Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is there anything sadder than an out of tune ice cream truck?

Ready or not, summer is in full swing here in the Lowcountry, which means steamy nights, steamier days, and creative ways to escape the heat. And also, apparently, new to our neighborhood, summer means the ice cream truck cometh.

I have a sort of love/hate but mostly hate relationship with the ice cream truck. First, it's out of tune, which is just too much for my ears to take. It also appears to have a flagging battery, adding, um, whimsical rhythm to flat note, the result of which is something to hear. Second, it invariably comes in the afternoons, during Toddler J's naps, and while he is a MUCH improved sleeper, sleeping through the tinny, meandering, and variable volume of the ice cream truck is still a tall order. Third, I live in fear of the day J realizes this is an ICE CREAM (!!!) truck and begins throwing fits after awakens him. For how can our little demure cones of vanilla frozen yogurt compare to drumsticks or bottle rockets or whatever other complicated, day-glo treats that might be for the offering?

Finally, I can't shake my associations with the ice cream truck in West Philly. In Philadelphia, in our borderline unsavory neighborhood, by day the ice cream truck sold ice cream. By night, it sold marijuana. That's right, the ice cream melody at 11pm could signal only one thing: pot for sale! They did a brisk if brazen business and, one assumes, had a fairly successful business model since they could supply weed and conquer the munchies all at the same time. Granted, it was odd to hear an ice cream truck at December...on streets where no kids lived, but apparently local law enforcement had bigger fish to fry. Or they, too, enjoyed a good yogurt pop!

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