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Monday, July 4, 2011

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.

34 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

Well, OK, but could you take the time to grab some frozen treats for me after the deed is done? Thanks.

Doubting Thomas said...

I LOOVE those frozen confections with the bubble gum balls in them - will you save me some? ;)

There is a special place in Hell for operators of ice cream trucks. Of that I am convinced.

Happy 4th!

Glen said...

Have you considered playing old person's music really loudly at him? (I'm not sure what you pensioners listen to so I can't advise. I'm guessing a few bars of Europe's Final Countdown would scare the children away though. Remove the market to remove the dealer!!

If that fails you can borrow my patented anti-freeze ray gun

Ms Sparrow said...

I never knew the thrill of having an ice cream truck coming past my house. But then, I never knew the dejection of not being able to buy anything from the ice cream man when he came by.
It all remains an unrequited childhood dream...

Silliyak said...

You're fortunate to have more than one "tune". We just get Turkey In The Straw over and over again.
And DoubtingThomas, being the driver of an ice cream truck IS a special hell I'm pretty sure.

jabblog said...

I hate the ice-cream vans, too!

Linda O'Connell said...

Over-priced sugary treats are a rip off, but to sit under your window and play that crappy music... lend the dude your iPod some Friday :)

jenny_o said...

No ice cream trucks here, but one summer we had an ice cream bicycle. It just had jingle bells for music, though.

Wonderful writing, Pearl - better by far than an ice cream treat :)

Sioux said...

Pearl--

I'm with you. Let's make this a nation-wide initiative. You pick the time and we'll all stand up and "Stop the madness."

Lisa said...

Hilarious! Not your plight, but your story. I think our ice cream truck has the same music vendor except since we're in the Bible Belt, in addition to the soundtrack you're treated to, we get Silent Night, Holy Night.

WrathofDawn said...

We'll stick up for ya, Pearly-Gurl. "She hadda do it, Officer!"

While you're at it, toss me a Drumstick, caramel for preference.

Oilfield Trash said...

I posted something funny about this very subject a while back on facebook. I had at least 7 offers to help me off the ice cream truck drivers.

Roses said...

Not only will I tell your mother you love her, I'll lead the internet support movement to raise your bail money, pay for your defence and for a high class hooker to sleep with the judge to get you off on a technicality.

Use a blunt object please. That's all I ask.

Camille said...

Oye - we get to hear "The Sting" every dang night for hours and hours as he winds his way up, down and around our little slice of rural suburbia. We receive the full concert as we're up on a hill, and as you may be aware, sound does carry. *sigh* Hate that bastard. Happy 4th Pearl.

Camille

Susan in the Boonies said...

He needed dyin'.

He had it comin'.

No jury would convict.

Douglas said...

When I was a child, innocent and wide-eyed, when a dime in my pocket meant I was rich... The Good Humor man would signal his entry onto our street with jingling bells. There were no loudspeakers, no music, no big van, just a Ford or Chevy with a refrigerated box in the back. And that dime? It would buy me a Creamsicle or a Good Humor bar or a Fudgsicle.. or TWO popsicles! Google these if you do not know these wonders.

But music? And, of all things, "It's a small world?" The last time I went on that ride at Disneyland (in Anaheim) was in 1967... I can still hear that tune banging around in my head.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Lock him in his freezer WITH his little music machine playing full blast. I wager he'll go insane before he freezes to death. Retribution.

IndigoWrath said...

Ooooh, perhaps something with those lovely flaky chocolate sticks in... mmmm....

Madame DeFarge said...

I'd be in seventh heaven if I had an ice cream van outside my house...

Belle said...

Our ice cream truck is weird. He plays classical music along with Pop Goes the Weasel. Where does he get the classical stuff played so weirdly?

Drake Sigar said...

Ah, you’re one of those people who throws dung at Christmas carolers.

Consciously Sedated said...

OMG, I have thought the same thing about the ice cream truck in my neighborhood. And the guilt of it, oh God, the guilt! I feel like the Grinch of summer!

R

Jhon Baker said...

The one I remember most from childhood played "the entertainer" and when I was in HS there was one ice cream man by name of Jack who played jazz when he drove around.
him I liked.

ellen abbott said...

Wow, look at all the variety you get. down here it's one tune over and over and over and over. and over.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Oh Pearl, this is hilarious and flawlessly written. Yet I feel your pain and wish to assure you that, while I don't have any clout to say so: no judge or jury could possibly convict you. Love Me Tender? Who wouldn't empathize?
xoRobyn

River said...

We used to have the "Mr. Whippy" van that sold soft serve icecream in cones with or without sprinkles etc. He only ever played Greensleeves. I grew to hate that song with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I didn't like soft serve icecream either.

Pat said...

Do they do 99's in the states?
Vanilla ice cream in a cornet with a milk chocolate flake stuck in it. Cheers!

the walking man said...

Funny I don't have that problem anymore. Not since the first one stopped in front of my house where there are no children (except for this correspondent). I Politely asked him to move his headache maker down the street and then asked him to watch me for a second. I returned to my porch and racked the shotgun just to make sure I had it cleaned and lubed right. I didn't have any shells in it but they were in plain sight next to the cleaning kit.

Haven't had a one of those damn trucks stop within five houses of me since.

Mamma has spoken said...

We have a Konka Ice truck that plays steel drum music when it comes by. Makes me laugh because they do modern songs. Lady Gaga songs done on the steel drums is just wrong....

Daisy said...

No ice cream trucks or cycles here, but I remember the ones from my youth. They were "pedal powered" with sweet sounding bells on the handlebars. I think I was in my teens when the motorized versions with the loudspeakers came along. They lacked "class"...and the ice cream didn't taste as good!

Cake Betch said...

OMG Pearl, I STILL get excited when I hear the ice cream man. I can remember sitting out on my front lawn for HOURS clutching a few dollar bills and praying that the ice cream man would come by. Yes I was also a fat kid. But anyway, I STILL get a fluttery sensation in my heart and the intense urge to sprint when I hear that truck.
On a related note, I never realized how scary the people that drive ice cream trucks are until I was old enough to drive myself to get ice cream.

Leslie said...

I will personally take charge of the "Bail Out Pearl" fund. And I will do this because? Because I will wish that I had the cojones to take out the dude in the van who drives around my street and causes even my 18 year-old to say, "Can I have money for ice cream?" As if there weren't any in the freezer.

Eva Gallant said...

I think Consciously nailed it! You are the Grinch of summer!

Dr. Cynicism said...

That sounds like a special circle of hell that Dante didn't even have the courage to write about.