Friday, June 21, 2013

Looney Tunes?

Every summer, I wonder the same thing.

What might it be like to drive an ice cream truck?

Can you make any money doing it? Is it boring? Or is it among the most fulfilling things to do in life?

I don't know anyone, personally, who's commandeered a roving vehicle, selling frozen confections out of the back. So I can't draw on anyone's experience.

Maybe you're reading this and are acting like Arnold Horshack from "Welcome Back, Kotter"---bouncing out of your seat, raising your hand and shouting, "OOH! OOH!"

Maybe YOU know someone who has driven an ice cream truck. Maybe you yourself have. Maybe you do currently.

Hey, I'll just be thrilled if you're reading this, period.

I think about ice cream truck driving every summer because, of course, we have such trucks roaming our streets these days. The thing that strikes me though---and this would be a big negative for me---is the ad nauseam repetition of the truck's music.

The trucks that cruise our neighborhood play the same ditty, over and over. And it's only about 8-10 seconds long.

I have an annoying tendency to have songs stick in my head for days. Sometimes weeks. And, typically, it's not the entire song that is stuck---it's an 8-10 second portion. Just like the clips the ice cream trucks play.

So would my proclivity to have songs stick in my head cancel out the continuous musical clip of an ice cream truck? Kind of like how two positive magnets repel each other? Dunno.

By the way, my days of ice cream truck recollection pre-date the recorded, tinny music heard from today's trucks.

I grew up listening to bells.

The Good Humor truck, that compact, white vehicle sent from heaven, didn't play music. Its driver jingled bells, manually.

The bells were in a row above the driver, center to the windshield.


Look closely and you can see the famous Good Humor bells in the top center of the windshield


The driver did his 5 mph while yanking on the string that jangled the bells. He didn't run the risk of music being stuck in his head, but he sure must have gone home with his arm and elbow throbbing.

The bells were heard, though---every bit as clear as today's recorded music. Those Good Humor bells had an uncanny ability to penetrate brick walls and closed windows in my Livonia burg.

We also had Mister Softee, but I can't recall how he announced his presence.

At times I think it would be kind of neat to drive an ice cream truck. It's honest work. Not sure how much dough you can clear weekly, but I can think of worse things to do.

I wonder if they'd let me drive with ear plugs? Or jingle bells instead?

Frankly, I might have trouble with the 5 mph thing. Driving too slow makes me nervous.

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