Shooting beer

Weather bad today. Torrents of rain in mid-afternoon, and even when it cleared up the weather was still stormy and people were not in an ice-cream mood.

One guy came up to me and asked for a free one. I told him all the little kids say that, to which he replied “If you wanna make any money around here you gotta be cool with the people man, so gimme a chocolate fudge.” Decided the best thing was to comply. He said he would give me some drugs and get me high. I don’t know whether he intended to give them away or not. Decided to miss out East 141st in future, so I’ll never know.
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Son of a Preacher

Steve fitted a new jingle box and speaker to truck 48 but it is quieter than the old one. I can’t hear it with the engine on. Went on my route after hot-dogs at the apartment. On the East side, therefore nearby, but it is a poorer area than my previous one.

The population looks a lot rougher than the areas I’m used to. However they are really a lot more pleasant to sell to – they all say please and thank you and I made $77 in six hours, so I think that when I sort out the areas it will be more lucrative. Passed at least four other ice-cream trucks today but they all smiled and waved to me.
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Jive talking

What a lousy day. I feel like clubbing my head against the wall. Again.

Was selling quite well until about 5pm when I stopped for $1.65 Mr Hero Hot Buttered Steak sandwich. Then it started to rain so I sat there for about an hour in my truck. When I resumed sales after the rain went off I discovered that my music box was almost inaudible. A quick butcher’s under the bonnet revealed that the speaker horn was full of water. I tipped most of it out but to no avail. Tried everything – hitting the box, twiddling the wires etc. I wasn’t selling anything so I rang Penguin. Ed answered and could give no help. I dried it out with a cloth and set off again after an improvement in volume. It was only short-lived however, so I went down to Storer and rang up again from one of those payphones which is just a phone and cowl on a stand. Steve said Continue reading

The Last Moving Picture Company

Back to bloody work. Took ages doing inventory on my truck and sorting out damaged ice-creams. Happens every time I have a day off. Wish I had an electric freezer instead of dry ice. To top it all, the battery was dead and so I had Ed cursing and swearing and kicking the truck as he always does. When he finally jumped the battery, he found that the carb was flooded. By this time he was nearly in tears. The cowling would not come off the engine because the freezer had slid right forward one day when I braked too hard. There he was beating on my truck with a crowbar and calling Steve for everything.

Eventually I got out to my route. Did quite well considering. I think I normally do my route two hours early. Met up with another Elyria jumbo but he was a lot more friendly than Moh that makes two other trucks on my patch. Turns out we had been Continue reading

Just like Cary Grant

Day off today. Took DB and Shôn into work. Zoomed back on the freeway and wrote letters to the grans and to Anne. John and I explored the basement where the washing machines are. What a hole! 6 ft ceiling and rat bait on the floor. Dusty and dark.

At about 3pm we set off to pick Brian up from work. Took us ages to get there, in the sweltering heat. Passed through DB’s route area. He can keep the extra money he makes because it looks a really “heavy duty area”. Brian was a bit peeved at having to wait so long for us, but he wasn’t mugged or anything.
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The couple who lived in a Dodge van

Arrived about 12 noon at the depot. Waited for a new load of ice-cream to arrive from Detroit. Chris the girl who lives with Don Lucci in a Dodge van in the Penguin car-park was in a state. Don had spent the night in jail and, after begging a dime from me, she had found out that he was no longer there.

I drove her up to Willoughby City Hall where the courts are. She is so insecure: wondered if he had left the state without her etc. She had not eaten or slept since he was arrested, apparently for disorderly conduct or similar. It turned out he was at the Hall arranging bail. They needed $180 to spring him.
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Beer in paper cups

Vow: from now on this diary will be written daily.

Am sitting in my truck. 6:00pm and I’m having my meal of the day: Burger King Whopper, French fries and Coke ($1.68).

Nothing memorable has happened over the past week. Mike left hospital and has returned to Michigan leaving a few debts. He owed me $2 but forgot to take his ‘Paralyser’ CS gas aerosol which I borrowed whilst he was in hospital. Fair exchange is no robbery!
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Mind-bending painkillers

Visited Mike in hospital (in my truck). He was OK – up and around and chatting up the nurses.

Hospital is very plush – twin rooms, remote control TV, hydraulic bed etc. He was feigning pain in order to extract mind-bending painkillers from the nurses. He claims he slipped out for a Big Mac yesterday because he was sick of is all-liquid diet!

Proceeded to my route and sold ice-cream until 8:30 pm when I was so browned off I returned to depot.

We went to Diane’s house to meet her friends. One was Swedish – not tall and blonde but very nice – the rest American. We played pool in their basement and then returned home.

Cadillac cruising

Morning. John decided he was too tired to go in. Got up late and ate Cheerios – toroid cardboard cereals.

Started on the backlog of letters – one home, one to Celia. We wandered to the Lawson’s Party Foods on the corner for some milk etc and then we went back. John’s paper had no jobs in. Just sat around, relaxed and read magazines all afternoon and retired early.

About 11pm Brian came round. He suggested we go for a meal – it was the early hours of the morning by this time but that didn’t matter. We cruised round in his boat-like Cadillac.

Birthday pie

Mike and Shôn returned in the not so early hours of this morning. They had been getting stoned and eating pizza in downtown Cleveland.

We dragged ourselves into work, late again. Slipped back into the familiar seat and fired the engine. One by one the trucks rolled out like bombers setting off on a raid. I was in no mood for work and no one was in the mood to buy ice-cream, though the weather was warm. Got a bit bad tempered with customers (not the adults, just the kids who asked for stuff I haven’t got). Decided I needed a day off.
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