Thursday, July 31, 2008

We All Scream!!

So this past weekend I was at the Park with my Son. It's sort of a hot day out but not too bad in the shade. So we're at the corner end of the park and we hear that old familiar music playing. As soon as we hear it both of our ears piqued and we look at each other. Almost simultaneously we both say it. "ICE CREAM MAN!!" So I looked around and saw that the Ice Cream Truck was actually a good distance away. We would have had to run (I would run at least and he would ride his bike) to make it there before he left. As I stated it was hot so I told my son we're gonna miss it this time but I promised him that we'll make sure we get some ice cream the next time. Ironically, he was okay with that and we continued to play.

So, the following day my son and I find ourselves at the park once again. Of course we were playing the usual baseball, soccer, riding his bike, etc. As we're playing we hear that familiar sound of the Ice Cream Man driving past again. With the elephant memory my son has he quickly tells me "hey daddy there's the ice cream man remember you said you would get me one next time." Of course I hadn't forgotten it was only the day before when I made this promise. So I told him yes I remember and he's right there so we can get some ice cream this time. We proceed walk over to the ice cream truck and while standing in front of it I ask my son what he wants. He points to the picture of what he wants on the board (Image 1). I tell the man in the truck what he wants and he goes into the freezer, gets it, and hands it to my son. Then I tell him I want a strawberry shortcake bar (Image 2).



Well I'll be damned if the guy in the truck doesn't hand me my ice cream bar then say $5. I know the saying goes "We all scream for Ice Cream," but if my son wasn't standing there I would have screamed out WTF? (What The F**K for those that aren't familiar with the acronym). However, I caught myself and instead just said "What? $5?" Yes I sounded just like that character Chris Rock Played. Only thing missing was the "Good Lawd that's a lot of money." In true Chris Rock fashion I was tempted to say how bout you keep the cream and just give me the ice for $1. LoL. So I asked the man how much was each ice cream and he proceeds to tell me $2.50 each. I said $2.50 are you serious? I quickly handed my ice cream back to the man. My son immediately asked me "why did you give it back daddy?" I was about to do the same with my son's ice cream, that was until I looked at his face and I could tell he was ready to devour it. I just couldn't do it to him especially after I promised and he had already held it in hand. Plus when I looked at his it was the larger than normal size bomb pop. Whereas, the ice cream bar they handed me was just the regular size. Not to say it was worth $2.50 but I was willing to compromise. Alright go ahead and call me a push over, but I'd like to see you look into that little face and take away his ice cream on a hot day like that. I'm not that damn cruel. LoL. So, I paid the man the $2.50 and walked off.

Being the inquisitive little boy that my son is (he gets it honest) he again asked "why didn't you get anything daddy?" So before he can start running through possible reasons which he is known to do, I tell him that it was too expensive. He then accepts the answer and proceeds to devour the American Flag colored ice cream. He even asked me "How come no one else got any ice cream?" I answered probably because they knew the price and I was the only idiot to fall fall victim. As I said that another man there with his children walked past and I heard him snicker at my answer. Well as he ate the ice cream I watched as his mouth quickly turns a bright shade of red. He then hands me the ice cream and says hold this daddy you can eat some since it's melting then runs off to go play some more. So I'm sitting there holding a $2.50 ice cream bar watching pennies go to waste with each melting drip. What do I do? Well as not to waste money I do as my son told me and start to eat the ice cream before it completely melts. But all the while I'm thinking about the last time I bought one of those ice cream bars I wanted. It had to be a long time ago but even still I can't recall paying more than $1.25 for it. I mean in some bars I can get a pint of ice cold beer for $2.50. So my question is are times really that hard? Where the local ice cream man is ripping kids off like Big Worm from Friday?

Well I just couldn't let it go. So I had to come home and do some research to find out what was the price of a box of these ice cream bars. As you can see the price of a box of 6 is only $4.89. Even after the new snake ass Cook County sales tax [10.25% The Highest in the country] that's is still only a total of $5.40. Which divided by 6 ice cream bars is only $0.90 cents each. That is the non-sale price. However, some times you can catch a decent buy one get one free sale at the local grocery store. Now I do understand that the ice cream man provides a convenience and therefore should be paid for that service. I mean he's right there with cold ice cream on that hot summer day so you don't have to drive to the store. Also, I know that gas is expensive as hell and to drive around the neighborhoods at 2 miles an hour [like Fresh Prince] stopping and going I'm sure burns a lot of gas. And I know it's gotta be hot inside the truck with the deep freezer in there and that with that side window open they most likely can't have the air conditioner on. But even with all that considered, to make $1.60 per ice cream bar is just highway robbery. The fact that they're ripping off kids makes it even worse. What's next? Chuck E. Cheese charging $20 entry fee and a 2 drink minimum? I mean come on what's the most you as a parent will give your kid to get something from the ice cream truck? I would say $1-$2 at most. So imagine if I sent my son there himself with $2 and he came back like daddy it's not enough. Back in the days our parents could send us to the ice cream truck with $1.00 and we'd come back with 2 ice creams and some candy. If this is the new trend for ice cream trucks I feel for the kids of today. When you can't take a few quarters and run outside when you hear the sound of the ice cream truck, but rather have to break open your piggy bank times are really bad.

But speaking of ice cream trucks and back in the day I'll close this with what is probably the most traumatizing story about ice cream ever. I'll try to make this as short as possible. Alright so I'm about 6 years old which would make my brother 8 and my 2 cousins Trice 7 and Kita 5. It was summer time and all the kids were out playing. Well the ice cream man happen to make a stop in the apartment complex that day. So, we all ran into the house to ask for money for the ice cream man. My mom and my aunt Mel aka Marilyn (Trice and Kita's mom) and my other aunt Phyl were in the house. As we all ran in asking for money for the ice cream they didn't hesitate to give us the money. However, Aunt Mel gave them the money with specific instructions to bring her change back. She may have given them about $2 I think. My brother and I got $1 to split. After receiving the money we all ran off to the ice cream truck. After standing in line we all got our respective ice cream bars. As I stated, prior the inflationary price increase of ice cream $1 could buy 2 ice cream bars. I don't recall what ice creams everyone bought but whatever my cousins got they had approximately $0.50 cent in change left over.

So as we're all sitting there enjoying our ice cream there was a boy that we all knew that had no ice cream. Well he proceeded to ask us if we had $0.50 cent he could have/borrow. As you know my brother and I had exact change so we had nothing to spare. But my cousins had the 2 shiny quarters. Don't ask me how or why but my brother goes and convinces my cousins to give the change to this boy. This amongst other incidents could be the root of my brother and cousin not getting along to this day. Lol. Now it seems like an innocent action and you're probably thinking it's only 50 cent what's the big deal? Well that is because you don't know Marilyn Williams. Next, we all begin to walk home as the boy proceeds to buy his ice cream. As we walked into the house all of us had a mouthful of ice cream. But as sure as sun rises and sets the first thing out of Aunt Mel's mouth was "where's my change?"

We all immediately stopped in our tracks and looked at each other and got quiet for about a minute. Finally my cousin Trice fessed up that they had given the money to a boy for some ice cream. The next thing I know there are F-Bombs and other expletives coming out of her mouth faster than a machine gun shoots bullets. Without having to put a parental warning on this blog I can't go into detail. But something along the lines of "why the F*&k did you give my money to some boy?" would be pretty accurate. So as we all stood there what would happen next would be stuck in my mind forever. After the verbal onslaught she gave, she then grabbed one of my cousins ice cream and wound up like Roger Clemens style and the next thing I know the ice cream slams up against the kitchen wall. BAM!!! Then she grabs my other cousins and it quickly meets the same fate as the first. I was utterly shocked, afraid, and prepared to lose my ice cream next. However, much to my surprise it didn't happen. She stopped at the 2 ice creams, and immediately demanded my cousins to clean up the mess. I remember my brother and I later finishing our ice cream of course out of the sight of our cousins. But I can't for the life of my imagine what would have caused my aunt to snap like that over 50 cent (in change not the rapper if it was Curtis Jackson maybe I could understand). However, I'm sure that if I think long and hard that there was an empty bottle of Sutter Home somewhere in the room.

Luckily for us (me, my bro, and cousins) ice cream prices back then were not as they are presently. I mean if she did all of that over 50 cent then I can't even fathom what may have taken place if she had just paid $5 for two ice cream bars. Lastly, the $2.50 I spent on the ice cream was already bad enough. But if you take a look at the picture below you'll see that my son's nice bright yellow shirt (I know the sidekick camera doesn't do the yellow any justice) quickly turned to yellow with green spots. You see the packaging from the ice cream wasn't even strong enough to hold the blue liquid in the bottom. So the blue part of the ice cream quickly blended with yellow to leave green spots on the shirt. I don't give a damn how much I Shout that stain is not coming out. So there you have it go ahead and add another $5-7 to my $2.50 for one ruined shirt. Basically an ice cream bar cost me close to $10. All I know is that if I happen to see this particular ice cream man again I may be liable to turn into my aunt an hurl something at his truck.