I was writing a piece on the response to my on-air Michael Jackson comments when I heard the Ice Cream Man's musical van come down the strada when I decided to shift gears.
The sound of the ice cream van brought back a memory-not unlike The Three Stooges or Abbott and Costello's Niagara Falls bit.
'Twas many years ago-over two decades. Most parents will remember when their little ones were really little ones, some of the trials in getting them to sleep. Well, this was one of those nights with my son, It was around this time of the year-I remember-because older kids were still outside and the sun hadn't quite given in to the night sky. I had read countless stories to him(including a personal favourite: Ant and Bee), acted a few stories out for him, sang to him, shhh-ed him, tried some hypnotic suggestion and finally his eyes began to close. About that time-so did mine. We were both totally relaxed in his bed-it was just minutes before I'd be able to sneak out.....and there it came-the Ice Cream Man's Musical Van coming around the corner-my son shot up and out of bed like lightening: "Daddy,daddy, the Ice Cream Man !!"
Well, I too shot up and out of his bed,for some reason, grabbed my kamagong escrima baston and blew out of the door, barely hearing my wife, who was reading on the couch, say" where are you going with a baston-dressed like THAT! " I went running down the street, shoeless, shirtless and wearing a small pair of loose,thin shorts for in-the-house wear . I caught up with the Ice Cream Man's Van and said, well, yelled to him-"don't you ever come down this street at this time-EVER AGAIN !! "
I walked back to my house as neighbors gathered their children away from me-I was giving them the "what's the matter with you" look- hadn't they ever seen a dad in action before?
My wife looked at me and said "I cannot believe you did that-ran out in those so-called shorts. What did you do? Why do your eyes look like that?" I said that I was needed upstairs. I went up and my son was fast asleep.
To this day, when I hear the Ice Cream Man's Van and it's dusk or later, I get a glazed look in my eyes and want to chase-not unlike a Greyhound, or the Niagara Falls guy.
By the way-the Ice Cream Man never came down the street late again for that entire summer-in fact, the neigborhood kids were mad at me-The Ice Cream Man never came down our street AT ALL.