Picture this: It’s an idyllic summer day at the playground. Parents are chatting, toddlers are toddling, big kids are blowing bubbles off the slide. Then, a rude intrusion.
You can hear that sinister jingle from a mile away, getting louder and louder as the tank approaches. The toddlers in the tot lot freeze.
The truck pulls up and the playground erupts into ear-splitting squeals, gradually accompanied by the low hum of all the parents muttering, “fuuuuuuuuuuck.”
The squeals turn into chants:
“ICE CREAM! ICE CREAM! ICE CREAM!”
You’d better have two bucks on hand or you can pretty much call it a day.
Mommy blogs have long bemoaned the predatory nature of Mr. Softee. But preying on playgrounds is not the only way ice cream trucks are ruining the neighborhood. Here are five good reasons to ban the summer menace.
1. They’re racist. That incessant jingle? A recent viral NPR story pointed out that the tune favored by the modern ice cream truck, known as “Turkey in the Straw,” has, over the last 200 years, been applied to profoundly racist lyrics which will not be repeated on this family-friendly blog (but you can read up about it yourself).
2. They sell drugs. This sort of gives new meaning to the term “snow cone.” New York City in particular has a long history of busting soft serve venders for slinging substances like marijuana, cocaine, and oxycodone, among other things that are not ice cream.
3. They’re LOUD! That round-the-clock jingle accompanied by throngs of screaming children is a nuisance. It keeps babies up at night. The racket has become such a common complaint, that many cities have implemented laws requiring the trucks to only play when they are in motion, or be silenced completely. (Here are some forums dedicated to ice cream truck noise.)
5. They’re creepy. It’s like a U-Haul crashed into Stephen King’s “It.”