The Pied Piper of cold, dairy-based sweets. The ice cream truck rides around residential neighborhoods and city parks at about 15 miles an hour, its haunting, Doppler-shifted Siren song audible to all children within a three mile radius. Attracting children out of the woodwork like a magnet attracts iron fillings, the truck and its proprietor (the legendary 'ice cream man') represent all that is holy and pure about good old-fashioned American summer. His only real competition for the hearts and souls of children is wrenched-open fire hydrants.

Dispensing overpriced Mickey Mouse ice cream bars and popsicles at a brisk pace, the ice cream man prays for drought and record heat. After all, 110 degrees means more business, and he's got one of the coolest spots in town.

The effect the ice cream truck has is not limited to children. I, a 21 year-old soon-to-be college senior, heard an ice cream truck on our street just a couple of weeks ago, and was instantly struck by the strangest of urges. I leapt out of my chair and ran for the front door, out onto the porch, to try and get a glimpse of the elusive mobile frozen confection dispensary. As I did, I cried out to my roommates:

"Dudes! Ice Cream Truck!!

Almost instantaneously, four guys, grown men to the last, emerged from their respective rooms, all bearing their wallets.

I never did see that Ice Cream Truck. Maybe I was hallucinating.

Ah, the carrier of one of the most glorious sounds imagineable when you're really stoned. I'm actually really paranoid about the ice cream truck in my neighborhood, as I'm starting to get suspicious that it's selling more than just ice cream. I live in one of those massive townhouse communities that the suburbs are plastered with, and there's this one truck that makes its rounds. Now, I've never heard an ice cream truck in the winter until I moved here. I've also never before heard one at 2 am. Now, at 2 am in February, how many children could possibly want ice cream? I've also seen many grown men walking up to it (although that proves nothing, as I run out there to buy ice cream at least a few times a week). All of these things lead me to only one plausible explanation: The ice cream truck is selling crack.

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