Woman Entertains Neighbors by Taking Out Trash in Fancy Clothes

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. amuse / əˈmyuz / (v) – to entertain someone in a light and pleasant manner

    The boy amused the visitors by singing and playing the piano.

  2. dress up / drɛs ʌp / (phrasal) – to put formal or fancy clothes on

    She dressed up for her cousin’s wedding.

  3. go all out / goʊ ɔl aʊt / (idiom) – to do something with all of one’s effort or resources

    The singer went all out during the Super Bowl halftime show and impressed millions of viewers.

  4. getup / ˈgɛtˌʌp / (n) – a costume or outfit

    Did you see Sam’s getup at the Halloween party? It was so funny!

  5. don / dɒn / (v) – to put on clothes

    He donned a tuxedo for the party.


Read the text below.

To amuse her neighbors, a British woman dressed up to take out the trash every week for five months.

Nicola Matthews, a 49-year-old makeup artist, came up with “wheelie bin Wednesday,” where she would take out the garbage bin while wearing glamorous outfits to cheer up her neighbors in their Essex community. She got the idea from Britain’s Got Talent host Amanda Holden, who wore gowns while staying home. Matthews thought it was funny to be all dressed up while pushing the bin outdoors.

According to Matthews, her neighbors took a photo of her the first time she stepped out in a dress with full hair and make-up, and it became quite a hit. For 20 weeks in a row, Matthews went all out with different getups from her collection of 25 gowns and 31 pairs of shoes. She got inspiration from several sources including the US TV show Desperate Housewives, movie character Austin Powers, and iconic actress Marilyn Monroe. She also donned her favorite dresses made by her late grandmother, who worked as a professional dressmaker.

According to Matthews, she was glad to make people happy during the Covid-19 crisis. The makeup artist said that she was touched by how her neighbors clapped and cheered for her. She also thought that the weekly routine was a good use of her rarely worn clothes.

Matthews was especially glad to have used “wheelie bin Wednesday” for a good cause. In May of last year, she dressed up and pushed a wheelie bin for almost 6 kilometers to support a fundraiser for a local fire station.  She is proud that her efforts made a lasting impact on the community.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Would you be willing to dress up like Matthews to cheer up your neighbors? Why or why not?
• If you were Matthews’ neighbor, how would you react when you saw her taking out the trash in a fancy outfit? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think it’s important to cheer people up during the Covid-19 crisis? Why or why not?
• If you were to do something to bring joy to other people, what would it be and why? Discuss.