Refuse collectors in South London were shocked to discover the snoozing form of former Rainbow guru Geoffrey Hayes inside a stinking wheelie bin in the smelly suburb of Hanworth.
Binman John Thirtle, 43, says “I was just about to okay tipping the bin, when I heard this snoring noise”. Paul and fellow worker Richard Robinson, 27 then pulled open the bin to discover the sleeping Geoffrey on top of constituent refuse, still clutching an empty bottle in a brown paper bag.
When Hayes’ Rainbow contract was terminated in 1992, his fast-living life to that point had left him with very little savings, and he was forced to take on a full time job stocktaking in Sainsbury’s Hampton Hill superstore.
“We spent all our money on drugs, didn’t we?” said Hayes in 1994, “Bungle used to get this really strong shit from his Rastafarian mate in Teddington, and we’d just go into town and get high all the time.”
Geoffrey was last seen towards the end of 1995, by which time he was now working in a Fish and Chip shop in the Twickenham area. Rumours circulating at the time said that Geoffrey was sacked after shouting at a customer that “no they didn’t do sausages without bloody batter!”.
We went down to Middlesex to try and get an interview with Geoffrey. The council put us in contact with the binmen, and we called John Thirtle on his mobile phone. He gave us some details, and the address where the flaxen haired 70s children’s Icon’s bin was to be found.
Fortunately, Geoffrey was “at home”, and woke up when tapped on the head with a tablespoon. “I kn-know you… “ Geoffrey said in his distinctive tones, “Cook. Y-you’re C-Cook”. Y-You’re my best f-friend, you are…” We explained who we were, to which the old drunk replied: “I-I’m not normally… i-in bed by the time the b…binmen come”. Geoffrey then threw up over Spunk-Monkey, who responded by punching him in the face. After that, Geoffrey made a lot more sense.
DFTFC: So where have you been for the last five years
DFTFC: What? The “off licence”, or do you mean “random bins”
GH: Both I think…
DFTFC: That figures… What about when Oddbins are closed.
GH: Oh there’s an all-nighter down the road.
DFTFC: Well, this is Hanworth.
GH: Is it? I thought this was Handsworth. I thought that’s why people kept setting me on fire.
DFTFC: Oh no, that’s probably because they blame you for Rod Jane & Freddy.
GH: Them again! Bastards! They’ve got it in for me…
DFTFC: How do you mean?
GH: Well they keep driving past in their little buggies and emptying their commodes out into my bin. Usually when I’m in it.
DFTFC: Don’t the people who live in this house here mind you staying in their wheelie bin? And attracting incontinent old has-beens to the neighbourhood?
GH: Naaah, Bungle and Zippy are very good to me.
DFTFC: Wait a minute - do you mean Bungle and Zippy live in the house?
GH: Oh yeah, ever since Zippy and George split up. Well you see Bungle always did have a thing for giant naked one-armed orange tortoises.
DFTFC: Yeah quite…
GH: Look, you couldn’t spare any change could you?
Spunk-Monkey then took out Geoffrey with a right hook. Popping into the house for a moment, we had a quick chat with Bungle and Zippy, and then went off to cheer ourselves up by visiting Bungle’s Rastafarian friend.