Anone who has seen the great Christmas time film from Scotland's Bill Forsyth, Comfort and Joy, knows that the ice cream van business is no laughing matter but I was a bit surprised to read this in the New York Times this morning:
A year and a half ago, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg sought to rid city streets of that staple of New York summers, the Mister Softee jingle. Howls of protest ensued. Testimony was taken from Mister Softee executives, and several city lawmakers questioned the idea. "You're going to traumatize a lot of children in this city," one proclaimed. And in the end, the jingle prevailed. The Bloomberg administration will allow the ice cream trucks to continue playing the sprightly ditty while trolling for young customers. But under a compromise with the City Council, the jingle must be halted when the trucks are not moving.Who knew there was pain over the little tune? Given all the sounds we have to deal with why ban something so evocative of childhood? You will be aware of my secret plans to have a van with all chevre-based soft ice creams with a sign on top that says "I Can't Believe This Came Out Of A Goat" so I suppose it makes me biased. But going after Mr. Softee as part of a plan to stop noises like "blaring music, barking dogs and noisy air-conditioners" is odd. That is one of the sounds you want to clear the path for, is it not, so you can hear it wafting from a distance, triggering images of lazy summer evenings and being a kid. There is noise and there is sound.