Why Ice Cream Trucks Should Be Banned

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Call me a spoilsport, but ice cream trucks make me angry. Sure, they’re a childhood staple and there are fewer things more awesome than a vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone in the middle of a heatwave. But – and this is a major but – I can’t stand how one appears directly in front of my bustling neighborhood park every single day at precisely 5:55 p.m. (otherwise, I’m all about them).

The vendors are being strategic, of course – parks equal children – but I can’t get over the countless kids kicking and screaming, having big-time meltdowns (“It’s not faaaaaaaair”), because their parents won’t feed them ice cream five minutes before dinnertime.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve often had chips for dinner (and chocolate-covered almonds for dessert). And I’m all about indulging my kids in extra “treats” (life is short, right? Just last night my 5-year-old had cotton candy for din at a local fun fair). I’m not one of those moms who obsesses over her children’s diets; so long as they’re healthy and growing, and that some sort of fruits and vegetables are consumed daily, it’s all good in my books.

But I’m getting sick of looking like the bad guy every time I tell my kids ‘no’ when the evil ice cream truck appears (which is at least five times a week). There are tears and time-outs and major negotiations – I even succumb every now and then because I can’t deal with the drama (bad parenting, I know) – but, really, am I the only one who shudders from fear every time I hear the creepy ice cream truck music approaching?

Speaking of…Union City officials (in New Jersey) have received 10 complaints in recent weeks from residents who were annoyed by the songs coming from ice cream trucks. (“All music must be shut off no later than two minutes after parking,” said a memo from the chief of police.)

If you think the obvious solution to this irritation would be avoiding parks during the dinner hour, think again. The world’s first floating ice cream truck set sail this week in London’s Thames River, proving that there is no escape from the wrath of these kiddie-crack machines.