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Mr. Softee

Like all street vending, ice cream trucks are more of a phenomenon in New York City than they were in suburban Southern California, where I grew up. As a result of my sheltered upbringing, I have a tendency to see them as a nuisance rather than viewing them through a lens of childhood nostalgia. I don’t understand the attraction of Mr. Softee ice cream to begin with; I had some the other night in a fit of heat prostration, and it was like eating chilled mucilage. But my issue is primarily with the goddamn awful little jingle the trucks play at top volume. Roger recalls the song with great fondness; he was telling me a while ago that he and his mom called it the “ringy padingy” song, or some such — that’s basically the melody right there, encapsulated in its own petri-dish-agar of sicky-sicky-cute.

Why the rage? OK, see, there’s a particular Mr. Softee truck which hangs out on my street — it always seems like it’s right under my window — late into the season, like November, playing its horrible insipid little jingle at hours when I’m certain there can’t possibly be any more children buying. I think I posted something about my run-in with a Mr. Softee driver named Sasha earlier. I’m still convinced he’s dealing out of that truck. He told me business was great.

Anyway, I’ve found the sheet music for that jingle online. Now all of you outside NYC can get an earful of one reed of the vox humana of our fabled noise pollution. Plug those notes into your MIDI player. Suffer!

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