The Ice Cream Man Cometh

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After several years of living under the same roof, I've made a new discovery about the boy.

(Yes, I'm awfully quick and observant, aren't I?)

We've (read: he's) been busily renovating the house, a streneous and impressively dangerous process involving lots of hammers, nails, drills, somewhat mysterious and lengthy expeditions to the Home Depot and clouds of dust.

I'm also getting hooked on rather used to being on a perpetual high from inhaling all the paint fumes.

So it's been a hotbed of activity around here. And we've come to learn a variety of things about life and each other.

For example, the boy has learned that I am extremely bossy and a real know-it-all-and-pain-in-the-arse an encyclopedia of helpful advice.

We have both learned that renovating a home is much more challenging than it appears to be on ABC's Extreme Home Makeover and other such shows where they have entire armies enlisted to finish the work during the commercial breaks so that you the viewer just see the sparkling end results with the new paint and the Sears furniture.

In real life, the process is much more unpleasant and messy and noisy and slow.

And, did I mention potentially dangerous? (Omit the word "potential" when you think about how I walk into ladders, trip over drills, stub my toes on hammers, and step on nails on a daily basis... I'm not going to write it, because I don't want you to know how clumsy I really am.)

The danger factor is never far from my mind when I see the drill bits come within mere inches from the boy's fingers as he deftly drills holes into the wall. It's so nerve-wracking I can't even watch him work anymore.

So imagine how my fragile heart nearly stopped one recent weekend afternoon when I heard a loud scream from the room he was working in.

"Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeetie!" I flew up the stairs towards the sound. "Are you okay? What happened? Where are you?"

Silence (except for an ice cream truck idling on the street outside).

Then, a hideous groan and: "Oh, noooooo... "

By this time I'm virtually hysterical, as you can imagine, asking him over and over where he is and whether he is okay, anxious to find him and yet too scared at what I might encounter when I do.

Anyway, he finally emerged from inside the walk-in closet where he was busy putting up shelves and molding. "I'm not hurt, but... Please. Just. Make. It. Stoooooooop!"

"What?" I asked, still more than a little confused and keeping my eyes averted in case there is blood somewhere.

Finally, he pointed through the window towards the ice cream truck, a manic look in his eyes. "That. That thing is driving me NUTS! I hate those *&^%!@ things!"

At first I didn't realise what he meant. And then... I burst out laughing.

"Wait... You mean... You hate ICE CREAM TRUCKS?!?"

"Can't STAND them," he hissed through clenched teeth. "They come to neighbourhoods playing their AWFUL out of tune songs and pry on the innocent children."

(I SWEAR he said all of it. I'm absolutely NOT making any of it up!)

He was dead serious too. And the more I laughed, the less amused he became.

So now, whenver I want to annoy him, I start humming the drawn out and looped ice cream truck version of "The Entertainer."

I have to give it to the boy, the ice cream truck version of the tune is annoying, especially since it sounds as if it's coming from a worn out audio cassette. I doubt that Scott Joplin ever intended for one of his signature compositions to end up as a Baltimore neighbourhood ice cream truck tune solely used to entice the children to buy popsicles and soft serves and driving certain home owners completely bonkers in the process.

(Update: After the boy read this, he became worked up all over again and said: "No, but seriously, it's a complete invasion of privacy. Who does he think he is... " (I'm assuming he means the ice cream truck driver?) "Maybe he is selling drugs or something."

Yes, sweetie. I'm sure the parents of the "unsuspecting innocent children" are bound to agree with you when their children's sugar highs kick in after devouring their treats.)


martha said:

they drive me nuts too, not quite that badly... but the entertainer is a horrid horrid song played in that special tinny way.

Is boy a US citizen? If so, could be the answer to those pesky green card problems. Worked for me and my Norwegian wife.

Ya know, I'm annoyed by some pretty weird things, but ... wow.


Children playing, suddenly they hear the ice cream truck, which is the unwritten rule for "DROP EVERYTHING AND GO BUG MOM FOR MONEY."

I dash back to the house. "Mommy, mommy, mommy! I need money! I ... *gasp* ... need ... *gasp*... money ... *gasp* ... for ... *gasp* ... ICE CREAM!!"

Mother says, "But we have ice cream in the freezer."


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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • the motor city bad kitty : Ya know, I'm annoyed by some pretty weird things, but ... wow. ***FLASHBACK TO MY CHILDHOOD*** Ch... [go]
  • Random Penseur : Is boy a US citizen? If so, could be the answer to those pesky green card problems. Worked for me ... [go]
  • martha : they drive me nuts too, not quite that badly... but the entertainer is a horrid horrid song played i... [go]
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