Mr. Ding-A-Ling Dings Me.

Ok, here’s proof I can sort of change my mind.

Gary Hathaway, in his Mr. Ding-a-Ling ice cream truck, sells some goodies to two guys. Photo by Emily McManamy of the Burlington Free Press.

Mr. Ding-A-Ling is the ice cream truck that cruises city streets and suburban neighborhoods in and near Burlington, Vermont.  A tinny off-tune version of “Home On The Range” constantly screeches from the damn thing.  If you can imagine a talentless flute player performing in a half-flooded culvert, that’s what it sounds like.

One day the truck parked itself in the neighborhood where I was landscaping practically all afternoon, playing that awful thing over and over and over and over…..

I think this is one of the torture methods Dick Cheney came up with, when he was looking for something worse than waterboarding. I still have post-traumatic stress syndrome from that afternoon. It really made me pull my hair out, which explains why my hair is so short.

The Burlington Free Press has just done an article and slide show on Mr. Ding-A-Ling, much to my consternation. But, as it turns out, maybe due to the talent of report Matt Ryan and photographer Emily McManamy, I’m beginning to reconsider my dread of Mr. Ding-A-Ling. (When reading Ryan’s article, click on “multimedia” to see McManamy’s slide show)

I especially liked McManamy’s decision to display her photo slide show in black and white. The whole thing  with the ice cream truck is old-timey, so the black and white photos fit perfectly.

The guy who drives the Mr. Ding-a-Ling truck, Gary Hathaway, comes off like a decent guy, an Average Joe bloke with a Vermont accent. I have to admit the kids like the ice cream, which shuts them up momentarily, always a good thing. His truck seems like a comforting presence to people in the neighborhoods he cruises, so who am I to argue with that?

Judging from McManamy’s Free Press slide show, Hathaway seems perfectly sane, which I can’t believe given the noise he’s subject to all day. I thought maybe he was deaf and couldn’t hear the “Home on the Range” racket,  but he seems to hear his customers just fine, and always manages to have an easy banter with them.

So, Mr. Ding-A-Ling, despite my dirty-mind questions about the name of your  business and my continued trauma over your “Home On The Range,” I apologize. I hope you and your ice cream truck live long and prosper.  I’ll probably end up buying ice cream from you. I’ll just make sure and wear my ear plugs when I do.

One Response to “Mr. Ding-A-Ling Dings Me.”

  1. denis Says:

    growing up in the middle of nowheres there were no ice cream trucks, heck, not even a place that served ice cream for miles so imagined my thrill when i went to live in new york for a whole summer when i was 13 and having experienced an ice cream truck everyday. i was in heaven. it was probably then that ice cream became my favorite food.

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