Erin's Journals

Monday, June 21, 2021

Just a thought… When I was little my dad had me convinced that the ice cream truck only played music when it was sold out. Well played, dad, well played. [Author Unknown]

As usual, you can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

On those notes, I have to share with you something I learned about one of the season’s sweetest sounds.

So we’re sitting in the backyard of our grandson and his family a week or so ago, watching the little ones enjoy the perfection of a BC summer day, when suddenly I hear it. Not the tinkling, but a sort of computer-generated version of Frank Mills’ old piano hit, “Music Box Dancer.”

So I say to Brooke, our daughter-in-law: “Is that what I think it is?” And she says, “Yeah, it’s the ice cream truck.” She said it with such nonchalance that the words hardly computed.

I moved like I was going to leap to my feet and she reminded me that we had just had ice cream treats on a stick. “I know,” I said, “but ICE CREAM TRUCK!”

Maybe it’s because we didn’t live in many places that had them come by; perhaps it’s because I tend to be, shall we say, easily in touch with my inner child and the joy of surprises, but I was ready to run out to the street…and pay with what? I only use my phone now to Visa “Tap” this and that and never carry cash. Okay, sit down and just breathe.

So I said to Brooke, out of curiosity, I assure you, because yes, we had just had a treat, “Do they take Tap?” She was pretty sure they do. But here’s what she told me that knocked me sideways: according to the moms on Facebook, you can track the truck and – wait for it – text him or her to come to you. Wait, what?

That’s like getting notification from Santa about what time he’s coming to drop stuff off, what time you should have cookies ready for, and just exactly what you’re getting.

No, no, no! I mean, I understand everyone’s busy and the ice cream guy or gal is probably really getting a lot of business this way, but isn’t the sheer randomness of the truck, of hearing that cheesy little tinkling theme, of leaping off your chair, grabbing your wallet and calling the kids…isn’t that what the ice cream truck experience is all about? And isn’t the ice cream truck experience part of the magic of what summer’s all about?

I’ll never forgive whoever the investigative reporter was who talked about bacteria and so on in the spigots of ice cream trucks. I don’t want to know. If I’m going to die, let it be on a hill of soft serve.

Enjoy the day and may it include ice cream – soft serve or vegan, on a stick, in a cone, in a cup…anything but upside down on your lap. And please, don’t ever let your inner child feel like you’ve forgotten her or him. There’s still so much sweetness to life.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, June 21, 2021