Friday, July 13, 2012

The day the ice cream man flipped out.

Every suburbia neighborhood has an ice cream man that rides around in a truck selling ice cream to kids and their parents. Having that as a job is one thing that makes me wonder because I would have an incredibly hard time doing that job and keeping my sanity.

First you are dealing with kids and sometimes the kids are short on cash or likely want credit. They get this from their parents who will also complain bitterly to the poor bastard about the prices they charge whish is actually a lot higher than it is at the convenience store. A lot of this likely has to do with the price of gasoline and other costs the cretin parents have not taken the time to thik about.

I suppose I could handle that but it would be the ice cream truck music that would send me straight to the booby hatch. Imagine listening to an electronic calliopie playing 'It's a small world' all day long. In about a day or two I would be somewhere getting fitted for a nice, well fitting white canvas jacket with very long sleeves and a nice, shiny Master padlock on the front.

Anyway, Neighbor Bob and I were standing in the frony yard yakking about something or another when we heard the strains of the Dr. Hook song, "Cover of the Rolling Stone' off in the distance and getting louder. Whatever it was happened to be headed in our general direction and was getting louder and louder.

It came towards the end of the street but was hidden by the hill and suddenly it came roaring over the hill and came over it so fast that the wheels cleared the ground!

It was the ice cream truck!

He roared past my house weaving all over the street and a couple of doors down it clipped a pair of mailboxes and veered over and clipped a parked car. A block or so away it made a wild turn and wwent down the side street.

Bob and I were agape and in a second recovered.

"That son of a bitch is going to hurt someone!" Bob said as I started inside for the phone.

I grabbed the cordless, dialed 911 and headed outside and spoke to the dispatcher. Before I even got my report started the dispatcher interrupted. "Is this the ice cream truck?" he asked.

I told him it was and he asked me where it was. I stepped outside and listened and gave him an estimation as to where I thought it was based on the Dr Hook song I heard in the distance. Inside of seconds I heard a couple of sirens and inside of less than a minute things got quite.

Bob and I jumped into my pickup and headed down to the last place we heard the noise and near that we saw the ice cream truck on someone's lawn, and the driver being seated in a poilce car wearing a very chic matching set of stainless steel bracelets. The man was a rabid mess, spitting, sputtering and most likely trying to bite the arresting officer.

One of the the police officers went back into the truck and retrieved a number of pint whiskey bottles and put them into his car.

They drove off and the ice cream truck was left on someone's front lawn for later retrieval.

I mentioned to Bob that we ought to get back home and he commented that we ought to come back in 20 minutes and see if the kids raided the truck. Bob wanted a pack of Marlboros so we went to the convenience store and maybe 20 or 30 minutes later we drove past the scene of the arrest and saw the poor guy's lawn was covered with popsicle sticks and ice cream wrappers and there were a couple of kids coming out of the ruck with what looked to be the remains.

One kid had what looked to be a busted popsicle and the other looed like he had a squashed ice cream sandwich of some sort.

We drove home and laughed.

The next day I ran into a friend of Mrs Pic's who told me that the day before the ice cream guy had been ill humored. He had been snapping at the kids and when one of the parents whined that the ice cream man used to be a nice person when she was a girl, he had snapped back that when she was a girl the ice cream truck had to be started with a hand crank.

Over the next week or so I got the story piecemeal. It seems that the guy had been driving the damned truck every single day since mid April without a single day off. Apparently he had just snapped. I suppose I would have snapped under the circumstances, too.

Five consecutive months of 'It's a small world' running through your head all day and I would be sitting in a padded room at the booby hatch.

It must have been over a week later when I ran into the arresting officer in the convenience store drinking a well deserved cup of coffee and approached him for details, explaining my part in the arrest.

The cop was pretty good and filled me in on things to a point and commented that it was a pretty serious incident and took a sip of coffee which soon came shooting out his nose when I replied that if I were on the jury I would let the man off on grounds of temporary insanity.

After he cleaned up, he looked at me like he was taking me into quiet confidence. "A couple of us were at the station at shift change and we agreed the same thing," he replied. "The temporary insanity defense would likely work in this case! We all agreed that that a job like that and no days off would have made all of us go over the edge."

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