At first I didn’t notice it. There are so many background bells and whistles these days, that it kind of blended in. But it was persistent. I thought it might be someone’s ring tone. The sound was travelling – getting louder as it approached. Then it dawned on me. A fake calliope version of Turkey in the Straw? It was an ice cream truck.
My office is in the back of an office condominium complex. There are fourteen or so brick buildings housing lawyers, insurance agents, accountants, doctors, dentists, and the like. Real grown up businesses.
But there was an ice cream truck. Driving through our parking lot.
I shot up out of my chair. I yelled “There’s an ice cream truck!”
Diane popped out of her office. “Really?”
“Yes,” I said, and pointed out the window at the white van driving slowly.
“Little Lady!” Diane shouted, and we hurried to get the young daughter of a colleague who was here after summer camp. “i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m?” I said quickly to her mother, so in case it wasn’t ok there wouldn’t be a tantrum. “Ice cream?” said the overly-precocious little girl. Mom sighed in resignation.
Diane ran outside to make sure that the truck would wait for us. I grabbed up Little Lady and ran as fast as I could in two inch heels.
Turned out the running was useless. There was a line of professional people wearing professional clothes lining up to get their Rocket Pops. The ice cream truck wasn’t leaving our parking lot any time soon. One man, wearing pressed pants, dress shoes, a white dress shirt, a tie, and a lanyard with an ID card around his neck jumped up and down, making fun of all of us at once. “The ice cream truck is here! The ice cream truck is here!”
I got a Strawberry Shortcake. Little Lady got an ice cream sandwich. Little Lady’s Mom got a Neopolitan ice cream sandwich. Diane got nothing because, well, she’s Diane, but we love her anyway.
Little Lady’s grin was huge. My grin was huge. We were all immensely happy. It was about seven thousand million degrees outside. The ice cream cooled us down and tasted wonderful.
I handed the ice cream man a twenty. He was a tattooed millennial with one inch gauges in his ear. Little Lady was eating her ice cream beside me making happy noises of the kind that you can only make when you are six years old without getting sideways glancing or someone, referencing When Harry Met Sally, wants to have what you’re having.
For a brief, fleeting moment I looked at this guy, wearing his “I Put Ketchup on my Ketchup” t-shirt and thought how much I hated gauges and how they looked trashy and wondered what his Mom thought. At least he has a job, I thought.
Then I realized this guy had figured out something huge that I hadn’t. And he’d figured it out at a young age. All my degrees and fancy clothes, and very few people like to see me coming. On the other hand, people jump up and down and literally run across parking lots making fools of themselves to get to him. He’s got a job making people happy. And he can wear comfortable clothes while he does it.
To heck with the law degree and uncomfortable clothes. I want to be an ice cream man.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.