There is a sound so frightening that when I hear it I break out into a cold sweat, my heart starts to race and I have an overwhelming sense of impending doom. I am trembling in fear right now just thinking about it. What sound could elicit such a reaction? The sound of thunder? No. The theme from Jaws? No. The sound of Fran Drescher laughing? Yes that’s…no wait, that is a sound that many people are afraid of, but that’s not the sound I’m talking about. The sound I am talking about is….
….the sound of the ice cream truck.
Every time I hear the tell-tale music trumpeting the arrival of the Good Humor man, I am paralyzed with fear. I am afraid that once my children see that the ice cream man is here, it’s only a matter of time before their begging, pleading, whining, crying, screaming and sulking begins. Whenever I see an ice cream truck, I have an intense urge to scoop up my kids and run the other direction. Quite honestly, I loathe the ice cream man.
Many parents can understand where I’m coming from. Parents know that having to deal with the ice cream truck can be an ordeal. You just can’t win when it comes to the Good Humor man. If your child asks for ice cream and you say “yes you can have ice cream”, you’ve set a dangerous precedent. From that moment on, every time your child sees the ice cream truck, they will expect ice cream since they were allowed to have it before. Let’s say you qualify that “yes” with “you can have ice cream just this once”, your child doesn’t hear that – all they hear is “ice cream-ice cream-ice cream-ice cream”. Plus, if you do give in, the odds are pretty good that one of the following will happen (A) the kid will drop the ice cream on the ground or (B) the ice cream will melt all over them. If you tell your child they cannot have ice cream, you’re the bad guy and you will probably have to deal with a major tantrum. This can be very unpleasant. No, that’s sugarcoating it – it can be pure hell! That is why I’m convinced that Satan drives an ice cream truck. Yep, I believe the ice cream truck was sent directly from hell with Satan himself sitting in the driver’s seat. The devil wears Prada? Nope, the devil wears ice cream stained clothing and a hat emblazoned with the Good Humor logo. If you look closely, you can see the outlines of his devil horns beneath his hat and his tail stuffed in his pants.
Ice cream man devotees are probably horrified at the fact that I despise the ice cream man. They may argue one can’t hate the Good Humor man because he’s a little piece of Americana, something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Well I’ve never been a fan of Norman Rockwell (I prefer a nice Monet) and I’m not a fan of ice cream on a stick (I prefer my ice cream in a cup). Amateur psychologists may conclude that I hate the ice cream man because as a child I was deprived of ice cream from the Good Humor man. As a kid I remember hearing the signature sound of the ice cream truck and running to ask my parents if I could have money for the ice cream truck. I was always told “no” because (1) we already had ice cream in the house and (2) buying ice cream from an ice cream truck was foolish because one ice cream treat from the Good Humor man cost the same as a whole box of ice cream treats at the grocery store (my dad was cheap frugal). Of course I then tried the “everyone else is getting some” argument but that didn’t work either (throughout the history of mankind, has that argument ever worked?) I swore that when I was a parent, my children would not be denied those sweet sweet Good Humor ice cream treats.
Uh, I must have had my fingers crossed when I made that promise because this is what actually happened when I became a parent –
Son: Look! The ice cream truck is here! Can I have some ice cream?
Son: Look! Another ice cream truck just pulled in front of the first truck. There’s two ice cream trucks! Can I have some ice cream from one of those ice cream trucks?
Me: No. You don’t need ice cream from the ice cream man. We have ice cream at home.
Me: No. One ice cream treat from the Good Humor man costs as much as a whole box of ice cream treats at the grocery store.
Son: Everyone else is getting some
Parent: I don’t care about everyone else. You’re not getting any ice cream from the ice cream truck.
Son: PRETTY PUH-LEEZE?
Son: Well, can we go across the street to Baskin Robbins?
OK, I caved. Call me a pushover, but I’m a sucker for Baskin Robbins, Dairy Queen, Homer’s…any place that has good ice cream that’s not on a stick. Sure, I gave in, but in a way I kept my promise and didn’t deprive my son of ice cream. Plus I avoided the ice cream truck and the evil hands of Satan. So my son and I went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. He was happy and I was happy that he was happy. And I decided to ignore the fact that our Baskin Robbins cashier had horns and a tail and that there was a strong possibility that Satan and the Baskin Robbins owner were in cahoots.
Sigh, I guess Satan drives an ice cream truck and owns our local Baskin Robbins franchise.