I have a fond childhood memory of the Mr. Softee Ice Cream Truck. If what I’ve witnessed regarding memory and music is true, I will be able to travel to the depths of Alzheimer’s disease and still remember the Mr. Softee tune. Although I haven’t heard it in a dozen years, today after hearing just the first few faint and faraway notes, I knew it. He had come back. I heard the familiar jingle that once sent me running from my house with change in my hand and hope in my heart that I might soon have a small vanilla cone with jimmies (sprinkles to you non South-Jerseyans) and maybe, possibly, I’d be the one in the crowd that the Mr. Softee Man would pick to win a free cone for the next day.
And that was a million years ago.
Now that I am a full grown grownup and a career weight watchers member, I’m aware that eating a Mr. Softee cone has consequences. But when I heard the music and saw the truck, I didn’t care if I had the food allowance available for the day, IT WAS MR. SOFTEE!
On my way to the truck, as I skipped in slow motion through the field of flowers (weeds) in my front lawn, I waved the my money out in front of me calling “Stop! Stop! Mr. Softee!”
My daughter got there first and placed her order while I continued my gleeful frolic until, wait, ouch, holy crap, I stepped on a bee in my bare feet. I grabbed my toe and called out in pain. “Ow, ow, ow ow.” My toe started to swell and the pain seared through but I hobbled like the woman at the back of the race who was determined to cross the finish line if she had to crawl and I was getting my ice cream!
Mr. Softee was not happy waiting for the middle aged crazy lady to drag her injured self to his window and then once there, had no idea what to order. Pain mixed with decisions…. not today… please not today…
An Ice cream sandwich! Freshly made right there in front of me, YES! Only it wasn’t called an ice cream sandwich and poor ol’ Mr. Softee had a really thick accent so I couldn’t understand his questions, which frustrated him, and I was in terrible discomfort which made it hard for me. I was trying not to cry out in pain. I just wanted my ice cream.
Finally it was done, and we paid him and exchanged pleasantries as I turned to hobble back to my house. In my hand, was a waxed paper sac with 3 inches of soft serve ice cream nestled between two big chocolate cookies with beautiful rainbow jimmies all around the edges. I couldn’t wait. But once inside I only had a couple of bites and put the rest in the freezer because despite the delicious frozen treat, I still had a throbbing burning painful toe that was beginning to itch like mad. I could no longer deny it needed some attention. It was time for a good home remedy and some Benadryl.
Several hours after my bee / ice cream encounter I still have dessert in the freezer and toothpaste (my mothers solution to most things) on my toe. I remember Oprah said “listen to the universe.” Some may think the bee sting was a sign that I should not have gone for the ice cream. But some may say, “Look at that lesson! Despite all odds, if you want something bad enough, will find a way to get it. ”
I can’t wait until the next time Mr. Softee comes down my street. I’m getting a different dessert and next time, also, I’m wearing shoes.