Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of 2010: "Ice Cream" Trucks Leading Us Over a Cliff?

In the fall I wrote about an episode I witnessed involving three generations of one family. Is this our future?

(OCTOBER 25, 2010)

I couldn’t make this up. (Actually, I could, but I didn’t.)

This spring I wrote about an “ice cream” truck that parks in front of my apartment building. It drives me crazy to see innocent kids eating the stuff. I mutter to myself all the things I am dying to say out loud, but never do.

Another mumbling bout occurred this weekend when a family (grandfather, father, mother, two kids) was sitting on the stoop of my building. The kids were eating “strawberry” sundaes.

Just as I was thinking, “I can’t believe they are letting the kids eat that,” the grandfather (about 65) stole a spoonful from his grandson (about 5).

What followed, though, made my day.

“Do you like it?” the grandfather asked.

“Yes,” the grandson said.

“Well, it’s poison,” the grandfather said.

“Why is it poison?” the father (about 35) asked in a tone both innocent and incredulous.

“It’s all chemicals,” the grandfather said.

The father gave a blank stare.

About to enter my building, I paused. For a nanosecond I thought about saying, “He’s so right; no one should eat that,” but I didn’t.

What's sad is the realization that unless a long conversation ensued, the family's next generation won’t have a grandfather who knows that a “strawberry” sundae from an "ice cream" truck is all chemicals.

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