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Living the dream. | Fetch My Flying Monkeys
Everyone needs a fleet of flying monkeys to rip the stuffing out of the annoying people in their lives
— Laura

When I was a little kid growing up in Cincinnati, an ice cream truck would drive past our house playing his carny music almost every day in the summertime. When my brothers and I could talk my mom into getting us ice cream, which seemed like one out of a hundred-trillion times, one of us kids would run like the wind and practically lay across the street to make him stop. My mom would then walk to the truck with us and would tell the man she wanted three chocolate (for my brothers) and one vanilla (I was a vanilla ice cream fiend) soft-serve cones and then as he handed them to her one at a time, she would turn and hand one to each of us. EVERY TIME I would stand beside my mom and look up and say “Mommy can I have sprinkles on mine?” because I’d seen them on other kid’s cones and they looked so colorful they had to taste magical! But my mom’s reply was always “No.” and I would say “Why not?” doing my best not to whine because whining meant no ice cream and plain ice cream was better than none. She would look down at me and say ”We can’t afford sprinkles.” She would hand me my bare white vanilla cone and I would take it, turn towards the house, tears forming in my eyes while I licked the sides of the ice cream before it melted down my hand. I would think about how awful it was being poor and I swore that one day I would grow up and I would get a job and make so much money that I would always have sprinkles, not only on my cones from the ice cream truck, but I’d be so rich I’d have sprinkles in my house

 

And I always do. 

 

P.S. Of course it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized we were not poor. We lived in a five bedroom house, went to private schools, and had a housekeeper. I asked my mom about how we were always “too poor” for things like sprinkles, streamers for our bike’s handlebars, and allowances. She just laughed and said something like “It shut you up, didn’t it?” and she’d laugh again. I was raised on lies. All lies. But I’m still keeping sprinkles in my house. I work hard for them.

90 Comments
 

90 Responses to Living the dream.

  1. Suzanne says:

    My god, it is lucky you survived childhood! No sprinkles, indeed.

    On another note, I have taken a new job, because, as you recall, my current job does not allow me to focus the time on you that you deserve. OK, so I got a 10% raise, drive only 10 mins verses an hour, and start with 22 days of vacation a year. Never mind that, it is about you.

  2. Jennifer says:

    LOL! My mom would tell us “maybe Santa will bring you some!’ LOL! She lied too!!

  3. Heather says:

    And you have dinosaurs!

  4. Yabu says:

    I remember those ice cream trucks well. Cool thing was, my doxie Leo could hear ‘em first, so we were always waiting.

    My mom did give me and my brother an old deck of cards and some clothes pins to attach to the spokes of our bicycles. We were cool.

  5. It’s a good thing to learn that the value of a thing increases in inverse proportion to its attainability. Sprinkles were the sweet golden desire of youth. Were any of us ever that young?

    Now we just want a good night’s sleep.

  6. BoneyButt says:

    Wow…your ice cream truck had sprinkles available? You must have lived on the rich side of town!

  7. QueenBee says:

    Life without sprinkles is like life without sparkles…… I am so glad you got some!
    I loved putting cards on my bike…. we had no idea how good our lives were!

  8. Jena says:

    We NEVER had those sprinkles. I didn’t know they existed until I was around 11-12 and living with my cousins and I would sneak into the pantry and get mouthfuls! To this day, I get cake donuts WITH sprinkles!

  9. The Nickster says:

    Good Lord. I seem to recall you were raised Catholic. So you were surprised?!? Sprinkles cause cancer. FACT. Tase yourself now and you may have a chance.

  10. Mark12A says:

    Your blog today was touching. Really, there was almost a tear.

    Our ice cream truck had fudgesicles, popsicles, and frozen-solid drumsticks. We’d literally have to chase the asshole down since I’m pretty sure he was headed off to get his next shot of gin after our street. The guy before him had a sort of bicycle with a freezer box. He was much easier to catch, if I could cadge a dime. Good times.

    • Laura says:

      Lawd, if we had a guy on a bike, we would have set road traps for him.

      So you didn’t have soft-serve?

      • Mark12A says:

        No, we had to go to Dairy Queen for soft serve and it was a huge treat. My first soft serve was outside of Ewa Beach Elementary in Hawai’i. They had soft serve ice cream and a bug zapper, which was probably the coolest thing I’d ever seen at the time. That was in 1960 or 1961, as I recall. I’m not sure sprinkles had been invented then, but there were dinosaurs for sure.

  11. mindy says:

    At least you got a reason. Too poor. When I would ask why I couldn’t have something, it was always, “Because I said so!”
    I was raised by dictators….

  12. I didn’t even know what sprinkles were until we came to Texas.

    But boy howdy, did I ever learn FAST!!!

  13. ManhattanMaven says:

    DANG DANG DANG!! Your Boo was ROBBED last night…by the FRENCH! We SERIOUSLY need to get to work on that bombing France thingy!! I’ll bet he feels like he didn’t get to have sprinkles this morning! DANG DANG DANG!!

    • Laura says:

      Well he can come over to my house and I’ll sprinkle my sprinkles on him and then lick them off. Slowly at first, then….wait…what? Oh, the French. Those damn fancy-talkin’ sonsabitches snuck one past us because it was a silent film! Fuckers.

  14. Cheryl Lundgren says:

    When I was little, the Helms bakery truck used to come through the neighbor one day a week. They had the most wonderful cream puffs ever made on the Earth. Huge, powdery and filled with the most wonderful cream filling ever – real cream and refrigerated. Later we moved to Illinois and discovered the magic of the evening ice cream truck in the summer and fireflies – something else we don’t have in California. I don’t see anything like that these days. I feel sorry for all the kids who are missing out on cream puffs and soft serve ice cream cones with or without sprinkles delivered to their door. Now they have to drive to get those things.

    • Laura says:

      I KNOW! And I would have fainted as a child had pastries been delivered! Also- I remember the night sky being filled with fireflies! I haven’t seen any in years now.

  15. Good move, Laura. Stegosaurs are renowned for their sprinkle-guarding fu.

    Sonsabitches have a hard time stealing them with a two-foot spike through the head.

  16. Erik says:

    My daughter likes chocolate donuts, with sprinkles. Really, all else falls to the wayside when it comes to sprinkles and kids. Its like crack…not that I would know.

    And your statement about being poor made me think of Scarlett’s from GWTW, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!”

  17. CGHill says:

    You don’t wander into the kitchen late at night and eat sprinkles out of the jar, do you? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

  18. Jeffro says:

    We didn’t even have an ice cream truck! We had to go to town to the drug store, where my sister and I were denied sprinkles. It’s a wonder we aren’t more warped than we are!

    Oh, in later years, we had the Schwann man, but he didn’t do cones. But man, the ice cream he did have totally rocked.

  19. Bitterroot says:

    Sr. Assumpta would have told us, “all the starving children in Bangladesh have no sprinkles. Stop being so selfish! Wanting sprinkles is a sin!”

    Yeah, I grew up Catholic too… but we were one of THOSE families. My dad had a pretty humble immigrant upbringing, so we lived like we were loaded even when we weren’t.

    Sprinkles? I had a TWO jars of ‘em in the cupboard when I was a kid – multi-colored AND chocolate. I even had some of the silver-coated sugar BB’s that would crack teeth and tear-up fillings. Yeah, I was THAT spoiled brat. I would have been one of the very first to fall as a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory Moral Example. I would have gone out dramatically – in some blood-and-guts candy-factory explosion – but I damn sure would have taken out at least three or four of those orange, mocking, creepy little Oompa-Loompa fuckers with me!

    • Laura says:

      HAHAAHAAA! Totally cracked me up.

      Yeah, you were spoiled as hell! I wouldn’t say we were loaded, but I think we were well enough off for some damn sprinkles!. I did, however, believe we were very poor and was almost ashamed to ask any of my friends over, which of course is precisely what my mom wanted. I doubt she wanted to put up with other people’s kids..

  20. SB Smith says:

    My cousin lives in a town of 5000 people about 70 miles SW of Houston TX and there’s an ice cream truck there that still drives around on Saturdays. You can hear the music coming down the street….About those sprinkles – you know how you can buy one color sprinkles, including blue ?
    J. and I discovered my parents were keeping copper sulfate in a clear little glass jar (it was the original jar, so it Was labeled.)
    It was on a higher shelf near matches and a few other non food items.
    However, it looked Exactly like Blue sprinkles !!
    J. said “Geez…it’s a good thing no kid’s ever looked in here and thought those were sprinkles !”
    I don’t know why the sprinkles, heh.. I mean copper sulfate wasn’t kept in a cabinet in the garage with lawn pesticides and stuff.
    I don’t know of any mysterious disappearances or anything so I don’t think they were (Aaack !) serving them with desserts !

  21. SB Smith says:

    Oh hell, I left out the weird part about where the copper sulfate was.
    It was in the kitchen PANTRY ! on a higher shelf…you know…the Food pantry !

  22. Liz says:

    Sprinkles = YUCK. Never liked them, even as a kid.

    I did, however, live 2 blocks from an ice cream parlor so I was not needin’ to be chasnin’ a truck around for my goodies.

  23. I was like, thirty years old before I had red and green sugar to put on my Christmas Cookies.

  24. rick says:

    ahhhhh, sprinkles are over rated. Now chocolate syrup is a whole other story. Like you, vanilla is the bomb.

  25. This explains a LOT! I was born and lived in Jackson County, Ohio until, at the ripe old age of 18 months, my mother took me to live in Virginia where my father was stationed. Luckily the doctors here were able to reverse any ill effects I may have suffered from exposure to all them hard headed Buckeyes before the damage became permanent. Sadly, it appears that you weren’t that lucky. At least you have an excuse for when people wonder why you act the way you do ….”I’M FROM OHIO, DAMN IT!”

  26. Nicole says:

    Too many people underestimate the importance of sprinkles.

  27. Timothy J McCorkle says:

    my popcycle boy is Now a Joe Cocker impersonator…(Alan Kaye)
    and some of those dolphins shoulda Made it to a Tuna Can…

    • Timothy J McCorkle says:

      Reading other comments: Alan Had a Pedal Box we used to get him to Play with the Dry Ice… No soft serve, DREAMcicles ORANGe Popcicles Filled with Creamey Vanilla Icecream…

  28. Tink says:

    Growing up in Maine, every Saturday in the summer we headed for the corner general store, and behind the breakfast counter was the “hand scooped Ice cream. and on the counter there was a bowl….. of what we called “Chocolate Jimmy’s”, we did not have colored ones only Chocolate. we would get a double dip cone and for 2 cents he would turn our cone upside down and dip it in the Jimmy bowl. Then we would go get some Comic books GAWD… ice cream Cones and comic books….We were blessed. this was back in the 60′s….Those were the days

  29. Leslie says:

    Parents lie. It’s just what they do. A friend’s daughter decided at age 3 that the only meat that she liked was chicken. So from then on, that’s what they had. Chicken (chicken), brown chicken (beef) and pink chicken (pork). kids are gullible – they think Mom tells the truth!! HA!!

    • Laura says:

      One of my friends took her little girl to one of those little wee amusement carnivals that set up in a grocery store’s parking lot and told her it was the SC State Fair. Cracked me up. I also blackmailed her for my silence.

  30. Fluffy says:

    The ice cream truck in my neighborhood offered only 5 choices: Good Humor Chocolate Eclair, Toasted Almond, Strawberry Shortcake bars, Push-Ups, or the ice cream sandwich. All pre-packaged, no soft serve, no sprinkles.

  31. Cheryl says:

    I understand COMPLETELY! I’m way older than you but growing up mom would say, “we don’t have money for (fill in the blank)”. Soooo, I, too, keep handy those things that “we didn’t have money for” – and having them makes me feel so rich:)

  32. zonker says:

    Like you, I recently got an ex-coworker’s workload dumped on top of my existing job. As I see it, the one ray of sunshine for us is that we now deserve two people’s sprinkles, right? Right?? RIGHT?!?!

  33. patti says:

    For me it’s Jiff peanut butter. I swore I would never ever buy store brand peanut butter. And I haven’t. But we really were poor.

  34. Melessa says:

    I always have sprinkles too. :) And I think we may have had the same mom.

  35. Wow. Massive deprivation. I was spoiled rotten. ROTTEN I tell you.

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