Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nothing takes me back...

Like soft serve ice cream on a warm day. One of the things I miss about living in the NYC metro area is the old "Mister Softee" ice cream trucks I grew up with:

Here in the south, they seem to only have Good Humor trucks, which is simply not the same. While Good Humor trucks are stocked with coolers of pre-made ice cream products, the Mister Softee truck was like an old time soda fountain on wheels. He had a full-on soda machine, a shake mixer, a giant soft serve machine, a hot fudge warmer, and an old style whipped cream maker all in the magical little world of his truck. To a young geek, these things must have been built on the same principle as the TARDIS. When you ordered your icy treat, it usually took a few minutes for the ice cream man to make it for you.

I remember when I was a kid, we had an awesome Mister Softee guy that would prowl my neighborhood. He would always park right in front of my house, and stay there until my Dad had heard "pleasepleasepleaseplease" about a zillion times. Dad used to joke that while kids are naturally attracted to ice cream trucks, nothing attracts ice cream trucks like a couple of fat kids playing on the sidewalk.

Of course, I would counter that a Dad that was seemingly addicted to milkshakes didn't hurt either...

So Dad would eventually relent and give us five bucks and his milkshake order... which would take forever for the guy to make, and all of the neighborhood kids would stand in line behind us glaring at me and Jay, (who of course had ordered our cones first, and had to eat them before they melted). Lord help us if Dad had ordered anything more complicated than that though... I seem to remember a threat of violence the one time Mom ordered a bannana split.

To his credit, our ice cream guy never left until every kid in the neighborhood got what he wanted, and he always allowed ample time for each child to run home and beg their parents for money. We would all sit on the stoop in front of my house enjoying our ice cream until at least five minutes after the Mister Frostee's chime had faded in the summer heat, planning what we would order from him tomorrow...

I can olnly hope Short Stuff's memories of his youth will be as pleasant.

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