We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I was a kid, the Good Humor Man came down the street after suppertime, ringing his bell. I was partial to the vanilla thing coated with nuts, and the orange-raspberry popsicles.
How that guy made a living, just in summertime, with those 25 cent treats, is beyond me. Dad would give us each a quarter for them, but not every night. Maybe once a week. You would hear the jingle, and kids would evacuate their houses. Anyway, the union and gas prices put an end to that charming tradition.
Now they have the more urban Mr. Softee. He does not come into our village.
Orange cremesicles were just the best, Tom. Sealtest milk was great as well. When the milkman would head for a delivery, we would jump into the truck's cab to get a piece of chipped ice. Those were great times for us all. Now, they'd have the swat team involved somehow.
I grew up with Good Humor, and preferred their ice creams to Mr. Softee. But the Good Humor man is long gone and even though both trolled my neighborhood when I was younger, Good Humor was the preferred kid's purchase.
Today, Mr. Softee is every few blocks here in NYC. I've grown used to what he has to offer, and I actually like his milkshakes quite a bit more than other offerings in stores.
It used to be about tastes. Now it's about limited choices.
I preferred Good Humor and the truck itself was infinitely preferred. Several ruffians could keep the driver's attention focused on where he was going (playing ball in the road would do the trick) rather than his mirrors and another ruffian could mount the back bumper, pop open the rear door into the refrigerated box, and extract a box or two of goodies in seconds flat.
I remember summers at the family beach house with the Ray, the Good Humor Man, arriving just past noon every day. We'd hear the bells on his truck and there would be an exodus from the beach as the kids would come running with money in hand to but their favorite cold treats. My favorites where the Rocket Pops and the Chocolate Eclairs.
Ironically, many years later a new Good Humor Man (actually a young woman) took over Ray's route and it turned out she was his granddaughter. She was so surprised how many people remembered her grandfather and what he meant to us all. She told me that it was the same all along the route he used to cover.
Spare me the Mr. Softee and his many clones. All I want to do when I hear "The Entertainer" or "Turkey In The Straw" is pull out the old 12 gauge and silence the darned loudspeaker on the truck. Give me the sweet sound of those jingling bells any day!