Ice Cream Trucks and Parking Ticket Vacations

An ice cream truck, in retrospect, is not a good idea. The other day I was thinking back to my youth, and how excited I'd get when that old wind-up toy sounding noise would gently echo off in the distance of my suburban neighborhood. You know: the sound of the ice cream truck.

Let's think about this for a minute.

That sound would go off, and here was what would happen. My brother and I would scream with delight. We'd scrounge around for change anywhere we could find it, and then...well this is the part that blows my mind...

We'd run out into the middle of the street and chase a vehicle with absolutely no parental supervision until we reached said white van.

That's not even the best part. We'd LINE up to give an unknown man money. All because he was a stranger selling us candy. Wow.

To be clear: this violates everything your parents taught you when you were growing up, ever. And everyone just decides not to talk about this at all.

Basically, we were taught as children to stay away from strangers, strangers offering candy, unmarked vehicles, people who may or may not be offering things like candy IN unmarked vehicles...unless that man was the ice cream man.

I mean. Wow.

Drew: "Hey mom, can Andy and I go to the movies alone?"

Mom: "Nah, you could get kidnapped."

(Andy runs out door with no explanation)

Mom: "Where's Andy going?"

Drew: "Oh, just to get ice cream from that unmarked van."

Mom: "Cool."

You say a credit card is a bad idea. I say it's vacation.

I have never been good with money.

Growing up, we would go on a family vacation once a year where I was given a gigantic allotment of twenty dollars (!!) to buy whatever I wanted for the entire week! Do you realize that at the age of eight, that was like someone from the film Point Break handing you a brick of gold and telling you to run as fast as you can? This is how "rich" you felt: illegally rich.

Here is a collection of items I recall spending my $20 on year to year.

1. A package of 14 containers of bubble tape (because who wouldn't jump at the chance to purchase 14 packs of gum with a "once in a lifetime" money haul)

2. 20 Happy Meals from McDonald's, because they had Jurrassic Park collector's cups (8 total). If you do the math there, I probably only needed to buy 8 happy meals. I also should have probably realized they were PLASTIC FUCKING CUPS FROM MCDONALDS and there were other things I could have spent my money on.

3. A t-shirt with a cat on it (please god don't let that be foreshadowing)

Point being: I'm terrible with money.

Then I grew up, and found out this fiscal irresponsibility could be a gold mine.

I found out about credit cards.

Credit Card rewards programs have turned my fiscal irresponsibility into going to a carnival for the rest of my life.

Let me explain.

See, I used to hate getting parking tickets. Not only do I find the entire concept of parking and getting fined for it if I'm gone too long to be a really shitty game of hide and go seek, I also feel as though that's 75 dollars I'm throwing literally down the drain. Until I met my Virgin America card.

Now it feels like that parking ticket is just 75 more points on my way to Mexico.

Buying a pair of underpants just turned into 13 seconds on an airplane that is heading somewhere exotic (sidenote: people love to say that they are "flying somewhere exotic"...what is that?).

It's turned car insurance into Lollapalooza.

A dentist appointment into...well, probably somewhere, who really cares.

I'm at a point where I WANT to find things that are on a recurring billing cycle because this means once a month i'll be accumulating minutes towards  flights of my dreams!

I'm like a retarded kid who doesn't understand the concept of skeeball: I keep throwing the ball toward the hole, just so I can get the one or two tickets that will eventually get me the pencil eraser. And you know what? I'm totally okay with that. Because now the pencil eraser is Mexico. And I like Mexico.

Point being, if I'm gonna spend money, I'm glad someone found a way to make a game out of it. Because getting "points" for being a retard is much more rewarding than just parking on 2nd and Townsend for .355 seconds too long.

I'm off to look up exotic locations.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 37: A Credit Card Is Just A Carnival For Adults

Stream the whole thing right here.

As always, download the whole thing right here as well.

Drew Hoolhorst

San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

I have a black belt in feelings.