A guide to picking up free shit that people leave outside their houses

PICKING up stuff that people have left outside their houses is an enormous risk.

One person’s landfill may be another’s treasure – and it’s free. But are you just dragging bed bugs and weird old shit into your home? Here’s our guide to doing it right.

You are not going to repaint it
You can tell yourself that you’re going to sand down that dresser, give it a paint job and create a shabby chic masterpiece, but it will never happen. It’s just a chipped old dresser full of dead spiders. You may eventually get round to removing the spiders.

You are not going to get a VHS player
Oh look, it’s the entire VHS collection of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It doesn’t matter. You will never see a VHS player again in your life. Walk away. Make it so.

Books are fine
Some twat is switching to Kindle-only? More books for you! But beware: however highbrow the collection seems, it will definitely include the autobiography of a retired footballer, a collection of unfunny quotes and at least one of the Fifty Shades abominations.

Mattresses are never fine
Unless you happen to be doing a PhD in fungal biology. Otherwise… have you lost your mind?

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Morrissey: I have become your dad

SLIM. Fey. Sensitive. An outsider. A poet singing of the disaffection of unemployment-hit youth. Ah, that’s how Morrissey used to be. Now I’m your bigoted old dad.

The signs were always there, let’s face it. Obsessive letters to the NME or the Banbury Guardian aren’t so different. And I was always a bit keen on being English.

You want to look at my Facebook account now. It’s wall-to-wall hate speech. Me and all the other expats, we know what’s going on. Britain isn’t Britain anymore.

I was always uniquely, painfully attuned to the suffering in the world. I felt it more keenly than anyone. I’m delighted to know it’s all foreigners’ fault.

Now you can’t even chat to me without queasily skirting the pits of my prejudices. Anything sets me off. Holly Willoughby triggered a rant about grooming gangs yesterday.

Oh, and talking of Willoughby; I like birds now. Yeah, the old Islamophobia’s not the only turnabout. I’m well into me tarts.

Her off the front of Saturday’s Star? I’ve had her. That Lucy Pinder? It wasn’t just a meeting of minds.

And I eat meat of course. You don’t get a chest like this on bloody vegetables, lad! Every Tuesday I’m down Wetherspoon’s Steak Club. He’s got the right views on Brexit.

There we are, son. Now at last will you shut up about me reforming the bloody Smiths.