Good Humor

Goodhumor

Four years ago I broke my
left leg, so I couldn’t work at my office for the whole summer. (Third floor, outer stairs, doing
massage.) I was totally freaked out ’cause
I had rent and utilities to pay. So our
landlord, Troy, who was one of those guys who had his hand in every little money
making scheme imaginable, had an idea for me.

He had all these Flintstones
style jeeps that he’d converted to ice-cream delivery trucks. And you guessed it, I got to drive one…for
3 long, hot months (in a cast, I might add).

Those lovely recordings that
everyone loves to hate, had on off switches…not volume. And I was told to play it all the time and
drive 
a s  s l o w l y  a s  p o
s s i b l e .
You think you’re miserable listening to them in your neighborhood?  Try being stuck in kiddy crack hell.

There were four tunes that
I could switch between. Hickory Dickory
Dock, Three Blind Mice, The Entertainer, and some terribly frightening warped
to hell and back sounding song that I didn’t know. The worst was when the
kids,
strung out on sugar, would run up singing the song at the top of their lungs. I’d always turn it to song # 4. I swear I felt like a drug dealer. I don’t know how many times the dirtiest
skinniest kid would weasel his way to the front and beg me for just one,
telling me he’d pay me tomorrow.

I had a route to follow
everyday and got to keep 1/3 of my earnings.  Troy
kept the other portion. Eventually, he found out that I spoke a
smattering of Spanish. So he sent me out
to the construction areas. These guys
would hear me coming and practically leap from the tops of the houses. I’m sure I was much more fun to look at than their
buddies Juan and Carlos. I ended up
making more than any other route and actually had some fun doing it. I even got to turn off the music sometimes.
 

I developed a new love for
the Latin culture that summer. And no,
it’s not what you might think. At first
I thought it was solely the construction workers, but then once I began to
swing over to the Mexican housing area of our town, I realized that it was
cultural. I saw the same thing in both
places. Each day, one or two guys would
buy for everyone – buddies, children, wives, etc. They all got whatever they wanted. Everyone was happy, smiling and
grateful. There was a real sense of camaraderie. The next day it would be another guy or
two…and the next another.

This was
such a huge change from the rich suburbs, where the moms were nowhere to be
seen and the kids just clawed their way past each other to shout out their
orders at me. This felt more like a
community. And for once my music was
neither the loudest, nor the most energetic.

I learned a few things that
summer:

  • Don’t break your leg in
    June.
  • Community is more important
    than wealth.
  • Construction workers can be
    gentlemen.

        And

  • I never want to hear Three
    Blind Mice again.

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7 thoughts on “Good Humor

  1. ROFLMAO! I can’t imagine being imprisoned in one of those trucks all day long day after day after day. Amazing that you lived to tell about it!
    We call the ice cream truck the “music truck” around here (thanks to a friend to started that with her son). 😉
    And yes, I have often thought and heard rumors that some ice cream truck drivers are actually drug dealers. Crazy if it’s true.
    How did you break your leg anyway? Hope it healed well and you never have to go back to ice cream toting hell again.

  2. Oh, now I’m going to have to write up a post about my leg, eh? That’s a long story. It may take a while to get out, but I’ll start on it.
    I like the idea of the “music truck”. Chris and I may adopt that…if we ever move somewhere that has them, again.

  3. That’s a great story, except for the part about your leg (that had to suck). Do tell us how you broke it.

    I can’t even imagine being in a musical truck for that long. We do not have ice cream trucks in our neighborhood.

    You are right, the Latin area was a community. I loved reading about that. It sounds much nicer than some of the other neighborhoods.

  4. Oh you are just killing me. You are right about the Latino culture though. Now that I live in a 90% Mexican neighborhood, I see it too. And the “ding ding” truck plays “La Cucaracha” here–not exactly appetizing in the food service industry.

  5. How funny! I used to ride my bike to work in Phoenix and part of the 12 miles was through a Mexican neighborhood. I know this is a Vege/Vegan website, but I have to tell you that the smell of Choriso (this is anglo phonetic so it’s probably misspelled) sausage cooking for breakfast nearly drove me crazy. We have a lot of latinos in this area now, but, unfortunately, we don’t have much interaction. Their culture has a lot to imitate.
    I’d keep them guessing about my leg 😉

  6. Note:
    I found a delicioso chorizo vegetariano at Trader Joe’s. I’m sure it’s not the same, but it sure was good in the black bean burritos I made one day.

    You’d be amazed how many things can be found in a vegetarian/vegan variety. Please, don’t be worried about editing yourself. You just may be inspiring others of us to break out of a dinner rut.

    Also, I did a quick search for chorizo and found this out…

    In slang:
    In Spanish slang, chorizo means “thief”, from Caló chorar (“to steal”).

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