Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ice Cream Truck War

My kids are walkers. That means after school they walk across the street to the park where I pick them up. It is a nice arrangement. I visit with other parents. The kids run off some pent up energy. I avoid sitting in the carpool line.

The only bad thing is the Ice Cream Truck Man. He started showing up a few years ago. I was not happy, because I was always the "bad mom" who said no to ice cream after school. I'm not completely anti-ice cream truck. I think it is a nice treat every now and then, but every day after school, no, not at all.

After the first time, I went straight home to the computer and researched city code. I was happy to find that it is against city code for an ice cream truck to be parked within 100 yards of a school during school zone time.

The first year or two, I tried calling 3-1-1 whenever he showed up. I would tell him that I was calling 3-1-1 and sometimes he would leave, but not always. I discovered that 3-1-1 is not effective. They have to file a report, get the report to the right person, send that person out. They invariably show up at the wrong time days later and close the report without doing anything. I called anyway.

My kids hate me for this. They give me a hard time about it. They think I'm mean because I won't buy them ice cream and because I won't let other kids get ice cream. I'm still against it.

This year I decided on a different approach. Instead of calling 3-1-1, I called Code Enforcement directly. After a couple of phone calls to them, they directed me to the Code Compliance, Restaurant and Bar Division. Finally I was getting some where. I spoke to the woman there. I gave her the truck's license plate, truck number, company, phone number. She started randomly patrolling at the times I said he was there. Finally it worked.

He took a couple of months off, but after Christmas, he started showing up again.

Yesterday, he pulled in, went up the curb, onto the sidewalk and almost hit another mom's car as he tried to park. I had enough. I went into action.

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All the photographs of the pertinent information ready to mail to my friend, the code compliance lady.

This time the ice cream man got mad. He started asking me questions.

"Why do you hate on me so much?"

I told him that he was violating city code, he knew it was doing and he kept coming back.

Again he asked,

"Why do you keep doing this to me? Why do you hate so much?"

I told him again that he was violating city code, he was not suppose to park this close to a school during school zone hours.

Then he got mad.

"You are just jealous, you are just jealous. I hope that you get cancer and lose two limbs and then see what it is like."

I told him I was sorry but he was violating city code.

He then stuck fingers up his nose, pulled back to make it like a pig snout and shot his middle finger at me.  He said,

"Take a picture of that!"

I told him to do it again so I could get my camera ready.

He drove off.

I do feel bad for the man. He is an old gentleman. I don't know if he had cancer and lost two limbs. He has both his arms, but I've never seen his legs. It must be a hard way to make a living.

I suppose I should just deal with my children begging and hating me for saying no to ice cream every day. I should give up on fighting the enforcement of the city code. The other part of me wants him to follow the law. Make your living while following the law.  There are plenty of parks and practices and baseball and other places to sell ice cream. I'm conflicted, but I think I'm going to keep chasing him away.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

That is the nastiest looking truck. I wouldn't buy any food item from it.

Better to just have your own treats at home for the kids to have.

Fight on! He should go away.