in almost-perfect unison which is actually really impressive and causes them all to high-five as if what we just graduated from was primary school.
We stand at the bus stop, while Ivana pretends to scout the road for a suitable ride.
“Mate,” says a voice to my left, and it’s my worst nightmare, a tiny person with a shaved head who can surely barely be a teenager but still somehow makes me nervous because I’m probably going to lose a fight to him, especially with a bin on my leg.
“What?” I say.
“The fuck’s wrong with your leg?” he says and he sounds aggressive although maybe I’m projecting.
“Nothing,” I mumble, and I hate myself.
“What did you say?” he replies, and I’m definitely not projecting the aggression.
Suddenly Ivana is standing at my side. “Are you blind? He’s got a metal leg, hasn’t he? You got a problem with metal legs, you metallist?”
The man-boy takes a step back. “What?” he says, but it’s not aggressive any more.
“You people make me sick,” Ivana shouts. “It’s contagious, you know. Get out of here! Run, run, while you still have fleshy legs to carry you!”
“You’re fucking crazy,” the boy says, but he’s no longer standing at the bus stop, and he’s receding into the distance fast.
God, she’s just perfect, all that confidence and fiery energy and jet-black hair. And who the hell am I? I’m the weirdo with his leg stuck in a bin, like they ran out of parts at the warehouse in heaven and couldn’t be bothered to wait for the next delivery. The guy who’s making me is all like Hey Jerry when’s the next batch of left legs arriving? and Jerry shrugs and the guy’s like Should I wait to complete this one? And Jerry shouts back Is it anyone important? Y’know, like da Vinci or Churchhill or Bieber? And the guy’s like Nah, just some English bloke called Cyril and Jerry laughs and shouts across the factory floor Whatever, just stick a bin on him and call it a leg and let’s go get lunch, yeah?
“Oh shit,” says Alan suddenly, and we all turn and look at him, and then we all turn and look at where he’s staring.
Oh shit indeed. The man-boy’s coming back, but he’s not alone. He’s brought a proper man with him who’s roughly the size of all four of us standing on a tank.
“We should probably go,” says Ivana, and she doesn’t sound so confident now, which makes me like her even more.
There’s no time though, because man-boy and his enlarged-by-a-factor-of-a-million friend are upon us, snarling with damaged pride.
“Why the fuck you messing with my son?” is Tank Man’s opening line. “He’s just a boy, what the fuck do you think you’re…” He lapses into silence. “Mate, why have you got a bin on your leg?”
I shrug. “It’s becoming a long story,” I say.
“You giving me fucking attitude?” he says to that.
Apparently Ivana is actually insane because she says: “Oh piss off. You’re the one with the terrible attitude, mate. Just leave us alone.”
Tank Man’s nostrils flare and he’s on her in a flash, but she’s a girl so he’s not actually going to – he’s pushed her, he’s actually pushed her, and she’s sprawled on the ground and –
And there’s a rage inside me that I can’t control, and never mind Bin Man, I’m the Fucking Incredible Hulk and I limp towards him and he turns to me and I can see his bloody great clenched arm like a mace on the end of a battering ram but I don’t care because I’m a superhero and I kick him in the knee which usually would be totally useless because I have legs like straws from McDonalds but today it’s different because I have a metal bin on my leg.
He goes down in wonderful, pathetic, girly agony, and he smacks his head on the bus stop shelter as he does so and he groans and he’s not getting up and I feel more alive than I ever have in my entire life.
“Dad!” shouts the boy, and for the briefest of compassionate nano-seconds I want to reassure him that his Dad’s okay, he’s just slightly concussed, but then Lucy yells at me from already some distance away.
“Run, you robot idiot, run!”
All three of them are pegging it back down the road and I hurtle after them with my terrible gait, lurching awkwardly from side to side, my arms pumping uselessly. Now it’s double time: stepclankstepclankstepclankstepclank as I flee and inside my heart is soaring. I’m a real-life superhero! This is my origin story! Born into a dead-eyed middle-class family in rural Hertfordshire, Cyril had no aspirations save for a comfortable life as a chartered accountant and maybe his own small family/boat, until one fateful night, surrounded by the neon smother of London and endless bottles of cheap whisky, he finally awoke to his destiny, not a life of fighting spreadsheets, but a life of fighting crime. A new breed of superhero, a gritty hero, up to his left knee in the filth of the city’s underworld. The hero that London needs, the hero it deserves.
I am not Cyril Arthur Montfort. I am Bin Man.
Ivana is waiting for me at the end of the road and I know how this script reads: I’ve saved her life. Oh Bin Man, she’ll say, and she’ll melt into my arms, and I’ll carry her upstairs and symbolically rip off her (ex-)boyfriend’s shirt and we’ll make passionate love all through the day and all through the night, while my bin leg reverberates erotically against the end of the bed thrust clank thrust clank thrust clank thrust clank.
And actually the clanking’s stopped, and I look down breathless as I reach Ivana’s side.
“Hey that’s a shame, Ril,” says Ivana. “You’ve got two legs again.”