Growing up in a little suburb in Ohio, the jolly tune of the ice cream truck was the cue to jump up and down, give your parents’ the puppy dog eyes, score some cash from the suckers, and joyously dash out to the sidewalk – pushing your way to the window for an ice cold Superman frozen treat. Years later, whenever I’d hear that sound, I’d get a pang of nostalgia, a glimpse back at that simple happy feeling of unexpected satisfaction.
Nowadays, living in a semi-sketchy Los Angeles city (they are all semi-sketchy in at least one area), I have been given the gift of a new musical white vehicle. But instead of the faint, peppy, cartoonish song of the ice cream truck, I hear a booming continuous honk to the tune of “La Cucaracha”. Yes, “La Cucaracha”, meaning The Cockroach. And what is the purpose of such noise pollution? Ahh…to alert myself and my fellow co-habitants that the 7-11 store on wheels is here. At least that’s what I call it because I’ve never seen an actual name on the side of the child molester van looking monstrosity. I have, however, been stuck traveling behind one on my way home from work. It trolls up and down the side streets, its sliding back door gaping wide for all to see what is available for purchase inside.
Is it ice cream? Some sort of frozen concoction with a wrapper on ice with little chance of contamination? No, its full on produce – any sort of bread/meat/cheese/fruit product you could dream of. Hot dog buns dangle and sway as the truck drudges along, holding up traffic and making ears bleed with that loud non-stop honking. And why oh why would they choose a song about cockroaches to sell food??? I am baffled. And I swear – every time I start to hear the honking…for just a second I think…awww the ice cream truck. And then reality comes crashing down and I realize it’s the cockroach mobile. Nausia and disappointment consume my insides as I wonder what road my life has taken and why each path I take seems to have that damn truck blocking my way.
[I wrote this blog on April 16, 2007, while living in Van Nuys. Originally posted on MySpace.]