You Can’t Buy Happiness But You Can Buy Ice-cream

My bestie all the way through school was Louise Matthews whose family owned the local ice-cream company; and who says I don’t know how to choose my friends well.  Louise and I accompanied each other to Girl Guides, Youth Clubs, Barn Dances and eventually our first forays into the seedy world of nightclubs; when we wore far too much cheap make-up and ridiculously high heels. Both of us also used to sneak our real clubbing outfits, which were deemed unsuitable by our mothers, into our excessively large bags and change in the nightclub toilets once we escaped from our overly protective parents.

One evening Louise’s Dad offered us a lift into town and as students any cost saving exercise which would result in us being able to purchase an additional Bacardi Breezer or the more sophisticated half a pint of Snakebite was a welcome bonus. However, both of us were a little disappointed when we discovered that he intended to drive us into town in the back of one of his ice-cream vans but as we knew the journey would be a short one, we reckoned that no-one would see us and thus our street-cred would remain intact.

With trepidation we hiked up our short skirts and teetered gingerly into the back of the van in a cloud of overpowering perfume; I think it may have been called something along the lines of Tramp or Harlot and smelled more like toxic waste than designer fragrance but we thought it was the teenage equivalent of catnip.

As he drove through a particularly large housing estate, we were mortified when he switched on the chimes which played “Popeye the Sailor Man”. ice cream vanUnsurprisingly, this drew a rather large crowd so Louise’s Dad not wanting to miss a sales opportunity, pulled the van up and asked us to serve his customers. To be fair he did suggest that we don the non-too attractive nylon overalls hanging on the van’s rear door and we reluctantly set about serving our waiting public 99’s (that’s a cornet with a chocolate flake – I know my ice-cream). We made several other stops that evening but both Louise and I drew the line at serving the crowd outside the nightclub; we wanted to hold onto what little dignity we had left.

63 thoughts on “You Can’t Buy Happiness But You Can Buy Ice-cream

  1. Great story – my friend Ali used to get changed in the loos too. In fact I was just looking at some pics taken back in the day in Busby’s the local club in Brighton. Happy days – no ice cream rides for us though 🙂

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    • I haven’t been able to stop humming it and dancing to it ever since I got the idea for the post and you’re right I’m (to quote my teenage nieces) well jel. I don’t suppose I need to tell you to have a great time!

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  2. Like the song! Crazy collaboration works! Nice writing, Dallas! There is an ice cream truck that goes down our street about 6PM a few days a week. No one EVER has bought an ice cream on our block that I have observed in 19 years, so it’s curious they keep coming this way. – Kaye

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  3. How extraordinary – we’re playing Justified and Ancient a lot at the moment (has to be the Tammy version!) as we’re thinking of it for the intro piece for our marriage ceremony in France – we call it Rustified and Ancient.

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  4. Love your choice of music …. just have to download. Never heard before. Great dance tune.
    I would say that ice cream is happiness that we can buy …. *smile Personal I’m addicted to Magnum of any kind. You have been … out in the most strange kinds of transportation.

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  5. Ha-ha I love this story. I bet you understand how my heart flutters when the water man comes around in his van! For those that do not know here in Turkey the water vans play a tune just like the ice-cream vans do in the UK! but no ice-cream. I still live in hope!! : )

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  6. This reminds me of the time I had to help my dad choose some lingerie for my mom for Valentine’s Day at Victoria’s Secret. And while we were there, I saw some girls from high school, as the employee is asking us what is my mom’s cup size. I wanted to die. I still don’t know how I got roped into choosing lingerie for my own mother!

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