Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

July 20, 2013

Rocky road ahead for the ice cream man

Hendricks County Flyer

---- — On occasion, I like to sit outside in the evenings. Unfortunately, these are usually the same occasions when my neighbors decide to rev up a weed eater or speed through the yard on a four-wheeler or one of those screechy motor bikes.

Sadly, it’s a free world and I have no power over others. Well, not yet anyway. Not until they elect me mayor of the world, which should be any day now.

Until then I guess I must put up with the noise of others. Or I suppose I could always move to Long Beach, Calif., where whiny, irritable people like me can get their way.

It seems that the Long Beach City Council recently drafted an ordinance that would require ice cream truck drivers to tone it down. According to Councilman Dee Andrews, he’s been receiving complaints in his district for years and, although he confesses he likes ice cream, the neighbors need their peace and quiet.

There are more than 20,000 ice cream trucks in America today and the ice cream man, in his many incarnations — Good Humor Man, Mr. Softie, Mr. Ding-A-Ling, etc. — has been around worldwide since the early 20th century.

Ever since I can remember, hearing the melodious chimes of the ice cream man has been a good thing, and it brings to mind an iconic American scene of children running excitedly to greet their good friend and neighbor who showered them with delicious frozen confections.

Never have I heard someone say, “Oh, drat. There’s that darn ice cream man again.” Except for in that ‘90s horror movie when Ron Howard’s freaky brother Clint was the ice cream man, and the children were the frozen confections, but that’s another story.

Usually the ice cream man is met with excited cheers. I even get a little excited when I hear his truck coming down the road —unless those darn motor bikes are buzzing around, in which case I can’t hear him anyway. That’s right, even crotchety ol’ lady Todd likes the ice cream man. So what is wrong with the people of Long Beach?

I have a few theories.

Perhaps they all had a traumatic ice cream related incident as children. Maybe when they were growing up, the ice cream man in their neighborhood served luke warm ice cream. Maybe he shorted them on sprinkles. Maybe he was an alien and flew them around in his truck. Or maybe there were always irritating kids on motor bikes zipping up and down the road and they never could hear him coming, so now they hate noise of all kinds.

Or maybe there is something in the water that has made everyone in Long Beach lactose intolerant. Maybe it’s a government conspiracy to cut down on obesity and all of our water is tainted. Maybe Long Beach is just a testing area and if they are successful, we could all be lactose intolerant soon.

Or maybe these people are just pleasure-hating, broccoli-sucking, narrow-minded, feeble dolts who can’t stand fun in any form.

I bet they hate baseball, hot dogs and apple pie as well.

Whatever the reason, best of luck to the people of Long Beach. Let them have their peace and quiet.

At least until my world mayoral election.

Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book “What’s the Point” available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.