Alternate title for today’s post: Why ice cream makes me contemplate mortality.
I love me some ice cream, but I much prefer to fetch my own these days. I’m referring to the portable purveyor of frozen goodness that comes wrapped in the shrillest, loudest, most annoying music possible. And my objections are personal and professional, young AND old.
When I was a kid my family lived in a fairly rural area with a decent amount of space between houses. The ice cream truck didn’t come by all that often, and when he did you had to be on top of your game to get him to stop. We lived on the side of a steep hill and traffic came over it dangerously fast. It was dangerous to go slow on our road so we never heard the music until it was on top of us. (As a professional Designer Of Roads, it makes me shudder to remember how dangerous it was to stop a van full of ice cream in that road. Those guys should have known better than to cruise our neighborhood.)
My brother and I had to develop a pretty robust strategy to get our ice cream. It involved a bunch of fainting goats, a mini-tramp, and………. (Sorry, different caper.) One of us rushed in for money while the other prepared to flag the guy down and filibuster until the money man showed up. It was one of the few times we actually worked together (the other being when we watched R rated movies on the VCR in my brothers room) and we were successful about 50% of the time. Even when we the plan came together and we were successful I always worried about some car flattening us while we dickered over chocolate or strawberry. Nothing ever happened, but to this day ice cream and vehicular mayhem are directly linked in my mind.
Now that I’m an adult, I live in a subdivision with 1/3 acre lots. Population is fairly dense thanks to the smallish lots and there are lots of families. Most people just think of it as the suburbs, but apparently it’s a target rich environment if you drive a van crammed full of icey goodness and a speaker on top blaring loud music. We’ve lived in this particular neighborhood for almost four years and about this time every year we start getting multiple daily drive bys from those purveyors of fine frozen treats. By the end of June I’m usually contemplating calling in a noise complaint to the local police every time I hear that shrill music coming and I’ve threatened worse (in the privacy of my own mind) when they have the nerve to slow down and honk the horn on our block.
Since they cruise our neighborhood twice a day EVERY day we’ve actually had to resort to telling the twins that it’s just a ‘free music van’. That seems so much easier than explaining to an unhinged toddler why we can’t have ice cream every day twice a day. Sadly, they’re sharp little buggers now that they’re four and I think the jig is going to be up very soon. Fortunately, they’re also old enough to understand ‘No’ even if they don’t like it.