I’ve been writing a short story that has a scene with an ice cream truck in it. I’m sure you’ve encountered one in your life. Resembles a van, enough sticker-like displays of ice cream to make a collector giddy with joy, and of course the insanity inducing music. I haven’t seen one recently, but when I lived on Fort Gordon as a child, they were an annoying presence during the summer. As much as I hated that music, I could never resist that sirens call.
When summer rolled around the trucks showed up like clock work on an almost daily basis. I’d be in my room, outside with friends, or helping my parents with lawn work and the second I heard that distant, distinct, and extremely annoying tune I dropped whatever I was doing and sought out my parents with the speed of a heat seeking missile. I was highly persuasive and usually could prod them into getting me an ice cream. I’d munch happily on the cold treat in the sweltering Georgia summer and do my best to ignore that annoying theme music blasting from the truck. It was easier once I had the ice cream.
If you think it’s a nuisance when you actually want and can get something, imagine what it’s like when you won’t or can’t, especially the won’t. It’s like Homer in the Iliad. Plug your ears brave adventurer. Don’t go near the cliffs. Stay away from the cliffs!
One day, around the age of eleven, I came to the stunning conclusion that the amount of ice cream I was eating on a daily basis was not in the best interest of my health. So, I decided to stop getting anything from the truck. Easier said than done and a battle of wills commenced. There was the good angel on my right telling me to stick with my resolution and there was the devil on my left, telling me to go ahead and singing the sweet serenade of the ice cream truck’s music. I’d say that the angel won–mostly. I was eleven after all.
The truth is that, as annoying as the music was, it actually holds some fond memories for me. I just wish I knew how they made that song addictive. Perhaps I don’t want to know. After all, someone has to drive the truck.
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic claim to it.