Livewire - October 5, 2011

Have your say

By Geoff Adams of Knott End

There was another plastic bag pushed through the door this morning. ‘Please fill with good quality clothes, shoes tied together, and no tat.’

Mrs A looked up from knitting her new seaweed nightie. ‘How many’s that this week?’ she inquired. ‘Eighteen – and it’s only Wednesday.’ ‘Oh dear. I do so like to help worthy causes. See if you can find something in the wardrobe, pet. We can’t let the starving wallabies down.’

I knew it was hopeless, but I went through the motions.

The wardrobe was full to bursting – not with clothes, but with plastic bags from charities, thousands and thousands of them. They tumbled out in a great slither, vying piteously for attention, waving their little logos and muttering ‘Me, me, choose me.’

I hated to have to break the bad news. ‘Sorry, the wardrobe’s empty. I checked the chest of drawers, too. They’ve had the lot. I’m down to one red sock with a hole in and those Father Christmas underpants that sing Silent Night.’

‘It’s no good’, muttered Mrs A, casting off violently. ‘You’ll just have to go boutique-ing and stock up on raiment. And you can’t wear those underpants – it’s only October. What would the neighbours think?’

Actually, I know what they think, because we’re all in the same boat. A massive flood of charity bags has drained our wardrobes dry. There isn’t a spare garment, in the whole of Over Wyre. Even the curate’s cassock is a converted bin-liner.

I do wish charities would talk to each other and get co-ordinated instead of carpet-bombing us with guilt.

Top hats and girdles one week; trousers and feather boas the next. That makes sense.

I was talking to my chum Shifty Sid about the problem. Sid doesn’t see it as a problem, mind, because it’s Sid who drives round in the early hours in his pick-up siphoning off the filled bags from doorsteps and flogging them to the Third World as cattle feed.

‘What’, I asked Sid, over a pint, ‘can we do about it? What would really put the whatsits on your nice little earner?’

‘Log-books’, he said, quick as a flash. ‘If every garment had a log book, charity shops would be out of business. You go into Aid-an-Old-Git for a pair of socks, and they’d have had 17 careful owners.’

As for pre-loved Father Christmas underpants? ‘When people realise they’ve bought their own knickers back three times they’ll start buying new instead.’ Sorted...

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