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In Which I Reveal My Weakness.

I scream for ice cream.

Gentle reader; is there anything on earth more wonderful than the Ice Cream Truck? Whatever inane tune it plays, bent by distance, a siren song. Is it coming from the next block over? Is it getting closer or further away? Will it turn onto my street or should I go madly pounding through the neighborhood, a middle aged man in whatever clothes I had on at the moment, boney knees pumping, spare tire joggling, risking a heart attack? As a child I dreamt that music, chased it in my dreams from street to street, that always-elusive white and slowly drifting truck.

And here’s the thing. I don’t even really like the ice cream they sell. Good Humor products taste like paraffin, chemicals and sugar. Left on a counter, they soften but never actually melt. I am particularly appalled by the ice cream character heads on sticks with gumball eyes. Over the years, a stately, ever changing parade of whatever has captured the zeitgeist of the American Child for a summer, your Power Puff Girl, your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, your Spider-Man, your Bratz Doll, a hagiography of ice cream heads dyed terrible colors no ice cream wants to be.

When many of these same treats are offered in my local Supermarket, I pass them by, because they are awful. But from the Ice Cream Truck, oh, then they are the nectar of the Gods.

If only the body of christ tasted THIS good.

My favorite? Standing head and shoulders above the other novelties, shining in glory, the Holy Grail, the Choco Taco. Invented by the Jack and Jill Ice Cream Company of Philadelphia, distributed nationwide by Good Humor, it is truly “America’s Coolest Taco”.

I have long believed that when it is my time to go, Gentle Death will come for me in his Ice Cream Truck. I’ll hear the song, but this time I won’t have to run. The truck will pull up slowly in front of me, and the back doors will open wide, cool fog spilling out.

Would you like to come inside, Max?” the Ice Cream Man will ask. “Would you like to take a ride inside my Ice Cream Truck?

I would. I will. And we’ll drive slowly off, that beautiful music playing, and I’ll have all the Choco Tacos I want.


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Colonel Flagg on 07/31/2008 1:54 pm

My favorite has to be the ChipWich.

Damn you, now I must have one. Now.

Mmmmmmmmm. Ice Cream.


deadendz (Guest) on 07/31/2008 1:56 pm

An ice cream truck drives through the storage area facility where my band practices - we're talking about a sketchy guy trying to sell ice cream to a bunch of dudes in their mid-20s who are guzzling down beer and god knows what else...he rolls by real slow and people just stare at him. he stares back. weird

Red/White/Blue Pops rule though

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palsy blue stupid on 07/31/2008 2:05 pm

Apparently one of the side-benefits of being the son of God is the ability to devour enormous Choco-tacos without losing your divine figure.

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argonath on 07/31/2008 2:13 pm

I like how the ice cream looks like a fish.

"Jesus loves you...and chocolate bass too!"

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Relaxing Dragon on 07/31/2008 3:14 pm

I've only seen a handful of Ice Cream trucks in my entire life. They're just never in the areas that I go to.

And you're quite right; ice cream treats I normally would pass right over in the supermarket taste ridiculously delicious when they come out of one of these trucks.

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ginmortal on 07/31/2008 4:23 pm

Mr Burbank, once again, I am inspired by the depth of your words, indeed, now that you make me think of it, the afterlife is not about cherubs, harps and halos on top of your head, but rather, about choco tacos of "divine" proportions... or in my case... Hooters servers, chicken wings and beer!!!... or ice cream sandwiches.

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Cowracer on 07/31/2008 4:36 pm

mister softee! Mister Softee!

Oh, and bomb pops.


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JJ_Maniac on 07/31/2008 4:43 pm

I live in Canada, where ice cream trucks seem to be an endangered species. I've never even seen one.

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captain516 on 07/31/2008 4:51 pm

Remember those ice cream sandwiches on a stick? The ones with the wrestlers on them? I used to think they stopped making them, but my truck always has them. And who doesn't want to die in an ice cream truck?


Phyxius (Guest) on 07/31/2008 5:09 pm

LOL great entry.

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Silver on 07/31/2008 5:36 pm

There are plenty of ice cream trucks driving around the poor neighborhoods in Mexico, at least in my city which happens to be Monterrey. They are always grossly adorned with drawings that are supposed to represent that which Mr. Burbank called the "ever changing parade of whatever has captured the zeitgeist of the American Child for a summer". I remember seeing Power Rangers in their traditional poses when I was kid, the only difference was that they held ice cream in their hands instead of deadly weapons that could kill thousands of evil creatures.

The ice cream itself was your usual crap, and you could expect to get a fairly low amount of it for several Mexican Pesos.

If I were to die, I want plenty of double ice cream waffle cones. These represent the might of ice cream in all of its glory.

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JJ_Maniac on 07/31/2008 5:36 pm

If the Grim Reaper drives an Ice Cream truck, what kinds of ice cream does he sell?

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Silver on 07/31/2008 6:44 pm

JJ_Maniac: Probably chocolate scythes... You know, a chocolate blade on a stick... =P


LeNNy (Guest) on 07/31/2008 7:42 pm

There was I ice cream man who used to come down my street once a summer. I remember one year I only saw the back of his car leaving my naiberhood, and I actully satarted crying. But one summer he never came. That was the summer that I died on the inside.


JJ_Maniac (Guest) on 07/31/2008 9:54 pm

I would totally eat one of those

(sorry for the guest entry, im too lazy to login)
(And yes, I realize the hypocrisy of typing this rather than logging in)

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Protoclown on 07/31/2008 9:58 pm

Mr. Burbank, you are our last best hope.

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Silver on 07/31/2008 11:26 pm

Word has it that ice cream trucks are now authorized to run over annoying creepy kids who dare to insult the ice cream man if he does not carry their favorite flavor.

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HeroliciousDeBlanc on 07/31/2008 11:41 pm

The ice cream man where I live looks like Osama bin Laden's brother. Yet no one has ever been worried, because he carries delicious, delicious, ice cream.


Poop on a Stick (Guest) on 08/01/2008 12:11 am

Mmm... choco tacos. I remember them being available at Taco Bell for a couple of years. Last time I tried to order one, though, I was told they no longer had them. I cried for minutes... then ordered cinnamon crisps instead. Not as cold and chocolatey for some reason.

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Copper on 08/01/2008 12:46 am

I think JJ's right. Ice cream trucks are becoming an endangered species. (Probably has something to do with the whole concept and the sterilization of America). Still, I remember them fondly as a kid. Hell, just last year, we were at a Labor Day party at a friend of my mom's and we heard *that music* and I, a 30 year old, look at my mother and go "ICE CREAM MAN!" Without pause, she opens her purse, gives me five bucks and I and the friend's son go tearing out of the yard and down the street for an Astro Pop (red/white/blue, in case y'all call 'em something different.)

And at our latest D&D session, my fellow player was telling me how he heard one too and basically did the same thing (though with his *own* money) and as he's heading there, the truck stops it's music and actually plays Eddie Murphy's "I got some ice cream! I got some ice cream! And you ain't got none!" It apparently didn't do the whole routine, but that was enough for him.

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greenimp on 08/01/2008 2:31 am

haha, the choc taco lookd like jesus newborn son there

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-RoG- on 08/01/2008 3:02 am

Death is sooooooooooo gonna be a letdown for us if we aren't hauled off into the great beyond with an endless supply of Choco Tacos to gorge on.

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Max Burbank on 08/01/2008 6:37 am

Man, if death turns out to be a let down, that will so be the final insult.


somewhere in georgia (Guest) on 08/01/2008 8:10 am

in the hood they sell more than Ice cream out those trucks, the one in my hood got every thing a corner store has, even the microwave for your popcorn but one time he had a whole different song than the tune EVERY other truck I herd it and just froze in my tracks

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Bus Driver Moe on 08/01/2008 9:23 am

They're hardly endangered here in my small New Hampshire town. Every day I here the haunting jingle of the peddler's wagon as it rolls by. Usually it rolls somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty miles an hour and never stops, but still it plays its jingle and shows off its garish side placards to tantalize and taunt all.

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Viteh on 08/01/2008 2:11 pm

There is nothing better than to buy ice cream from the ice cream man who instead of a truck has a Volkswagen Bug which has been modded to be able to carry the ice cream freezer

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Aries on 08/01/2008 3:03 pm

I wish there was such a thing as a drug truck. Your local dealer would drive around in a brightly colored truck playing techno, and sell you pot, coke, oxycontin, shrooms and whatever else you want.

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Aries on 08/01/2008 3:13 pm

No wait! A bar truck! It stops in front of your house and the driver/bartender makes you drinks. The franchise could be called "Mr. Tipsee" and the mascot will be a clown holding a martini.


ColdFusion (Guest) on 08/01/2008 7:28 pm

Choco tacos are fucking excellent. They operate under the same principle as flaky pastry, except in reverse. Instead of putting cold butter slices in and rollingpin-ing dough, they pour liquid chocolate in and fold the icecream producing an orgasmic crispy layer thing inside... oh buttcrackers I need one of those now.

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Mojomajik9 on 08/02/2008 4:37 am

Ah man. The formerly ubiquitous ice cream truck. I loved me some rocket pops..the gigantic Mickey Mouse heads on a stick. Vanilla face, chocolate ears...and whatever those things were in the cone with the gumdrop at the bottom. Oh the 80s. How I miss you.

Oh, and if death does drive an ice cream truck would he resemble David Lee Roth and constantly sing "I'm the Cream Man"?


J.Noble (Guest) on 08/02/2008 5:05 pm

Here's some other favs from when we were young....'Fat Frog' and 'Bubble-O Bill' When I was in high school circa summer 1993, there was an ice cream truck in our area that had a driver who looked too much like Charles Manson. But he did have sweet delicious ice cream inside

This topic makes me think of that Simpsons episode where the ice cream truck rolled over onto it's side and Lenny complains "Oooh! I can't decide without the pictures!"

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–Shoal– on 08/02/2008 5:12 pm

I myself would always get rainbow Snow Cones for 99 cents. It also came with a free flavorless gumball in the bottom! It was all I could afford because it was the cheapest thing.

Unfortunately, last time I saw the ice cream truck the price was raised to 1.99 per cone..

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Nick on 08/02/2008 8:08 pm

I've never seen an Ice Cream Truck or a Choco Taco. :(


cityboy44 (Guest) on 08/02/2008 11:46 pm

I didnt even know ice cream trucks still existed. In my shithole town, all we have is the ice cream bike, which is a tricycle with a freezer on it filled with the same ice creams. and its always ridden by some hairy, rob zombie-looking dude who doesnt wear a shirt. eeew.

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TipoDeemin on 08/03/2008 7:18 am

When I was in high school, there was an ice cream truck that would roll through my neighborhood at about four in the afternoon, every afternoon. It had this really cheery ice cream truck music like every other one I'd ever heard... Except, with this one, the music would periodically stop (frequently enough that you'd hear this happen at least twice before it was out of your auditory range) and some really sinister sounding voice would whisper over the speakers, "Ice cream man." A few seconds would pass in silence, and then the music would resume, slightly out of tune, like something straight out of a horror movie. It was unbelievably creepy.

I never saw anyone stop that truck and buy any ice cream, and I never dared to myself. Nestled alongside the Choco Tacos and Bomb Pops in the freezer, there were surely numerous severed body parts. No way was anything of mine going to end up among them.

"...Ice cream man..."


1deadmule (Guest) on 08/03/2008 8:51 am

I drove an ice cream truck while I was in was a sweet gig in the summer, since I lived near a beach (It's Ladies Night at the IC Truck, all hot chicks get a free Frosty Frog) but you could not have a radio, so all day you had those crappy "ding-ding dong-dingity ding DONG DING" bell songs running though your head..


Awesome Joe (Guest) on 08/03/2008 3:07 pm

Haha, this reminds me of a funny story from my childhood. I couldn't have been out of elementary school yet, and one of my friends had stolen his dad's novelty pen (the kind where if you flip it upside down the girl's clothes would come off)and sold it to me. This should have been my first step towards perversion but shortly after I heard the music of the Ice Cream Man. I promptly sold the pen back to my friend so I could have money for ice cream. I used to always buy a pack of candy cigarettes with my ice cream from the ice cream man. I remember those more than I remember the ice cream!


Tim (Guest) on 08/04/2008 2:08 am

I'm damned by whatever miserable gods may exist, because all I could think of, after reading this excellent piece, is the cinematic crapsicle that is ICE CREAM MAN with the hardest workin unibrow in show business, Clint Howard.

Kill me now. Preferably with a scrotal ice pick.

That is all.


Nick Diaz (Guest) on 08/04/2008 3:27 am

Ice cream makes you fat.


hellzo (Guest) on 08/04/2008 8:20 am

Ive only ever seen one ice cream man, when I was in Germany. The thing was I was on an army base, and it wasn't like the vans you normally see, it was run down and shabby. Every one said he was a nice guy, so I was like what the heck. I had the best spaghetti ice ever.

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Ahmed Johnson on 08/04/2008 8:50 am

that little girl in the picture looks like she wants to make a run for it.


Me-Myself-I (Guest) on 08/04/2008 1:20 pm

Ok people, one word says it all to me about ice cream trucks: Phantasm. If you've ever seen the movie (I think it was also portrayed in the 4th one too), you'd know that one of the lead characters, Reggie, drove one and that has been my association with it ever since. I keep seeing those silver spheres come flying outta nowhere looking to embed in my skull and drill into my forehead. Well, then maybe they could fill it up with the strawberry shortcake ice cream thing with the crumbly bits on the outside...


Fast Eddy (Guest) on 08/04/2008 9:43 pm

Max, i'm posting in order to share some troubling news.

Notice anything familiar in the opening? It seems someone is biting on your fresh style, homes.

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Copper on 08/04/2008 11:33 pm

Tipo's comments remind me both of "Spawn" (the comic and cartoon) and the scene in Maximum Overdrive where the bloody ice cream truck is trolling along the street, cheerily playig it's tune with splatter all over the front grill.

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Max Burbank on 08/06/2008 7:14 am

Hey, Fast Eddy;

Yeah, I wouldn't be sure with just the 'gentle reader' as that form of address (ie. Constant reader, faithful reader, etc.) is a common if olde fashionde form of epistialary address, but the prose style that follows seems... influenced by me as well.

I'm not bothered, as imitation is the sincerest form of gay stalking. Also, I've been heavily influenced by writers I've liked, and the further back you go in my stuff, the more obvious it becomes. It's unavoidable.

It's just... I always imagined I'd be further out of the bizarre sub strata of writing genres before people started adopting aspects of my style. Not to dis any bizarre sub strata, since obviously that is exactly the location I am floating in the tank, it's just I'm 46 and I'm going to be DEAD SOON AND WHY DOESN'T ANYBODY WITH HUGE BUCKETS OF MONEY READ THIS SITE AND REALIZE IT IS THEIR DUTY TO BECOME THE FRIGGIN' WIND BENEATH MY FRIGIN' WINGS IS ALL I'M SAYING.

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Cowracer on 08/06/2008 8:54 am

Drug truck? Aries has obviously never been to rural Missouri in the summer. Each and every ice cream truck has items for sale that is not pasted on the menu board (Wink wink, nudge nudge).

No kidding, there was one summer where the ice cream man used a tape loop of the opening of "Hells Bells" as his music, and you were practically guaranteed a contact high from getting your bomb pop.

Then again, what do you expect from a state where cooking meth is a groth industry.



Jeremy B. (Guest) on 08/06/2008 10:25 am

Did you create that Jesus image? If not, who did?

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Max Burbank on 08/06/2008 11:09 am

I did it myself!

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-RoG- on 08/06/2008 7:16 pm

I love that image. If we owned the rights to Choco Taco, I'd put that shit on a t-shirt in a heartbeat.


diggysmiggy (Guest) on 08/06/2008 11:19 pm

I never knew an ice cream truck to be great after they stopped selling the mickey mouse with the chocolate ears. Its always some shitty boring crappy popsicles, sticky handed boring popsicles or some sherbert crap. THATS NOT ICE CREAM. More recently ice cream trucks, well in a Memphis ghetto atleast are great for buying weed.


Proteus (Guest) on 08/07/2008 3:41 pm

To the people who say that Ice Cream Trucks (tm) are an endangered species in the world, obviously they all emigrated to Brooklyn. It's rare I won't hear them a least twice in a day. I'll hear them slowly trawl down the street, stop, zigzag around, and since they can be heard several blocks away and they kind of do this grid thing, there've been times when i've heard that fatal jingle for up to two-three hours at a time. Enough to make someone punch a baby in the soft spot.

Fortunately, Choco Tacos are the best, most beautiful creation ever brought forth on this earth by Man. The only icy confection I'd ever get from those trucks when I was a kid.


NanuNanu (Guest) on 08/09/2008 8:40 pm

An ice cream truck this summer keeps driving through my neighborhood without stopping. I run out to catch it, money in hand, and it just drives by with that music on FULL BLAST, TAUNTING ME.
Every single time.
I know the jerk sees me and one day I am going to catch him.

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resident-adam on 08/11/2008 1:27 am

Ice Cream trucks... the Pied Piper of my Youth!

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HowardC on 08/12/2008 3:54 am

The "random pop-icon heads" aren't actually icecream, they are a sherbert-like mix similar to what you find in a push-up.

For the ultimate version of this treat you have to avoid the trucks and go to your loacl Dairy Queen and ask for a "Star Bar". By far, this is the best tasting frozen treat ever!

They had ice cream trucks where I lived when I was little. Sadly, they are now gone. :( I think it has to do with the fact that the current generation of parents tend to think that any adult that willingly wants to interact with their children is a pedophile, which quite frankly, is silly. Not because they are wrong, but because today's kids are really fat and unattractive. You don't just find sexy, sexy children running around on any given street you know.


Fleaman (Guest) on 08/14/2008 9:20 am

WOOOHOOO!! its sweet tooth, well a less evil sweet tooth anyway, twisted metal ftw


scorp76 (Guest) on 08/23/2008 8:53 am

You sure you running after the Ice Cream Truck? Or the girl in the truck?

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