Friday, June 10, 2005

Here Comes The Ice Cream Man

Here Comes The Ice Cream Man

Ambling Along
by Jay Hudson

It happens in towns all across America on the day after school is out. That cussed ice cream man. He is probably the most often cussed merchant in America.

I hated the sound of his caliope music and jingling bells. He would come by at ten o'clock in the morning, and again at 4:00 P.M. in the afternoon. He would have his racket blasting for several blocks before he got to our street.

When he got to our street, he stopped right in front of our house, even though there were many kids living on that street. I think he was punishing me because he knew I hated him.

By the time he got to our house, the kids were in a frenzy. They were jumping up and down, pleading with hands up in the form of a prayer. It didn't matter to them that daddy didn't get paid until Thursday evening. Dad was supposed to have money available all the time for emergencies like the ice cream man. A cool treat is an emercency on a summer day.

I can't tell you the things I felt like doing to that man. Yes I will. I thought about the shotgun, but it was against the law to fire a gun in town. I could have tied thirteen knots in a rope and made a decoration in the old oak tree in our backyard. Nah, the dogs would never stop howling if I did that. But I wanted to do it.

I felt like ripping his radio to pieces, tying him up inside his truck, and turning all the kids loose on him for a few hours. Imagine how he would feel with a dozen kids screaming in his ears, " We want ice cream, we want ice cream, we want ice cream."

The kids could have the ice cream. I would drink all the sno-cones, every last one of them. Grape is my favorite, so I would start with that. When my lips turned blue, then I would switch to orange. I would drink up all his profits.

When I was a kid, the ice cream man drove a school bus that had been painted white. I didn't hate the ice cream man then. He was a nice fellow named Mr. Townsend. Daddy only allowed me to go on the bus once for ice cream. I think that was the only nickel daddy ever had, and he gave it to me.

I just realized a few days ago, why the ice cream man is so popular with kids. It's not the ice cream. They can get that at the neighborhood convenience store. It's the act of meeting the ice cream truck with all the music and noise.

It's simply an entertainment event.

Copyright-(c)-2005- Jay Hudson- All rights reserved. No reproduction without expressed written consent of Jay Hudson.

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