Beware of the Ice Cream Man

Posted: May 22, 2009 in This May Scare You

I have fond memories of my youth. One of those memories is hearing the inviting melody of a nearby ice cream truck. I know most of the time my parents claimed that the carton of Neopolitain in the back porch deep freeze was just as tasty. There were occasions, though, where we did finagle Mom and Dad into giving us 25 cents for an Orange Sherbert Push Up from the slow driving ice cream hero.

Now, some of the memories of my youth are probably distorted, some may argue, all of them are. Like maybe I wasn’t as good at kick ball and maybe I really couldn’t walk around the block on stilts, twice without falling. But, what I do remember was that the Ice Cream Man was very professional in his appearance. So much so, that if you were at school, filling out your 3rd grade autobiography and you answered the question, What do want to be when you grow up, and you said, The Ice Cream Man, that would have been as acceptable and as common as Doctor, Policeman or Quarterback. I may be mistaken, but I think one Friday in elementary, a friend had his dad into school for Meet My Dad day and he said, “This is my dad, he is the Ice Cream Man.” And, the whole class melted in his presence.

Contrast that to present day. If you were to believe Money Magazine from two years back, we live in the best place in America to raise a family, Naperville, Illinois. I can’t all the way agree with that on the premise that in my own hometown our little league teams played on baseball diamonds with real dugouts and outfield fences. That notwithstanding, it is at least practical to say that Naperville is a typical snapshot of American suburbia.

But the livability rankings for Naperville would surely plummet if they had to add a category – in addition to schools, parks, hospitals, and open spaces – for Ice Cream Man, because whenever you hear the doot-doot-­doodle-doo melody of an approaching ice cream van in my neighborhood you start looking for all your kids and calling them into the house, and it’s not because you don’t want to buy the pups some orange sherbert on a stick, its because Naperville has the scariest looking Ice Cream Man van in the continental U.S. (That was the longest sentence in my 2 week blogging history)

The Naperville Ice Cream Man has the kind of van with its fuzzy mirror dice and rust and faded paint job that you wouldn’t be surprised to hear was once used in various Zodiac killer escapades. The van is older than the van that the crazy meddling Scooby Doo kids drive around in.

For their part, my kids seem to know that the van is the ice cream van, but they have never once asked us to go buy ice cream from it. In fact, this van is so scary looking that even though we live right next to a school with lots of passing children, I’ve never once seen the van pulled over handing out snow cones.

In fairness to the four wheeled ice cream proprietor, if I would do more investigation, maybe it’s just the van that looks out of whack, and maybe the Ice Cream man behind the curtain is as wholesome and as inviting in appearance as Sam the Butcher from Brady Bunch.

What this all proves is that appearance is everything. I drive a company car that is often messy, but it is never messy when I’m taking a customer to lunch. That’s not to say that I haven’t been known to call in the Wolf like on Pulp Fiction the hour before a sales call. By contrast, the Ice Cream Man considers the rust on his van to be part of its nostalgic charm.

Some of you maybe thinking wow this is insightful commentary by The Small Ball Report. If you are one of those people, please read my other story about Moko the Dolphin.

But not to digress, apparently Hollywood types thought the same thing about the post 2000 Ice Cream Man profession.

Showtime produced a movie just two years ago with Ice Cream Man as Serial Killer. I haven’t watched it, but I plan too.   I’m also planning on getting a copy and letting the whole family watch, that way I will be sure to never have to buy Orange Sherbert Push Ups for my kids. They should be fine with the Neopolitan Ice Cream carton that is out in our deep freezer in the garage.
  1. […] the fears of pansy white middle class suburban kids by denigrating the hard working and friendly Ice Cream Man.    Anthony Liebrandt seen here in the early days at the Small Ball Saturday update desk. His […]

  2. […] named Ed, they will be pushed by a scary guy in a clown suit who could in fact be employed as an Ice Cream Man.  […]

  3. […] Ball Report and they questioned whether the fear mongering that I had stirred in reporting on the Scary Ice Cream Man rose to the level of maturity that was exhibited in the writing flavors of previous first ladies […]

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