Extra responsibilities thrust onto an already laden Department

It’s been known for years that in my family I am in charge of the Sports and Leisure Department. However, with the boys all grown up I am no longer needed to chaperone them to the park and coach them in all things sporty (apart from rugby and golf, of course). This department is now defunct from the Government.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, my good lady wife, now says I must justify my existence in the cabinet. I asked for the role of Minister without Portfolio knowing full well she would guillotine my suggestion. After chairing a committee meeting comprised of herself she decided to expand my duties in my other, less glamorous, cabinet post.

Since entering into marriage and without any discussion, it was just naturally assumed, I have been responsible for taking the rubbish out. This laborious and mundane task was sexed up to appeal to my love of self-importance. Bestowed on me was the grandiose title of Environment Secretary. For the first few months I was as happy as a pig in mud as I trudged to the bins in all weathers with my garbage. I soon became pig-sick of, basically, trudging to the bins in all weathers with garbage.

In a startling new development the PM has added further responsibilities to the Environmental Department. The rubbish has to be separated into the respective recycle bins. Colour-coded receptacles are provided for the household and it is an onerous undertaking remembering what item of recycle material goes where. These added chores are taxing on my brain and I might have known that it’s all down to the green lobby. I am the last person in the world that will go green, if you know what I mean.

(Exterminate! Exterminate!)

There are so many problems in my new job that could unexpectedly arise. For one, the bin men could go on strike leaving my filled to capacity containers to bloat in the yard. Nobody wants a bloater in their back garden. Demanding a downsizing of a shelf or two from my cabinet post I barged into the PM’s parliamentary study for a showdown. She was online viewing the shopping channel, QVC. Before I could utter a word she said. “Do me a favour, love. Be a dear and empty my recycle bin on the computer when I’m finished here.”

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21 Comments on “Extra responsibilities thrust onto an already laden Department”

  1. Refuse, JW, refuse!

  2. Many Congratulations, JW, on your exciting new position! And your dazzlingly neat & colourful bins.

    I assumed QVC was a cunning bizzwhizz acronym, but I find it actually Is a shopping online place! In fact it's a Whole World of products & personalities, & how they Truly find harmony with downtime, or Stay neat by vacuuming 4 to 5 times a day…

    From now on, my enlightenment shall be in the teachings of QVC

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Did you take her request literally, JW?

  4. Expat Says:

    Aargh! Anon was me, hitting the publish button too soon.

  5. JW10 Says:

    Isn't that what John the Baptist said to sinners, CI? Something like that anyway.

    Thanks Dolores, unfortunately the extra duties don't come with more pay.
    QVC is the default channel on my TV. I am used to it now and I must admit I order some of the beauty products. After all, you never know when that first wrinkle will appear.

    LOL Expat. I just got your joke.
    I get excited myself before I reach the punchline. Your gag was that good you didn't want to “waste” any time and published in haste.

  6. No recycling in Tenerife!

    Our bins vanish at 6am every day.
    They reappear at 6.05am, empty.
    At 8am our maids disinfect the bins.

    I usually wake up later.

  7. Expat Says:

    CI, what do they do with all the rubbish? Perhaps they are emulating the Saudis and dumping it offshore to create what is known in the industry as “made land.” I expect to see a satellite shot of a beer-bottle- shaped island resort on google in the not too distant future.

    Where I live, all the recycle goes in one bin. We have an organization that helps employ mentally challenged adults living in group homes to (safely)sort plastic from glass, etc. They earn their own living with pride and are paid a decent rate. I think that's terrific.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Oooops!
    My turn to trash a comment!

    Expat – It's an interesting question! I'll find out, and get back to you!

    Daily rubbish collections are essential in Tenerife because of the tourist industry and the climate. What a contrast with England – where our rubbish is collected weekly (one week for recycles and the following week for the rest). It's totally inadequate, and when we are there we make extra trips to the tip ourselves.

    Beer-bottle shaped? My artifical island is more likely to be Rioja-shaped, with a scattering of smaller JD-shaped islets…

  10. “First wrinkle” JW? – Pchaw to that! Mine has been recycled and sorted and regurgitated as a Smoothity, thanks to QVC Deep Thought and Concrete.

    CI, one dreads to think what manner of irritation can be simply despatched in sturdy plastic bags & never seen again…

    Over here, Expat, it's students on holiday jobs who do the sorting – seems a wasteful waste of the employment you describe for those whose opportunities may be limited.

  11. Expat Says:

    JW, I am fascinated by these bins. What are they made of? It looks like cardboard. If so, you would have to keep them indoors, out of the rain. And they have a hole in the top, so two reasons to keep them out of the rain.Is everybody required to have four different bins? Does the council issue them, and give you a new one when the old one gets tatty?

    So many questions…

  12. Mystery solved. The rubbish goes to landfill. It is inspected before compaction and burial, to separate out any wayward tourists.

    🙂 The mind boggles…!

  13. JW10 Says:

    Having no wrinkles is a curse as wherever I go, people stop and stare. “Look at the wrinkle-free man” says mothers to their children. Nowadays, I paint fake wrinkles on my face for an easy life.

    Those aren't my bins. They are a stock image I've “borrowed” from Google.
    Up here we have two coloured bins, inevitably blue and green. Blue is for paper/cardboard- green for glass.
    I was going to upload a picture of my bins but I've exasperated the neighbours enough.

  14. JW10 Says:

    P.S. I still can't look at the recycle icon on my monitor without bursting into laughter.

  15. JW, How I sympathise! I know what it is to be pointed at in Tesco by awe-struck hordes: “Look mummy,” they say, “it's Les Dawson.”

  16. JW10 Says:


    You are a star.
    Fall off my chair backwards with laughter.

  17. well thank heavens you explained That one, JW!

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. sorry – it went twice!

  20. This post has been unremoved by the author.

    Dolores and I have each deleted a comment, and Expat has submitted one from the ubiquitous Anonymous. Are we all suffering from from CFS, aka comment fatigue syndrome? If so, what is the cure?

  21. CI – mine was more a case of Ffs – Frenziedfingersyndrome, or 'Bloodywell publish, will you! (pokepokepoke!) Oh…'

    Hence two of the same. And no doubt a fiendish subsymptom of the dreaded CFS you warn of. The cure? A Hot mustard poultice cures anything…

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