The Ice Cream Truck

Summertime is here and with summertime comes the classic Ice Cream Truck.

Remember?  Can you hear it… the happy music? Can you taste the creamy vanilla ice cream?  Can you feel the melting fudge bar dripping down your hands? Those were good days.

Used to be driving the Ice Cream Truck was a proud profession.  Ice Cream Men would canvass neighborhoods in their white trucks, dressed up in crisply pressed white uniforms with a black bow tie and a Captain’s hat, selling the classic Fudgesicles, Ice Cream Bars and Rocket Popsicles.  These guys were rock stars, with hordes of screaming kids following in their wake who were carrying wads of sweaty money in their hands that they had, only seconds before, extorted from their parents.

Circa 1950:

Cue Ice Cream Truck Music… tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low.”

“AHHHHHHHHH… IT’S THE ICE CREAM MAN!!!!!”

Chaos ensues… kids running in all directions at warp speed towards their houses.

“Daddy, daddy can I have some money for the Ice Cream Man, please Daddy, please?”

“Billy, seriously, you’ve bought Ice Cream the last thirty-eight days in a row.  Whattya say we take a break today?”

“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

“Okay, okay, here’s a few bucks.  Hey, say hi to Mr. Jones for me… he’s a good guy you know… and while you’re out there get your old man a Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Supreme Bar.”

It was as American as Apple Pie and Chevrolet… cooling off kids on hot summer days.  Then one day Ice Cream Men became creepier than clowns, creepier than the Carnies that operate the Tilt-a-Whirl at the county fair, creepier than… used car salesmen.  What the hell happened?  When did all the Ice Cream Men go from being clean-cut, handsome, all American studs … to Appalachian, pedophilic, dentally-impaired, drug-addled hillbillies? When did the classic white Captains uniform get replaced with the not-so-classic denim shorts and wife-beater tee?

It’s a sad state of affairs!

The kids don’t care though… ‘cause to them it’s still just the Ice Cream Man.  To a kid there’s not a bunch of Ice Cream Men… it’s kind of like Santa Claus… there’s just one Ice Cream Man, and every day he travels all over the world selling Ice Cream out of his little truck.

Circa 2011:

Cue Ice Cream Truck Music… tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low.”

AHHHHHHHHH… IT’S THE ICE CREAM MAN!!!!!”

Chaos ensues… kids running in all directions at warp speed towards their houses.

“Daddy, daddy can I have some money for the Ice Cream Man, please Daddy, please?”

“Billy, seriously, you’ve bought Ice Cream the last thirty-eight days in a row.  Whattya say we take a break today?”

“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

“Okay, okay, here’s a few bucks.  Make it a quick transaction though, that guy’s a god-damn freak show… if he asks you any personal questions, don’t answer him, and don’t look him in the eyes… just hand him the money… hey, while you’re out there get your old man a Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Supreme Bar.”

Yeah, so I guess it hasn’t changed all that much.  The day the Ice Cream Trucks start  playing “Dueling Banjos” though… that’s the day us parents need to draw the line!

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “The Ice Cream Truck

  1. You make an interesting point and I agree, where did all the clean cut ice cream men go?

    I always wanted to ride in one of the trucks though.

  2. With the kids all grown and no grand-babies yet, I went alone last night to the ice-cream parlor for a soft vanilla ice-cream cone. Not having to tend to the other’s cones dripping I ate my without wearing any ice-cream. For some reason it just wasn’t as good!

  3. bigsheepcommunications

    You’re so right…somehow the charm is gone and the idea of my kids consuming anything the creepy ice cream guy hands them out of his ancient rusting ice cream truck playing the out of tune musack is pretty unsavory. I think I’d rather run to the grocery store and buy some Ben & Jerry’s with the seal around the top!

  4. Oh, heavens – something else to look forward to in our summer – I had forgotten about the ice cream truck!

  5. The music box is broken on the ice cream truck in our neighborhood so the music is all distorted and creepy…very twilight-zonish. Still, my kid can hear it from four blocks away. Great post! Glad to see you’re back!

  6. Ooohhh…that just reminded me of those yummy Dreamsicle’s they used to sell. Of course now I just lop a few scoops of vanilla ice cream in a glass, add a bit of canned whipped cream on that, and pour some orange Fanta over the whole sh-bang. What can I say, I’m not good with ice cream bars.

  7. Cadbury is sponsoring the ‘HMS Flake 99’ – a floating ice cream truck that will go up and down the Thames River in London. It is getting a lot of press. Clearly that is a company that cares about the ice cream truck image!

  8. My kids loved the ice cream truck…we never had one when I was a kid, we lived in the sticks 🙂 I have definitely made up for it in later life though 🙂

  9. I never seem to have cash on me, why doesn’t the icecream man on the push bike – pushing a deep freezer with jingle bells- take debit card or visa?

  10. I haven’t seen an ice cream truck in over 20 years. Even then, the ice cream guy wasn’t the clean cut type. In fact, I think he was the first person I’d ever seen with a tattoo and an earring.
    @pissykittyslitterbox I will be trying the ice cream/orange Fanta concoction ASAP.

    • Actually I don’t remember the days either of the guys like in the picture at the top. In the 70’s and 80’s when I was a kid I think is when the “evolution” started. I remember lots of Ice Cream “Vans” driving around, similar to what you see today.

  11. We don’t have ice cream trucks here either…there are ice cream “carts” which are really bicycles with freezers on the front. They are usually driven by teenagers and are only seen at special events. Even those are a lot scarcer lately!

    Wendy

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