Monday, 2 August 2010

The Phantom Ice Cream Van

There's a mystery afoot in Trumpton. To be fair, there usually is some kind of mystery going on in Trumpton, but it's generally resolved within a day or two. This mystery has been going on for several years now. It's very, how to describe it............ mysterious!

It first began when I lived in my last flat. It was a lovely flat, with a very helpful kitchen, unlike the kitchen I have now (see Tablet Trials post).

Now readers, there are several hills around the town of Trumpton, and my old flat was on the incline of one of them. To the front, I had a lovely view from my living room window of the spectacular hills to the South of Trumpton. At the rear of the flat, I had spectacular views of the hills to the North of Trumpton, from my spare bedroom and kitchen windows. This is important, readers, as it was when I was in my spare bedroom (looking to the North as described) that I first heard an eeeeerie sound, carried gently on the early evening breeze, and floating in through my window.

Hear brilliant pipes and drums here.
At first, the sound was coming and going with the direction of the wind (no comments please, Kizzmyartz!), but gradually it was becoming clearer. It was, it was, it was..........

The unmistakable skirl of the bagpipes!

Okay, so I live in Scotland, so maybe this wasn't quite as unusual as it may be in other locations. But it's not often you actually hear a piper practising. Well, having been born and raised in Edinburgh, where it's a city, rather than a town, and bagpipe practising would generally be done in school music rooms, or community halls, it was more that I wasn't used to hearing a piper practice. In the Scottish Borders, where Silver Bands and Pipe Bands are far more active and popular, it's therefor more common to hear someone practising in their bedroom with the window open.

I later tracked-down where, and who, the piping came from. But this was a couple of years later.

Mystery solved, you say. In fact, what exactly was the mystery, you say. Aha! I say THAT was NOT The Mystery of which I speak here!

The Mystery of which I write is actually.............The Mystery of The Phantom Ice Cream Van!!!

DA da DAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!...... (you lot gasp at this point, btw)!

Through the same window, I also heard, on more than one occasion, the joyous sound which every person of my age grown-up in Britain associates with summer time.......the sweet tinkle of the Ice Cream Van music heralding the approach of delights beyond wonder for a child in summer (that was when we used to have summers).

Single cones, double cones, 99's, sliders, black men, oysters, tubs.

Ice lollies, sweets, lemonade, cream soda (specifically used for ice-cream floats), Irn Bru (Scotland's National Drink), fags for (generally male) adults. And chocolate.

Click here for music link!
I thought I had discovered an ice cream van route in Trumpton! WooHoo!

But I hadn't.

And still haven't.

And I've now heard the tinkling bloody ice cream van music ALL OVER THE TOWN!

But I've never actually caught-up with where the van is parked.

Or even seen the van. Parked or otherwise.

It's like it's taunting me.


I have met other people who have heard the Ice Cream Van lots of times......but who have NEVER SEEN IT! They only realised this fact when I asked them if they had witnessed the existence of said Ice Cream van with their own eyes? The answer was inevitably "No". A puzzled frown would then cross the persons face, as they, too, realised how VERY ODD this was. Especially as we live in Trumpton - which, I think I've mentioned, is a VERY SMALL TOWN. 

I once met a couple who said they'd seen it, and actually knew what route it took. But I don't believe they were reliable witnesses, as the route they described would have taken it past my mum's house and, in nearly eight years of living in that house, and eight years of me visiting NEITHER MY MUM NOR I HAVE EVER SEEN THE ICE CREAM VAN PASS BY HER HOUSE!

Considering this situation carefully over many frustrating years has led me to believe that there are only four possible reasons for me, and countless others, having heard the van, but never having seen it.

My conclusions are as follows:

1/. The Phantom Ice Cream Van is exactly that - A PHANTOM! We've all heard of ghosts a.k.a. phantoms, right? You'll probably also have heard of phantom cars, that only appear on a certain stretch of road, or phantom trains, phantom ships, phantom aeroplanes. Think about it, and you'll remember having heard phantom versions of most of these vehicles. So why not a phantom ice cream van? Driven by a Mr Whippy who was very dedicated, perhaps. Or who never got to serve up that last, perfect '99 to the kid who had been dreaming of it for hours in the midday sun, waiting for the music to herald an end to his torture, arriving with the answer to his prayers? Why not?

2/. That Extra-terrestrials are not going to arrive - THEY'RE ALREADY HERE! Scouting out our security systems, putting in surveillance wherever they fancy, and doing it UNDERCOVER in the guise of an ICE CRAM VAN! Makes a lot of sense to me. Lots of space in the back for equipment/tentacles etc., useful. Discrete appearance - adults generally only notice ice cream vans when they have a child at their side who is SCREAMING FOR AN ICE CREAM! And just look at how many people in Trumpton have heard this van, but never seen it, and didn't even notice that they had never seen it! It's the perfect cover to gather loads of info. And who's to say that they aren't doing some kind of "alien running", smuggling other aliens here to settle in the beautiful and numerous hills round about Trumpton (they would have previously hollowed-out these hills and kitted them with big tanks, or laid giant eggs, or whatever was required for them to survive in Earth's atmosphere, obviously).

What would they look like???

See what I did there?

3/. That it's not extra-terrestrials, but survivors from the Lost City of Atlantis, who have commandeered this ice cream van (and possibly thousands of others across Britain, Europe, Earth) in order to organise they're baddie power trip comeback! How else can you explain the lyrics to KLF (feat. Tammy Wynette) track Justified and Ancient , which include not only an ice cream van in the graphics, but the line.... "and they drive an ice cream van"..... in the second verse? (Read the lyrics here, and an short video explanation of them here.) Don't try to tell me there's nothing going on here!

They're all bound for Mu Mu land, apparently.

4/. My fourth suggested answer is that the ice Cream Van DOESN'T EVEN EXIST - AND NEVER HAS! That it's just a couple of teenage guys in one of their mum's cars, tootling around Trumpton with a ghetto blaster playing ice cream van music out of the car windows specifically to taunt young children and, albeit inadvertently, me! In truth, I think that this is the most likely scenario. But if it is - it's bloody genius! Way to go, guys! What an imaginative, original and downright inspired way to annoy young kids. Excellent!

And if it isn't scenario number four, then it should be, 'cos it would be such a shame to waste an idea that shines with as much brilliance, yet simplicity as this one.

So, if you're a young person who can drive, or if you have friends who can drive, and who is bored this summer, download yourself some ice cream van music, pick up your preferred method of amplification, and GET OUT THERE! Annoy some younger kids WHILE YOU CAN STILL GET AWAY WITH IT - before you are submitted to being a fully-fledged adult, and have less of an excuse to do really stupid, but fun, things! This advice is coming to you from an individual who has been counted as a responsible adult for an embarrassing number of years (against protest, let me assure you, but they never listen). And I tell you, when you don't hold a driving license, the older you get, the harder it is to find other, so called, adults who think that this would be an excellent way to spend an evening, rather than thinking it a waste of time and energy when "you should know better at your age" (apparently). Booo. There goes MY free summer entertainment.


And if only one young person goes and does this, by themselves, or with company, then I will count myself as happy to have made a small, yet possibly significant, difference to someones life this summer!

It melted !

*The author of this blogs absolves herself of ANY RESPONSIBILITY resulting from any court cases or legal actions arising from any person, or persons, unknown, following this advice (so, if you do it, you CAN'T USE ME AS YOUR DEFENCE, okay? You're on your own!). 

If you don't drive, don't have any friends, and/or are bored, here are some other ice cream van links for you:

Creepiest ice cream van ever!

Lamest ice cream van!

Ice cream van dance!

Someone who was a bit too keen for an ice cream......

The Ice Cream van Orchestra!

And, last but not least, the Top Gear take on the beloved British ice cream van!


Kelly said...

There is one other possibility you haven't taken into consideration, concerning the tinkling sounds of the MYSTERIOUS ICE CREAM TRUCK. And that is... You may have lost your mind. And the phantom aliens have taken it and placed it into their ice cream truck.

Oooooh. Aaaah.

Brand New Day said...

Oooooo.Aaaah. You're absolutlely right Kelly - that may just be the answer!!! That's presuming that I had a mind to begin with. What flavour do you think they'd sell it as? Pistachio? Rum and Raison (that's about the most exotic you can get here in Scotland). Heard the van again yesterday teatime - think they might be on to me...