::Acquired Taste

The Website of Tim Stretton

:: Car Booting Facts  

The Garrion Bridge crosses the River Clyde close to Law Village in Lanarkshire.  Long a bottleneck to traffic, in 2002 a new bridge was opened which overcame many of these problems.

'The Garrion' is the name of the lords' guards in Jack Vance's Emphyrio.  Vance has visited Scotland more than once, and the word is so unusual that it's intriguing to speculate that perhaps he has recycled a striking name in his fiction.  it wouldn't be the first time.


The Zael Inheritance


The Dog of the North

The Storm and the Cave

The Betrayal

Granny Gaes Car Booting

Setting the Standard




About Acquired Taste

::Granny Gaes Car-Booting (2004)

This whimsical exercise was the work of a couple of hours, and examines how events might proceed if a troll lived under the Garrion Bridge, Lanarkshire.  It was designed primarily for the amusement of my partner and her family, and in this it proved successful.  I do not hold my breath for a Hugo award...






 One fine day Granny, finding herself a wee bit strapped for cash, loaded her spare goods onto a lorry and set off to have a Car Boot Sale.
    On her approach to the Garrion Brig, she found her way blocked by a hideous Troll.

“Well then Granny, what have we here?” asked the Troll.
        “I’m on ma way to a car bootie,” said Granny, “and I’ve no time for any nonsense fae you.”
        “Ah, but Granny, you’ve tae pay a toll to cross ma brig. A Troll Toll, ye might say.”
        “Ah’m nae paying nae toll,” said Granny. “I’m comin’ over the brig the noo.”
        “Aye no,” said the Troll. “This is ma new brig and Ah’ve paid for it. You cannae pass until ye pay ma toll. You cannae argue ma new brig doesnae improve the traffic flae. Just think of all the money you’ll make at the car bootie.”
        “Anyway, I have nae money. I cannae pay a toll.”
        “I’ll take payment in kind,” said the Troll with a leer.
        “That ye willnae!” cried Granny.
        “Calm yersel, hen,” said the Troll. “All I’m askin’ is three pair o’ shoes fae yer stash. Step this way.”
        And the Troll went trip-trap, trip-trap over the Garrion Brig.
        And Granny followed the Troll: trip-trap, trip-trap over the Garrion Brig.

And the Troll picked out two pairs of shoes.
        “That’s only two pair,” said Granny.
        “Aye,” said the Troll. “But I’ll have they deck shoes you’re wearin’ too. It can get awfy muddy under ma brig, and they shoes look to have good grip, and leather laces too!”
So Granny took off her deck shoes, climbed into her lorry, and drove off tae the car bootie.

        Granny haggled well at the car bootie. She sold all her claethes and all her shoes. At the end of the sale, her lorry was empty but her purse was full. Feeling fair pleased with hersel, she set off to drive home through the Clyde Valley.
        Soon she found hersel at the Garrion Brig.


        “Not so fast, hen!” cried the Troll, leaping out from under the Garrion Brig. “Ye have to pay a toll to cross ma brig.”
        “Aye no!” said Granny. “Ah’ve already paid ye a toll the day, Mr Troll!”
        “Aye so!” exclaimed the Troll. “Ye should have said ye wanted a return. Three pair o’ shoes disnae get ye two trips. By the way, dinnae ye think ma deck shoes are looking mighty fine?”
        “No I do not!” said Granny. “If yer askin’ my opinion I think theyse are nippett for yer big feet and I never did like they leather laces. I have nae more shoes to give ye.”
        “Aye no,” said the Troll with a leer. “But I’ll bet you have a wee coin or two fae the car bootie – even ye cannae have spent it all the noo.”
        “Aye,” said Granny. “I’ve made 157 poon, but will ye weak see a penny! I’m driving across the brig the noo, and your own lookout if ye dinnae ston aside!”
        And Granny put her foot doon and the Troll had to jump aside. “I’m calling the polis!” he cried as Granny sped up the Overtown hill.

        But Granny didnae ken physics as guid as she thought, and she failed to calculate the effect of gravity on the speed of her lorry away up the hill. As the truck laboured, the Troll in his grippy deck shoes with the leather laces made guid groon. Soon he had caught the lorry.
        “That’ll be a hunner poon toll,” said the Troll. “And another 57 poon fine fae try tae evade the toll.”
And Granny had nae choice but to hand over the 157 poon, and drive home wi’ an empty truck and an empty purse. And she kenned well that when she reached the top o’ Law Hill, there’d be a man to tell her exactly where she gan wrang.





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