Kick the bucket


So my parents had a pedal bin in the kitchen since forever. As you’d expect, the trash was kept under the sink and that bin was located on a metal rack that was attached to the cabinet door. When you opened the door, the bin would swing out, you’d open it, dispose of whatever you wanted to dispose of and be done with it. My earliest memory of using that bin is that you pushed the pedal with your foot and thus open the lid. My parents will violently deny this, but I tell you it’s true. This construction made this system of course okay to use – maybe not elegant, but practical enough.

What happened then is that I came visiting my parents one day (not sure whether I was still working in Frankfurt or had already moved to Belgium) and the functionality of the pedal bin had been significantly compromised: before it had been mounted onto its rack and was stable enough to withstand the force exerted when pushing the pedal with your foot to open the lid. Now this connection was gone and when you pushed the pedal, the whole bucket tipped towards you. The only way to operate this now was to lift the lid of the bucket with one hand. That’s okay if you want to toss a used tissue but if you have both hands full of shit or maybe wet hands because you are working at the sink, this is suddenly annoying like a kid sitting behind you in an airplane, kicking your seat.

I do not know how this happened and why the bucket mount got messed up, but I recall that I immediately tried to fix it, but to no avail. I was utterly perplexed that this damn bin did not work anymore the way it was intended to (and more importantly: the way *I* wanted it to work) and I was even more perplexed that my parents did not seem to care that much.

Time passed, and I had to live with this bloody bucket each time I visited my parents. And I was annoyed by it every time I was there. I got even more angry at it when I was taking out the trash, pulling out the plastic bag with the kitchen garbage and sometimes it would get somehow stuck to the bucket and pull the whole thing up and off the rack. What a mess! But clearly, opening the door and having to lift the lid of that fucking shit bucket with one hand versus just pushing the pedal with a foot to open the lid was my chief reason to hate that thing (even more so because the lid had no stay-open feature, which is really handy if you have several things you want to throw away in short sequence, say, oranges after squeezing them).

One day, I came visiting and the bucket had been replaced. It was now a much nicer new pedal bin, shiny red, standing on that same rack. Automatically I expected the situation had been finally fixed and I would be able to push the pedal with my foot and the bucket would stand strong.

But no, it did not. It was the same crappy bucket, just in red.

Boy, was I pissed off about that. I often suggested solutions of how to maybe fix the whole thing, but my parents were adamant that this bloody, darn bucket had always worked exactly like that and that there was no need to change anything and I should mind my own business and what kind of cake I want to eat later. Well, okay then: I did not live there anymore, so why bother, right?

But it bothered me, uh yes, it did.

So when we visited this year for Christmas, I decided after one day that I would go to a DIY store and check for solutions. I had arrived at a point where it had become a point of pride that I would replace this retarded piece of junk with something that did not look like it was used by cavemen. Yesterday I passed by the big Hornbach and checked at the Information:

Leo: Where can I find trash bins for the kitchen?
Info Lady: You mean the ones that go under the sink?
Leo: Yep.
Info Lady: Check in the aisle right over there.
Leo: This one there?
Info Lady: Yes.
Leo: Hum… the one with the sign that says “Trash bins”?
Info Lady: Yes.
Leo: Okay then…

Sigh… anyway, there were two potential options: a trash bin box where you had to pull out the bin with one hand and one that would swing out when you opened the cabinet door, ready to use. Easy choice.

And today after lunch, when there was napping all around the house, I removed the red shit bucket with an evil grin on my face from the cabinet under the sink and installed the new wondrous technology, that would catapult my parents from living like the animals to modern day trash bin luxury. Quite frankly, I was stressed out about messing up the assembly. It had to be perfect, otherwise I’d make a total moron out of myself.
I was hence extra careful, spent quality time and look and behold:

It *is* perfect. I works exactly as intended, swings out smoothly, has even more volume than the old one and once you use it, you have immediately forgotten it’s there. That’s how good it is.

The reception of my parents to this alien wizardry was lukewarm, though:

Mom: I am – oh! – soooo happy that I have this thing in my 50 year old kitchen now. Yay! Wow!
Dad: I don’t like the color.

Sometimes I really think I was adopted.

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