“Illegally dumped rubbish – Under investigation,” reads the yellow tape wrapped around a couch on the side of the road in Carlton, Melbourne. I can’t help but invent a team of couch detectives back in the council offices, working hard to track down leads and crack this case of yet another abandoned couch on the street.
“Dumped,” they tell us, but I’m suspicious. These old couches appear in places not dissimilar to those old upright pianos you sometimes see abandoned in a place that no piano ever imagined it would be. I never see yellow tape on them!
I might have taken the tape from this old couch today. I’m not saying I did, but if I had I’d be tempted to wrap it around one of those old pianos, just to mess with those council detectives and to bend the minds of those who love the charming old pianos but look the other way when they pass a homeless couch.
Perhaps these couches aren’t dumped at all. Maybe they have been carefully sourced and deliberately placed in locations decided by an underground group committed to the distribution of urban comfort. These ‘dumped’ couches might in fact be a social response to all of those uncomfortable park benches and plastic bus stop seats.