Any Old Iron
If you live in the UK, you might recognise the call, “Ayolyon”. Translated, it usually means, “Any old iron.” As kids we called them rag and bone men. Years ago they would crawl through the housing estates on rickety carts pulled by horses that should have retired years before.
They were scrap men, interested in anything they might sell on for a few ‘bob’. Nowadays, they come round in a Transit dropside with a blowing exhaust, and take anything that’s not nailed down (kidding!).
One day a couple of years ago, I watched a Transit laden with junk driving past my house, and it reminded me of when I was a kid. How the ‘romance’ was lost from the world today (it might be called progress now though), and how I remember being fleeced by one of those old guys. He came up my parents yard while they were away, and asked me for some iron. I was maybe eight years old.
He held out a balloon for me.
I dived under the kitchen sink and came up with all my Mum’s utensils – mashers, that kind of thing. When she found out, she wasn’t best pleased. I remember holding that sodding balloon as I nursed my stinging backside that afternoon. I’ve never trusted rag and bone men since!
Anyway, that was the basis for a little short story I penned not long after that trip down memory lane. For some reason, it devloped a horror theme all of its own and I saw no reason to dissuade it from that.
If you’d like to read it, here’s a PDF – enjoy! Any Old Iron