April 16, 2007

Horse 747 - Ice Cream Vans

When I was a little kid ice cream vans would come down the street and it would be about 1 in 500 occasions when you'd actually get something from it. We'd be regailed with such excuses as "it's not real ice cream" or "it's dangerous out in the street" despite having just spent the last 5 hours playing cricket and dismissing a tenno across the street and into someone's front garden.

The Ice Cream van was a sacred thing that would rumble down the street spewing hideous diesel fumes as it went, equally hideous noise from a recording of Greensleeves that sounded like it came from an electronic birthday card and then recorded on wax cylinder in 1879. Nevertheless, the ice cream van would dispatch a horrid mixture of glup in a feral cone that you'd hang out for and long for every time it came down the street no matter how many times you were disappointed.

They were always invariably a Ford Transit van that had ceased to be a mail van long ago and was now serving the remainder of its days in retirement. They'd been not so much resprayed as painted via brush in white with an undead pink shade at the bottom. They'd also have the uncommon indecency to drive right through the middle of your cricket match.

Yesterday another nail went into the coffin of my childhood. The ice cream van was still a Ford Transit van but it was virtually new. What should have been a horrid glup was actually edible and there weren't any noxious diesel fumes to go with it. Worse, I bought something from it - the threshold of excuses had been crossed and there was no-one around to tell me why I couldn't get something.

There was a consolation. Greensleeves still came loud the loudhailer and still sounded as though it was recorded in 1879... or maybe 1979 and belonged on the Atari 2600, I don't know.

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