Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chasing the Ice Cream Truck

It has been exceedingly hot here in Central Virginia. Temps have been in the high nineties with a heat index into the hundreds. That famous Southern humidity has been pressing down on all of us like a heavy hand, making us a wee bit short-tempered and very lackadaisical (and in my case, to the point of down-right sloth).

The thing that lifts me from my sultry stupor is the peal of the ice cream truck. This week, my son and I were outside when we heard the strains of All Around the Mulberry Bush. We jumped up and down in excitement and then I ran inside to grab my purse.

We waited at the end of the driveway, listening, bouncing with anticipation.

We waited at the end of our street, listening, feeling a bit concerned.

We waited at the end of our development, worried, anxious.

The ice cream man didn’t come. He circled the development next door and then left for the evening. It was only five-thirty. My son and I were crushed.

What’s a mom to do? Well, a normal mom might console herself and her child by a trip to the grocery store or a nearby ice cream parlor.

Not me. I went on a hunt for an ice cream truck. I mean it. I drove through neighborhoods with high populations of kids with the windows down. I asked kids running through the sprinkler and kids on bikes and kids drawing on the pavement with chalk if they had seen the ice cream man.

Finally, after nearly an hour of driving, we heard the music. It was a different song, but how lovely the strains were to our ears. The ice cream truck had parked opposite an elementary school and a line of eager children were awaiting their turn.

I did a U-turn that would rival NASCAR driving and slammed my mini-van into Park. We joined the line and craned our necks to view the menu. It was as I remembered from my own youth – there were still AstroPops, Push-Pop, Strawberry Shortcakes, Drumsticks, Orange Creamsicles as well as a plethora of new choices. I got my old favorite – the creamsicle and my son got a rainbow sherbet push pop.

We spoiled our dinner. We dripped on the upholstery of the car. We never felt so cool.

If the ice cream man rolled up in front of your house, what would you order?


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Wow! A REAL ice cream truck! I'd chase it, too. If one of those were circling my neighborhood, I'm sure it would be dispensing drugs along with Drumsticks. Seriously, we do have ice cream vendors in my neighborhood, but instead of trucks, they are small refrigerated pushcarts that travel the sidewalks selling "helado." There's no place for an ice cream truck to stop without causing a major traffic tie up.

I was always a Creamcicle or root beer popcicle fan.

G.M. Malliet said...

Drumsticks, definitely the best.

Yes, when did they do away with ice cream trucks? We've never had one where we live.