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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Two Rocket Pops and a Sedative, Please

Crowds of young thugs gathered outside my window the other night, clamoring for ice cream.

When they find my body, index fingers pressed firmly into my ears, eyes spinning counter-clockwise, I want you all to stand, point resolutely toward the throngs of adorably grubby children running down the sidewalk, and lay the blame solidly at their tiny little feet.

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears, it’s a world of hope and a world of fears…

Someone has to say it, and as it appears I’m the only one on the block willing to say it aloud, I will do so, at great cost to my standing as an upright citizen.

Here goes.

It is time to kill the ice cream man.

Hear me out, good people! I’m not against treats! Particularly ice cream treats. Particularly if you’re buying. What I am against, however, is the systematic dismantling of my nervous system.

Not unlike the BOOM-BOOM-BOOM that will herald the arrival of the little tykes in ten years or so, the music of the ice cream man proceedeth them. Holy Hannah, here they come: first the ice cream truck, the amplified plink-plink-plink of child-like melodies spilling from its speakers, followed by bands of earnest, stampeding children clutching paper money.

The 16-bars-each musical line-up of the ice cream truck that was parked in front of my house for 30 minutes yesterday was as follows:

It’s a Small World, After All
Turkey in the Straw
Happy Birthday
Frosty the Snowman
Easter Parade
And, I kid you not, Love Me Tender.

Love Me Tender?! The ears! The ears! They stagger like little drunken sailors as we go from “Easter Parade” to “Love Me Tender” and back again to “It’s a Small World”.

I eventually found myself lying, dizzy, on the porch floor - and not for any of the usual reasons.

I felt cold, sticky, and smelt vaguely of vanilla.

And so it’s come to this: the removal of the ice cream man.

When they catch me – and they will catch me – tell them I was driven to it. Tell them I was a good person, a disciplined writer and a lover of all things treat-ish. Tell them it was the “Love Me Tender” that drove me over the edge.

And tell my mother that I love her.


Douglas said...

First, let me say that I cannot tolerate It's a Small World due to certain (possibly drug induced) bad experiences at Disneyland a number of lost decades ago. Even the mention of the title starts the song playing in my head where it bounces off the seemingly solid walls of the inside of my meager (and beleaguered) brain.

Other than that, whatever happened to just the bells of the Good Humor Ice Cream truck?

Draea Lael (Rose) said...

I just hate the ice cream man cuz my my brood of 4 all come running inside at the slightest hint of his arrival, begging for funds (that I usually don't have...I don't remember ice cream treats costing $2.75 a piece?) I think it is a deep seeded resentment agains my mother for not allowing me to have processed sugar (that means to ice cream man treats) until I was taller than her and she worked nights...I was...13? Then I felt like a dork standing out there with all the munchkins..../sigh, evil ice cream men

darsden said...

OH I hate the ice cream man!!! It is like nails on a chalkboard to me hearing it....That music that is always a beat behind the original score.. But it make me thinks everytime I see an ole geeezer behind there... WHAT is the main reason of selling ice cream to kids... Grosses me out ... scares me for the children..So YES, I shall help you in this quest ssssh but don't tell anybody okay!

Princess L said...

If you do kill the ice cream man, and I'm not condoning this violence per se, please let me know so I can bring a couple coolers over. The real tragedy would be wasting all those chaco tacos and strawberry shortcake bars. Oh the inhumanity!

a Broad said...

One year, my son had a job as ice cream man for a month or so.
He loved it.
He got such a kick out of the kids .. the excitement of it all , being totally unable to decide on a flavor , he tried out all his jokes on them lol.
So I will have to go against the stream and say that Ice Cream Men are OK.

Anonymous said...

Morning Pearl; Our local ice cream truck has but one tune - Turkey in the Straw. You might ask yourself; Why would the ice cream man allow this travesty...Low budget? Lack of imagination? Passive/Aggressive personality disorder? No clue. All I know is...boy howdy, it's gonna be a long summer of hearing that one tune played over and over and over and over. Arrrghhhhh.
Yankee Gal

Anonymous said...

The 'Good Humor Man' has been dodging the silver bullet ever since I can remember, and I never was fooled by his freshly pressed white uniforms....

Go get 'im, Pearly Girly!

You may want to enlist the help of Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) in this particular venture.

She knows things...is all I'm sayin'.

sage said...

You get more songs off your ice cream truck than we get... but currently, with a daughter who has a lead role in the summer's production of Willie Wonka, I might find myself in your shoes, killing the Candy Man... Then, for good order, I'll take on the goose that lays the golden egg.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pearl, Am at the hospital w/ Dad and am taking advantage of the free computers. Your blog is just what the Dr. ordered. I have a fear of ice cream trucks ever since I was little and the i.c. man reached out of his truck and slapped me across the face. He thought I was being sassy and all I wanted was a freakin' bomb pop. C used to live in a big-time ghetto outside of Boston. We used to lie in bed at midnight and listen to the repeating track of "Pop Goes the Weasel". An ic truck at midnight?? I'm sure they were pushing more than ice pops. Great to see ya,gal. Have a swell trip and gimme a shout when you get back. In fact, "you're my new best friend. Call me every 10 minutes". : ) TOWP

IndigoWrath said...

And it couldn't be simpler. Just a small tactical device, placed for convenience's sake a ways from your house, perhaps right outside the neighbours you can't stand? You know, the ones with garden gnomes? I mean, DOUBLE WHAMMY!

Madame DeFarge said...

But are your ice-cream vans used to sell drugs? That would put them on a par with some over here.

Kr√ęg said...

I have been trying to formulate a decent half-baked crackpot Ice-Cream-Man-Conspiracy-Theory for years now.

I can't figure out how they stay in business with:
*the one-time cost of the vehicle
*the one-time cost of the freezers and other gear inside (including those lovely music horns)
*the constant cost of gasoline
*the constant cost of their inventory
*the constant cost of the human to operate the truck
*the occasional but constant cost of repairs

I can't figure out how to stay in the black solely by selling two dollar rocket-pops.

Some of my minds more nefarious explanations for making ends meet:
~child trafficing
~drug sales
~homemade "ice cream"
~CIA reconnaissance van
~Sociological research grants
~Pedophiles (although that isn't technically really a business model)

Cheeseboy said...

I laughed through this whole post. "Kill the ice cream man" could be made into a movie. Steve Buscemi or Christopher Walkin would make the perfect ice cream man.

I blogged about the ice cream truck a long time ago, but it was not nearly as good as this post.

Vodka Mom said...

I am now swimming in tucked away memories of the ice-cream cart driving down Lemon Road. We ran like children who spotted Santa, grasping our coins and smiling as we reached the treat man.

ah. those were the days.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You know Pearl, if I lived closer I'd help you knee-cap the guy.

Simply Suthern said...

STEP BACK From the truck!! What?? Anti-Ice Cream Man? Anti-Love Me Tender?? Oh the King is rolling over in his Banana Split Tray Shaped Coffin.

Have ya considered that maybe that is the ice cream mans punishment?

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I haven't heard an ice cream truck on our street for years, which is kinda sad. But if I ever do, I'm going to hang around to hear the tunes. I'm impressed with your guy's playlist. Not.

Irisheyes said...

Steve Buscemi as the ice cream man?! I love it! I am with you sista, and have plenty of ideas of getting rid of the body, if you get my proverbial drift. Hmmmm...Where can we get a "Bomb" pop?