Memoir Piece - The Iceman Cometh

When I was a boy growing up in inner suburban Melbourne we had a regular visitor to our house. He was called the ice man. At that time our family didn't have a refrigerator, which were relatively expensive -a luxury item back then. We owned a humble ice chest.
The ice man would arrive with a large block of ice carried high on his shoulder. It was brought into the kitchen wrapped in hessian and placed into the upper section of the ice chest. Sometimes he had to chip at it to make it fit into the space. Pieces of ice would go flying in all directions and eager children were always close at hand to collect the icy shards. Summertime was the time to keep watch, for it was peak season for when the ice man cometh.

When the ice melted the water collected in a metal tray which then had to be emptied with much care. Eventually we were able to afford a modern Kelvinator refrigerator. It was a modern miracle for a boy of eight years.

This marvellous invention held much more than the old ice chest, didn't leak, and it had a freezer compartment, which meant that ice cream became more of a manageable possibility. As a child this was wonderful news. News that outranked the fact that satelites were now circling the globe. I forgot about the poor old ice delivery man. He got the cold shoulder.

Well, despite the continued evolution of this essential white good, no one has developed a refrigerator that can identify when food is past its best. The greatest fridge in the world can still be the repository of mouldy, gungy gunk.

Things still get lost,forgotten or abandoned in the deep, dark, recesses of the 'fridge. Smells still escape from 'fridges to remind of us of the latest consumer item death. We then have the task of seeking out the offending item. It takes a certain courage to lift the lid off that long neglected container to locate the exact location of the smell from hell. What we need is a 'fridge that identifies smells before they become offensive. -A 'fridge with a sensitive electronic nose. We could be waiting until hell freezes over!


  1. Or maybe we could just go back to when life was simple and there were ice chests :)


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