Right now I’m churning out the old stories to get them out there, to play with the website in general and in hopes something newer and fresher will strike me.
Around the age of 5 I had a constant companion in the form of a short, blackish-gray haired bundle of fur named Smokey. I actually don’t remember Smokey that much these days. I only have one clear image and one distinct sound of her forever burned into my memory.
We lived in a trailer park on the edge of a big city. The place was surrounded by open fields, the streets were barely paved, people hung their clothes out on a line to dry and sometimes you’d find a gutted deer carcass on the lawn or even a burned out mobile home where someone had tried to scam the insurance company. It was a different place in the sense that I’ve never lived anywhere like in since, but the people were generally nice and there was the ice cream man who lived up the street. Everyone loved the ice cream man especially us children who would go to his house after he finished his route and have our sweet-tooth needs accomodated at all hours of the day.
That takes us to that day with that memory and that sound. My friends and I were loitering on the street like good impish wastrels do without a care in the world. Since this community was in the middle of no where there wasn’t any traffic or need to worry about the kids on the streets. It wasn’t quite your idyllic 1950’s setting but it was good enough. Around the corner came the ice cream man, driving slowly with that ice cream jingle which lures everyone to the streets tunelessly playing away and my dog sleeping in the middle of the road. That’s the one sound and one image I’ll always carry about my dog; it was tragic and it was terribly sad. My mom marched up the street later that night to have the man come apologize to me, but the only thing he could say was “I’m not paying for that dog.” He didn’t say “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see her.” That night, my Dad buried her in the field beneath a large rock and we said good bye to my first dog.
Now, I could end this story here, but my writing is about humor and it’s honestly not the end of the story.
I was motivated by my burning hatred of the ice cream man, that once trusted friend who dispensed cold sweet goods from the back of his truck. Since there were other children with me that day who witnessed the same thing, I soon had my army of ice cream man hating urchins. Our mission: Kill the ice cream man! Our only hold-back, we were all aged 5 and younger and were heavly influenced by the physical laws of the Loony Toons.
Together, my friend Rudy and I schemed. We knew the man had to die and we knew that in his death the ice cream truck had to burst open freeing all the helpless fudgesicles and other ice cream goodies. We tossed around well thought up ideas like slipping popsicles into his pocket, but that just made him cold and the truck didn’t open up so we had to move on. Tires slipped on ice, so maybe ice cream under the tires. Now that sounded promising, but we were reliant on allowances and you couldn’t really justify to your parents “I need to buy 4 ice creams to kill the ice cream man, so can I plleeaasseee have the money?” That left us with just the one plan that didn’t rely on money so off we charged into the neighboring fields.
Fortunately for our plan, the grass had recently been cut. Rudy, his sister Sally and I pulled handful after handful of mowed grass out into the street making a large grass hump. We then set about waiting for the ice cream man. His truck eventually loomed on the horizon as he slowly made his way to our road hump of death and then it just as slowly ran over our grass clippings. CURSES! The hump just wasn’t enough to cause the truck to flip thus killing the ice cream man and exposing all the sweets inside his truck. We learned that day that some tasks were too big for 5 year old minds and we had a very valuable lesson in physics, I might add. I’m sure if Acme had created the grass clippings and if Elmer Fudd or Wile E. Coyote had been involved… well… I suppose we’d have the same result come to think of it, because their schemes never quite worked out for them either.
… and that’s how and why I tried to kill the ice cream man …