Bring on the Good Humour man

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2004

School is out and summer is here. It is time for rest and relaxation. Trips to the beach, ballgames and just lounging around become a part of life in the lazy months of summer.

For me, summer means one of the greatest things ever put on wheels will make its triumphant return form the garage.

It's not the General Lee or even the Oscar Meyer Weiner mobile. It's time for the ice cream truck.

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Over the years I have stayed in shape chasing down the ice cream truck.

It was probably cute when I was a little kid. But now that I am 27 years old the driver likely has second thoughts about slowing down when he sees me coming.

I can't really say that I blame him.

That doesn't mean I'll ever stop running them down.

On a hot summer day there is no better feeling than hearing that nightmarish music coming around the corner to cool you down.

When I moved to Mobile I learned when the weather began to heat up I needed to have some spare change handy.

The neighborhood kids even learned to rely on me if the truck had passed their homes by.

More times than I can count kids would stand at the corner of their street yelling, "Stop him Mr. Rick."

I was like a really pathetic Superman on my block. Faster than a slow moving refrigerated van and able to leap small objects in a single bound. Life was good.

There was one little hole in my armor.

Our ice cream truck didn't always play the music. Sometimes you just had to rely on the sound of the generator to know when he was coming.

On one hot July night I heard the generator cranked up and the sounds of a vehicle slowly cruising by.

It seemed kind of late for the ice cream truck to be coming by, but I wasn't going to waste my time reviewing the schedule of the ice cream man.

So, I flew out of the house to my would-be late night ice cream snack.

Well, as it turns out, the mosquito spraying truck makes the same sound churning out poison as the ice cream truck does running its generator.

There I was in the middle of a thick cloud. I don't know what it was, but it wasn't an Astro Pop.

I staggered back into my house a little wiser and dizzier than I had left.

From that point on I learned to look out the window if I didn't here the music.

Some good did come of my foolishness. I didn't have to shave for a month and I haven't been bitten by a mosquito in almost three years.

I guess the point that I am trying to make is that while the music of the ice cream truck may sound like something you would here after being gassed at the dentist office, it does serve a purpose.

So ice cream lovers everywhere please heed this warning. If you don't hear the music stay inside.

If you don't you may find yourself with a "DDT pop."

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick.