Prince William, a gypsy girl and a garbage truck

 by Ellie Ismailidou

What could Prince William possibly have in common with the little gypsy girl who was digging for treasure in the mountains of garbage at the Filis dump?

A “common” beginning…

Shortly before Christmas of this year an employee driving one of the Filis landfill trucks didn’t notice the little gypsy girl scrambling over the mountains of garbage and he drove right over her.
A little while earlier, in a different corner of Europe, a garbage truck threatened to crush Prince William of England who – well known for his social sensitivity – had decided to disguise himself as a homeless man for a night and was spending the night outside in a sleeping bag on the frozen roads of the British capital.

…with a different ending

The blonde prince miraculously escaped harm – helped some say by the intervention of his personal bodyguard who was naturally accompanying the prince on his nighttime expedition. Photographers immortalized the event as it unfolded while journalists jockeyed for position to be the first to get the exclusive interview from the prince. He woke up the next morning a different man having discovered – as he earnestly stated to the camera with sad blue eyes – “how difficult the life of the homeless is”.

After the prince realized this shocking truth, everyone was extremely pleased. When such famous people shine light on worthy causes, the need for a social state (or social welfare) seems redundant in our collective conscience.

The prince was able to return to the luxuries of Buckingham palace where he spent a lovely Christmas, his conscience clear and basking in the admiration of the public. “Rich, handsome and a philanthropist” was the following day’s headline.

The lilliputian garbage collector at the landfill – not yet even six years old – came to a tragic end under the wheels of the garbage truck. The news was reported in fine print. No one was held responsible for the incident. She was just one of dozens of children that lose their lives every year as they scavenge for treasure in our trash.

Published January 6th 2010, 'Protagon'
See original publication in Greek here