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Monday, May 28, 2012

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. 

42 comments:

Shelly said...

Although I'm not certain, I do hear the "ice cream man" incites just as much terror in some camps as does waterboarding. And rightfully so.

fmcgmccllc said...

I have blessed with no ice cream truck for many years, it is a good thing. Now if they would send around a taco truck with a margarita stand, I'm in.

ThreeOldKeys said...

I wonder if ice cream Bobs can set their music to Shuffle.

Gigi said...

Seeing as we don't actually live in a neighborhood, we have been lucky to avoid the ice cream truck trauma. I'll be your alibi, Pearl.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

They drive through this neighborhood on a daily basis in summer...first there is a little girls voice saying HELLO (loud) then a selection of tinkly music over and over and over interspersed with the HELLO. Whoever that kid is, if wishes were fishes, her life span has been considerably shortened. Funny thing...no one runs out to get ice cream. The driver doesn't even slow down. Um....how many kids did you trample getting your treat?

Joanne said...

Ah, rural joys. We trade ice cream trucks for back yard go cart tracks and shooting ranges.

Carole Anne Carr said...

I'm still laughing, sorry. We don't have to suffer this as they don't stop unless someone waves them down and it doesn't happen often, thank goodness.
I'm begun a new blog,
http://caroleannecarr-creativewritingtutor.blogspot.com hoping to return to teaching at further ed. college again and have begun work to start with as online writing mentor and I'm looking for followers - a bit of support if possible. Thanks, Carole. :0)

NotesFromAbroad said...

One of my sons college summer break jobs was being an Ice Cream Man / Boy.
I have to remember to ask him what was the tune he played.
Knowing him, if Black Sabbath was possible, that would be it :)

CarrieBoo said...

My sides! Hahahahhaa! (*slurp* Mmm, you taste quite good, actually.)

We can only hope that Mr Ice Cream goes the same way as Dickie D. That's a form of torture, that music.

The Jules said...

At least we get Greensleeves and the theme from Superman.

Allegedly written by Henry VIII that one.

Don't know who wrote Greensleeves though.

vanilla said...

Oh, Pearl, we will miss you so.

Even though our ice cream .man's music got stuck on "It's a Small World" it never occurred to me to, well, you know.

middle child said...

I haven't heard ice cream trucks since I was a kid! Good Hunor, Freezer Fresh and Whippy Dip.
We are supposed to be gettin one in our neighborhood soon. I can't wait! Although,...I suppose I may soon be writinng this same post myself.

savannah said...

i haven't heard an ice cream truck in more years than i can remember, sugar! and that's a good thing! xoxoxox

ellen abbott said...

I would have cheerfully strangled the ice cream man when my kids were little. telling my kids no over and over while he pauses over long in front of the house hoping they will wear me down.

Eva Gallant said...

He's been known to drive through our trailer park also! I'm not big on ice cream treats, so I'm not one of those who runs out to greet him.

Mitchell is Moving said...

When I was a kid, we had two ice cream trucks that came around. One rang simple bells to let us know he was there. The other had a little jingle that played repeatedly (but not forever). I would also do away with your ice cream man. I'd send him to the same place I fantasize sending the bad accordian player down in our plaza who plays Cielito Lindo and Strangers in the Night every day, three times a day. And, if we got out somewhere else for dinner, he invariably shows up there on his rounds! Let him and that ice cream man have each other for company (but leave the ice cream)!

esbboston said...

I wrote a non-serial kiLLer poem for you but then erased it on purpose. You just need better sound proofing. I could send you some ear plugs, they only cost 10¢ a pair in bulk. That's cheaper than aLL of us visiting you in prison.

You know how I love you.

fishducky said...

I agre with FMCGMCCLLC, however, you can skip the tacos--a margarita truck would be welcome here!!

jenny_o said...

Although we have no ice cream trucks here, we do have several neighbours with the latest in lawn tractors and whippersnippers. They sound like a jet is hovering overhead. So I can truly sympathize. If you back me up, I'll back you up, on the "removal" thing (nice euphemism, BTW) :)

Hannah Denski said...

I'll help you! I'll help you! I had same thoughts yesterday... Ours only played one tune round and round, but on loudest ever and had a nerve to come by our usually quite cul-de-sak three times on a same day! x

Roses said...

Honey, I've got the bail money and the lawyer on speed dial.

Justifiable homicide.

Say no more.

Belle said...

Pearl, I laughed so hard and had to tell my sis about your suffering from the ice cream man. I would want to kill him/her too. Our guy actually plays classical music! Also, we have a dearth of kids around here because either Canadians are great users of birth control or the kids all play video games and can't hear the truck, although my granddaughters never miss it.

Indigo Roth said...

Don't they know it's considered a social faux pas to play Frosty The Snowman after Arbor Day? And I thought you were in a classy neighbourhood.

Douglas said...

I hate that song! (It's a small world after all). I made the unfortunate mistake of taking LSD and then going to Disneyland (in Anaheim) back in the 60's and I still can't get that song out of my head!

Old Bitter Balls said...

Warm, sticky and smelled kinda musky. That wasn't vanilla.

Glen said...

somewhere there is a little old man sat in his shed who crates the versions that gets sent out to the vans. Kill him and reduce the slaughter for the same effect.

steve-bailey said...

You could store THE BODY in the truck?

Daisy said...

We had someone start an ice cream truck business here. He disappeared shortly after. I wonder what happened to him.

The ice cream truck was a cherished part of my childhood. It was a time of hope, that I might get enough $$ to buy a fudgesickle.

Simply Suthern said...

I hear the slamming of the storm door before I hear the truck. But once he is on the street you know hes there.

The little one can hear him 2 neighborhoods over.

HermanTurnip said...

Maybe, instead of playing that irritating music, they should loop the audio to that Wilford Brimley diabetes commercial.

PattiKen said...

Noooo... I cherish that moment that comes occasionally during the summer, when the tinkling melody siren song calls my inner ten-year-old to the curb. I stand with all the other kids, who are looking at me oddly and slowly backing away. Clutching my money in a grubby hand, I ask "May I have a banana popsicle, please?" Bliss.

Symdaddy said...

It costs me an arm and a leg to get an ice cream truck to park outside your house these days Pearl. And all those kids from the 'agency' don't come cheap either.

Of course they all have armed protection now, but they still dread the "Pearl" experience.

Tempo said...

Oh control yourself girl... We got it much worse, our ice cream man played the same 20 second tune over and over...and over! Some instrumental on a xylophone or something, over and over and SO loud that the speakers are trying to commit suicide and my glass is vibrating across the table. I believe they are still using the same 8 track player and tape they had back when I was three. I put up with this my whole life so far.
Two years ago one of their vans 'accidentally' caught fire and last year their last van burned in the night. 'Someone' had spread fuel (15 litres of unleaded)and left a lit cigarette resting on a pile of match heads and lolly bags. (very sad) But the good part is that there are no more ice cream men here..

NellieVaughn said...

I wouldn't mind ice creams trucks so much if they worked 9-5, but I can hear them very late into the evening. I don't think it's ice cream they are selling at 10pm.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Ice cream trucks are illegal in NZ.

So we get peace, perfect peace.

Our corner shops (called Dairys) sell wonderful ice cream. Ice crem can only be so named if it ONLY contains dairy fats.

Meanwhile, before you emmigrate down here I would suggest the following.
A. Smear doggie-dos under the chassis and the exhaust at night.
B. Mince a chicken 3 weeks past it's sell-by date and get it into his ice cream. 200 vomiting children will ensure he's never seen again.
C. 0.50 calibre Barrett

Pat said...

I don'k think we ever hear them in this nieck of the woods. Sad really.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

HEE HEE HEE. Sorry to laugh at your pain, Pearlie, but it's just so dang funny.
Sure, you love your mom. But do you love her "tender"?

the walking man said...

OH GOODGOD me too! Save me from that truck and the goth hordes of conquering 6 year old heathens overthrowing and bringing ruin upon the empire...at least yours has a rotation on their playlist mine is just a loop the same noise over and over and over and over and over and over...GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

They are annoying, show up at the wrong time just before dinner to spoil appetites, play annoying Musak, and take money from innocent ice-cream addicts and little children, so Whack'em and stack'em, Pearl, you can line up their soon-to-be-abandoned and derelict ice cream trucks for chicken-houses in the back 40, paint'em all red, nobody will know the difference. Wait. Keep one to drive around the neighbourhood, selling the eggs. ":))

Lynn said...

I must say - that's a strange song for an ice cream truck - I could see how that would drive you over the edge. :)

Diane said...

The only reason some people are still alive is that I don't want to go to jail! It's a Small World by itself would be plenty of reason for me!!!

Susan in the Boonies said...

We all have our limits, dear.

I think this (and his crazy Mother) were what drove Norman Bates to the brink.

Yeah, yeah. He loved his Mom, too.