When I say “Ice Cream Man” you picture the guys driving the musical trucks around, right? And little kids running out of their homes to catch him and buy some ice cream?
Well, I picture that as well, but I also think how cool it would be to have a giant mannequin made entirely of ice cream. Surely there’s a festival somewhere, where they do this.
In Los Angeles this summer, there was a pop-up Ice Cream Museum (tickets sold faster than hotcakes topped with ice cream), and one of my friends described her visit as a religious experience.
But back to the ice cream man. It occurs to me that these brave, hardy souls who traverse suburbia selling popsicles and ice cream sandwiches are to be admired for something else as well: They can tolerate the same tune, played loudly on tinny speakers, for hours upon hours as they make their rounds. In my neighborhood it’s “The Entertainer,” which was actually written by Scott Joplin in 1902. If people in Rocklin ever attend a Ragtime Revue, every one of their mouths will water when that tune begins. We’ve been trained like Pavlov’s dog.
And every time the ice cream man goes by, I think of him with admiration for being able to tolerate repetition, the likes of which would drive anyone else into a screaming fit. So today I pay tribute not only to the guy who brings cool, refreshing treats to the sweaty masses in this heat wave we’re having, but to the guy who can maintain his sanity when all others would be losing theirs.
Stay inside where it’s cool and enjoy a frosty treat while you read one of my books. I don’t even mind if you drip ice cream on the pages.