Funny, where I live, we are in the throes of summer, a very hot summer to boot. Hot summers have always conjured up visions of swimming, sun bathing and ice cream! That’s right, when I was younger, you would find me in the pool or laying on a towel baking my body in the direct sunlight (what was I thinking there) and invariably, I ended the day with some sort of ice cream treat.
Back in the day, we got our summer “fix” of cold, creamy confections from the magical ice cream man in the white truck. He was the most popular guy in the neighborhood. Once one of us heard the jingle jangle of the bells, it was game ON to see who would be first in line. A dollar in your fist, ensured that you would be able to choose from the tempting menu and have whatever your heart desired. Should you be a tad “cash poor” that day, you may end up with bomb pop (frozen fruit flavored liquid on a stick) of course we also called that a glorified popsicle.
Having a dollar bill or more, also left you at the mercy of the totally broke friends, who would be sitting and staring at you while you ate your chocolate éclair or strawberry shortcake. Honestly, how was one supposed to enjoy that dreamy treat, while a pair of said eyes fixed themselves upon your every move? The only exception was if these sad eyes belonged to the family dog, with whom you’d share everything from the freshly grilled burger to a peanut butter sandwich. However, should this be a dear friend, you were all but obliged to take part of that dollar and invite them to the truck to pick out something yummy. After all, ice cream tasted twice as good if you ate it with a friend.
These days, I must say that I truly miss the ice cream trucks. For a few years, there was one that rolled through the neighborhood and my sister or brother would run out with a $10 bill in hand and come dancing back into the house with treats for the 3 of us. That’s right, a dollar doesn’t quite cut it in this day and age. Not that the choices have gotten any fancier, just more expensive. The taste? As good, if not better than when we were kids. Don’t know why but there is something about that wooden stick covered in something cold and creamy that makes adulting easier to take. Brings out the kid we’ve repressed and gives us an excuse to spend a little time together, laughing as though the ice cream were tickling our bellies. Ah yes, it had to be because of the magical ice cream man, since treats from the store never did that.