The sounds of the season

May 18, 2012 – Once the temperature begins to rise, it’s a sure sign that the sounds of the Mister Softee jingle will be coming soon in a neighborhood near you.

You hear the familiar jingle in the distance at first, causing your heart to beat a faster as it gets closer and a little louder. You can’t help but smile because, aside from the crack of a baseball bat, it’s one of the sweetest sounds of summer.

That simple jingle summons heartwarming childhood memories for many of us, and those fond memories are the very reason I don’t know whether to applaud the ice cream truck driver in my neighborhood for thinking outside the box, or wonder what the heck he is thinking.

My local driver rolls through the streets slowly, calling to children with such classics as “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World”. Those cherished holiday hits seem mighty odd as they filter through window screens when the temperature reaches 80 degrees.

Instead of the Mister Softee or Good Humor truck that I’m used to, the driver operates a vehicle that looks like the Mr. Whippy truck from the Beatles’ movie “Help” complete with the turban and everything. Not that I mind how he dresses, but his choices suggest that perhaps he is new to the U.S. He may not realize that although he’s playing seasonal tunes, it’s the wrong season.

Maybe I’m the last to be let in on the joke. The church around the corner, whose bells I often enjoy as they peal through the air at dusk, decided to think a little outside of the box as well and treated the neighborhood to a lovely version of the song “Tea for Two”. Not exactly what you expect to hear from church bells, but entertaining just the same.

Who knew my tiny hamlet of Fox Chase, a neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia, has such a sense a humor?

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