I'M Old This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   I've finally done it. I've grown old. I know, because the Ice Cream Man doesn't come anymore. I must be old. Why else would he not come. He always comes. Ever since I can remember, as soon as the weather started getting warm, and the baseball gloves came out of the garage, the Ice Cream Man would come. To us kids, he was more than just a man selling ice cream. He was a god. He was my hero. I'll bet my entire life's savings that if you were ever a warm blooded American kid who had a pulse, then your hero was the Ice Cream Man too. Admit it.

And why wouldn't he be. He always had such perfect timing. He would always show up after a neighborhood baseball game in the hot summer sun, when the only thing that stood between you and passing out from the heat was a Fudgsicle or a Push Up. (Of course, the cannonballs were everyone's favorites because they had gum at the bottom, and it always felt satisfying to have gum and ice cream.) If it wasn't the neighborhood baseball game, it was the night your mom was making meatloaf and brussel sprouts, and you needed a quick pick-me-up to tide you over until dessert.

Timing, though a very important trait, was not the only characteristic that we looked up to in the Ice Cream Man. How about that snazzy uniform.? Any job that lets you wear that red and white stripped shirt that just screamed out "class" was for me. Another thing I always remembered about the Ice Cream Man was that he was always so huge. I guess it was just because all of us kids were so small, but it didn't seem like it at the time, let me tell you. He was huge.

He was the most well-known person in the world. He knew everyone. There's no one in the world who doesn't like ice cream, so there was no one in the world who didn't like the Ice Cream Man. He had friends in every house on every street in every town in every state in every country in the world. It's the truth. I bet he could tell you some stories. (I say he because when I was a kid, I truly believed that there was only one Ice Cream Man in the world.) I bet he could tell you about the time when George Bush came running down the street after his truck, and he didn't stop on purpose, just because he didn't like him. I bet he could tell you about the time Ghandi came to his truck and belted down twelve creamsicles and a strawberry shortcake sundae. Or about the time that Gorbachev was running after his truck and when he stopped short, Gorby bumped into the truck and got that mark on his head. Or about the time the Pope's parents told him not to get an ice cream, but he snuck out the backdoor and got one anyway. Or maybe even the time when Dan Quayle put his sundae cup in his pocket because he wanted to save it for later. I wonder if he would tell me what kind of ice cream Santa Claus eats. Oh boy, I bet he could tell you some stories.

And hey, what about that bell. I'd give anything to be able to ring that bell. It would be better than sliding down the pole at the fire station. Let's just say that I'd do some pretty embarrassing things in front of people with cameras with or without clothing if I could ring that bell. Jiiiiing, jiiiiiing.

I tell ya, this Ice Cream Man character seems more like a super hero to me. He's faster than a speeding bullet, always there in the nick of time, and he brings popsicles to boot. Never saw Batman do that, now did you? That's because the other super heros never had any style. The Ice Cream Man should be in a cartoon strip. He wouldn't even need a phone booth to change in; he could just change in the truck. What a guy, what a guy.

So I've grown old. I don't even think that I can explain why. I just know that since the Ice Cream Man no longer comes to my house, I must be old. Who knows, maybe he's in trouble somewhere, and he needs my help. Maybe I could even be the next Ice Cream Man, and spread joy and youth and messy ice cream throughout the world. Anyone know how much he makes? n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

applesauceHater said...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 1:05 am
dang it! so thats why i dont see my icecream man anymore! It was super awesome. It reveals why the most important thing in life has stopped jk. i really loved it
 
sophza said...
Nov. 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm
I really got a sense of the narrator's awesome character. Good Job!
 
PepperMint101 said...
Nov. 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm
LOVE. Such a pleasure to read! So cute yet kinda inspiring..
 
The_End said...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm
This is such a "feel good" story, and I love it! I was smiling by the time I reached the end. I couldn't help but wonder what age the narrator really was. He acts like a kid yet he seems fairly knowledgeable (hence all the references to famous public figures). Then again, old people only seem to act regress the older they get.
 
IntrepidRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 9:29 am
This is great. Funny and enjoyable. I love the concept.
 
elephantshoes said...
Nov. 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm
This story really made me laugh! I liked it a lot. It's sometimes hard to get someone to laugh at something written on paper but you definitly did the trick! :)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback