So, Kyle and I were on the couch, enjoying a lovely afternoon off of work. Kyle was playing with his birthday present (a new camera,) and I was curled up next to him, dozing. Far off in the distance, I began to hear the faint tinkle of the ice cream truck that comes around every afternoon, and again in the evenings. Growing up in the country, I’m stoked that we have an ice cream man, and though I rarely buy anything from him, I enjoy seeing him pass through. Being half asleep, I mumbled something about wanting ice cream, and being an asshole, Kyle ignored me.
Suddenly, we heard shouting from outside, and not wanting to miss watching someone make an ass of themselves, Kyle and I jumped up and rushed to the back door to watch. We couldn’t see anyone, but we could distinguish what was being yelled, and it went something along these lines:
GO THE FUCK AWAY! I HATE YOU SO FUCKING MUCH! YOU ARE SO FUCKING ANNOYING AND NO ONE WANTS TO BUY YOUR NASTY-ASS ICE CREAM! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!
And so on for a solid 5 minutes.
Kyle and I were both amused and horrified. I mean, who yells at the ice cream man? Sure, sometimes I wish that if he’s going to park outside our apartment building for 3 or 4 minutes everyday he would at least change up his song once in a while. But he’s an ice cream man! He brings joy and happiness to small children and me! Yelling at the ice cream man is like kicking a teddy bear. Not to mention the fact that I found her profanity-laced screeching to be monumentally more annoying than the mechanized version of “The Entertainer” that was coming out of the ice cream truck. But seriously, who yells at the ice cream man?
We got to find out. Because like many ice cream men, ours likes to do two rounds of the complex. Kyle and I pulled chairs out on the porch in anticipation.
And sure enough, Crazy-Ass Bitch was there to receive him with another round of verbal abuse and profanity. I felt so bad for the guy, that when he looked in our direction, I gave him a smile and a thumbs up as if to say, “Fuck that bitch, you keep doing what you’re doing.” Unfortunately, he took that to mean that I wanted ice cream, so he stopped, and parked right outside our building. Which, of course, only made Crazy-Ass Bitch madder. At that moment, I decided two things: I needed to show that bitch that someone did appreciate his ice cream, and I needed to see what kind of person screams things at the ice cream man. Both could be accomplished by buying ice cream.
So I threw on my shoes and ran outside with some money in my fist. C-AB had stopped yelling, but my skin prickled from all the hate arrows sinking into my back. I stepped up to the side of the truck, and ordered a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich and a strawberry and cream crunch bar. As he went hunting for my treats, I could help but notice that, to C-AB’s credit, it was kind-of a skank-ass ice cream truck. It was literally a conversion van that he’d gutted and installed a freezer in. And forget your images of the man in a white collared shirt with a bow-tie and cap; replace that with the image of a big man wearing an open button-up shirt, revealing a large, hairy belly. But, to his credit, he was very polite, didn’t try and molest me, and smiled when he handed me my change.
As I began the walk back to the apartment, treats in hand, I looked up to see the person who’d been screaming profanities at the poor, hairy man. She was standing on the porch to the right of ours, the one that always has laundry drying on the porch rail. She’s a larger girl, not obese but definitely friendly with the business-end of a fork. And she was standing in a thick-strapped, mud-colored bra, cigarette in hand, with her dark hair pulled back in a messy ponytail with a scrunchy, circa 1996. She took up her shrieking about the time I hit the stairs, and before I went up, I tried to give her my best, “Please, you’re embarrassing yourself,” look.
I wish I could say that I looked at her, standing behind her fading dishtowels, obviously stressed and harassed, and feel sorry for her. I wish I could say that I thought about how rough it must be to live with a family in a shabby, one-room apartment, and understood how someone could be driven to yell at the ice cream man. But I’m not that nice of a person. Instead, I just sat on the couch with my husband, and laughed while I ate my ice cream. Crazy-ass bitch…