So, having located a spade, I waved my way through the congregating flies and scooped it into a black bin bag. Not an easy task seeing as it had died lying full length, tail straight out and was stiff as a board. In hindsight I should have put him in head first as his snout and half-open eyes were peeping out of the top of the bag. I found that a bit creepy so another bag was required to go over the top.
What to do with it now, though? I didn't fancy it rotting in my bin for four days and, being Sunday, no-one was answering the phone at the council. Can you believe I actually tried to ring them? Yeah, seriously. I actually had a notion that there might be a skeleton staff on a Sunday fielding calls. Don't laugh.
Now, in common with other authorities, this council has long since dispensed with you running in, dumping your waste and letting the employees, whose wages we pay, sort it out. Nope, we have to sort it into about a dozen different receptacles ourselves. And of course, a stream of householders understandably wandering around like confused chickens trying to work out where to put everything takes time.
Hence the 50 minute queue to get in the place.
The centre is so close that I could have walked there, but that's out too as they won't allow you in on foot. Can you guess why?
The council love to boast about how environmentally friendly their recycling initiatives are, but I'm sure they don't count engine emissions from queues of 50 cars, waiting 50 minutes each, over a 6 hour period, every Sunday.
Still, I couldn't think of anywhere else to dispose of it, so just played Jewels on my phone as I inched along to the site, with one of the little Puddlecotes (the girl), bored as hell, alerting me each time the car in front moved.
I finally reached the front of the queue where a kind of triage
Those naughty bags aren't allowed in the landfill container so two
"We don't do dead animals!", one repeatedly exclaimed, "We don't DO dead animals, do we John?" was barked over at the orange-jacketed guy overseeing the rubble skip. "No, mate, we don't do dead animals", came the expected reply. By now, everyone who was previously busy throwing their rubbish in skips had stopped and were looking at me, holding a big black bag, and wondering what kind of dead animal I was trying to dump.
A ten minute conversation with a supervisor ensued, during which I was told I should call the RSPCA, tried that; that I should call the council, tried that; that it was 'chemical waste' and that "we don't do dead animals". By this time, I was getting the idea that they didn't do dead animals.
"Dead animals can carry diseases, you see, mate. You'll have to take it home and call the council tomorrow". I pointed out, politely, that the precise fucking reason I brought it to them was that dead animals carry diseases and I didn't want it in my garden.
That was when one had the idea that, and I'm not kidding, I could just throw it over into my neighbour's garden. I am usually good at thinking on my feet but I stared at him and couldn't think of an answer to such a daft suggestion. It seemed like there was an impasse until I asked if there was anyone they could ring on a Sunday. They all shook their heads ... until one got his phone out and rang someone called Mick. The call lasted about 20 seconds, after which he told me I could leave it there and they would get the council to collect it in the morning.
"We don't normally do dead animals,", he explained (you don't fucking say!), "but as it's Sunday, Mick says it's OK". Hallelujah! Thank the Lord for Mick, whoever he is.
This happens every time I try to get rid of waste items. Regular readers might remember the opposite of recycling when B&Q refused to take back, for free, brand new kitchen cabinet doors and panels. And if you've never tried to organise collection of corrugated asbestos roof panels, which had been minding their own business on my garage since 1929 before being replaced, at which time they became nuclear in their make-up, you quite simply haven't trawled the depths of local authority bureaucracy and intransigence.
Now, I'm quite happy to do my bit to ensure rubbish is disposed of responsibly, as are most people, but how can councils complain about fly-tipping or householders simply hiding recyclables in refuse bags, when they put so many obstacles in front of us?
After wasting an hour and a half of a rare sunny April Sunday battling with an ill thought-out civic amenity, I'm not eager to repeat the experience and can see why many choose to hang the consequences and just get their rubbish out of sight and mind by whatever means possible.
And a fox deciding, of all the hundreds of gardens around here, to drop dead in mine, doesn't make me too averse to Cameron's free vote to repeal the hunting ban, either ... though I wouldn't want to be the hunt follower who has the job of disposing of the carcass on a Sunday.