Ice Cream Trucks From Hell

I had a good laugh over a recent blog item by Tom Tomorrow, commenting on a community fighting excessive noise from ice cream trucks playing jingles too loud. He said he used to live in an apartment right above the spot where an ice cream truck parked every day. It reminded me of a memory I totally suppressed.
When I lived in Downtown Los Angeles in the loft district, I lived right next to the ice cream truck depot that served all of East LA. It was known to the locals as Ice Cream Land. This was no ordinary depot, this was the place where the most decrepit ice cream trucks in the city loaded up in the morning, and came back to park at night. And these were no ordinary trucks, they were converted from ancient US Post Office mail trucks. During the summer, all day long the trucks came and went, playing garbled tunes from broken tape recorders. It was like a continuous parody of ice cream trucks all day long.
But that wasn’t the worst part of Ice Cream Land. Oh no, not by a long shot. Every night the trucks emptied out their unsold wares back into the freezers, and cleaned out their trucks. Every night there would be new rivers of rancid, sugary milk flowing down the sidewalks and down the gutters. After baking in the sun the next day, the concrete would turn black, leaving a permanent stain to join the thousands of other stains. The sidewalks were completely blackened in some places. The stench was absolutely unbearable, and rancid milk is the one odor I hate the most. 20 years ago, I had a short job installing computerized milk fat testers at a dairy in Dubuque, Iowa, I haven’t been able to drink milk since that day, and even the faint odor of sour milk makes me queasy and brings back horrible memories of the odors of that place. But now I had to live with that smell every summer day. And I had to walk past Ice Cream Land twice a day on my way to and from work, trying to find bare patches of unstained concrete so I wouldn’t track that horrible smell around on my shoes all day.
If anyone had seen Ice Cream Land in its natural state, they would never buy off an ice cream truck ever again.

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