Why the bin-man is the worst thing about Cambridge

If I hear Bare Necessities one more time I will lose my shit.

bin man bin-man busker Cambridge cambridge student Cambridge University Student

The normal response to good weather is joy and a general sense of contentedness.

But there are two exceptions to this rule: the stereotypical Brit who loves nothing more than to moan about the weather, and students whose rooms overlook Trumpington Street.

This is because waking up to sunshine streaming through the curtains comes with the knowledge that he will make an appearance. They know they’ll soon hear the stripping back of tape, the opening up of a bin and the first few chords of the Bin Man Busker.

The Bin Man is a guitar player in his mid-thirties who feels it is his calling in life to bring loud, cheesy songs to the tourists of Cambridge. He certainly has an interesting back story. Having made a name for himself as a naked punter before pursuing a career playing his guitar in a bin. His imagination and ability to squeeze his 5ft 9in body into a bin must be commended. And yet approval of his pastime must finish there.

 

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It’s a no from me.

In January 2012, several Corpuscles targeted the busker with stink bombs and bleach after their annoyance was pushed to the limit. This behaviour was entirely unacceptable and Corpus Christi College responded quickly and effectively to this incident. The frustration created by this busker’s presence is, however, still an issue over four years later. In fact, for those that live in close proximity to his bin, the Bin Man is the worst thing about Cambridge for several reasons.

  1. The music is painful

The set list projected from the inside of his bin is rubbish. The songs are either bad already or they are destroyed the moment he covers them. His guitar playing is not atrocious, despite some occasional weird strumming patterns, but the combination of his unnaturally loud shout-singing and playing is enough to make even the tone death wince. The short length of the set list is both a blessing and a curse. Thankfully only 6 songs are ruined by association with him. But all hope vanishes as he begins the set list from the top… for the fourth time.

  1. Working in your room is not an option

The Bin Man makes working in your room impossible without banging your head against the wall or going through 20 sets of ear plugs a term. The Corpus Christi JCR room ballot database features reviews of past occupants of these rooms which say: “Worst thing about the room by far is the street noise you get from Trumpington, the Bin Man is directly across the street and makes working in the room on weekends pretty much impossible” and another says “Beware the ongoing problem with the guitar ‘bin man'”. Revision and essays are stressful enough without the anti-revision playlist as background music. There is something highly ironic about breaking down in tears from stress with the ‘Bear Necessities’ blasting through the window. Ear plugs are a partial solution but certainly not a cheap or fully soundproof one.

 

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T-Street revision essentials ft. ear plugs.

  1. He breaks the Street Performers Code of Conduct

The Cambridge City Council clearly state in their code of conduct “Buskers shall not occupy any pitch for more than one hour at a time and shall move to another pitch, at least 50 metres away, after performing. They shall not return to the same pitch again on the same day.” In his defence, his sets never go on longer than half an hour but he returns again and again to the same inconsiderate spot and his performance time totals over two hours each. The Code also states “Contributions must not be solicited from passers-by.” His preferred method of breaking this is by singling people out in the crowd who are walking off and insult them by screeching “go to hell!”.

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Charlie demands money from a man after leaving his bin and marching after him.

The Bin Man not only exacerbates the stress of exam term, but gives tourists that overhear his rudeness a bad impression of our university city. That’s if they aren’t deafened first.

So next time you encounter him on Trumpington Street, spare a thought for the students softly sobbing at their desks, hoping he will one day repent of the pain he causes them.