Mr. Ding-A-Ling is a-Comin’

"We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave..." Hey, wait a minute! I'm not in the tropics.

Right now, over 30 of our 50 U.S. states are reporting temperatures well above melting human flesh. That’s not technically true. If Madame Tussauds’ Wax Museum people were standing outside, they would be blobs, so close enough. We’ve got a serious case of what our clownish “Chief Meteorologist” calls the “Triple H’s”: hazy, hot, and humid weather. I call it the “Single H”: Hellish.

I’d be okay if I could hibernate inside, enjoying increasing my carbon footprint as my A/C runs non-stop, but my sweet, stubborn dog refuses to poop on the three, count ’em, three walks I’ve already taken him on today.

I inhaled a few deep breaths of cool A/C air and ventured out one more time. The sun was shining and I slowly paddled my way through the H2O-laden gas that was passing for air.

“Okay, Scrappy, this is it. Now’s your chance. Be a good boy and go poop for Mommy.”

Let's see what's over there. Oh, goodie! Another smell. And look--a jogger. Oh Boy, this is fun!

Scrappy trotted along, sniffing, peeing and observing the occasional flying bug.

“Let’s go, Scrap. It’s hot out here. Make a poopy for Mommy so we can go home.” This might be a good time to remind you that I have a Ph.D. in sociology and have won many prestigious professional awards.

Scrappy feigned a poop stance then got distracted by a jogger. I began muttering angrily, hoping passersby would think I was conducting business via a wireless ear-piece.

We were headed for the final stretch home when two magical events occurred simultaneously:

  1. Without any further cajoling, Scrappy pooped and I scooped. I felt like a big-game hunter on safari who finally bagged her prey after a long day on the Savannah.

    In Mogambo "steamy" sure comes to mind. On my 4th long walk with Scrappy in 90 degree heat after he pooped, things were steamy, too; but the visual of Gabel and Gardner is much more pleasant.

  2. I heard the faint sound of what seemed like music from an old-fashioned organ-grinder–the kind you’d find an old man playing while an entertaining monkey collected money from a delighted crowd.

At first, I thought I might be hallucinating–the auditory equivalent of a mirage–due to the heat and over-excitement at Scrappy’s poop production. But the music got louder. “Yankee Doodle” was mechanically filling the already heavy air. I looked around and saw the source of the  music.

This company has been around since 1975, a tribute to the quality of its product overcoming the questionable judgment of the founders who came up with the name.

It was a slow-moving, old-fashioned ice-cream truck with the name “Mr. Ding-A-Ling.” The sides were open so that Mr. Ding-A-Ling could easily stop, swing out and serve any over-heated ice-cream-craving customers he happened to see.

I was transported back to my youth. In those days, the truck had more of a tinkle-tinkle sound and the friendly man in uniform was the Good Humor Man. I often focus on how times have dramatically changed. Today I was reminded that some simple things, thankfully, haven’t changed all that much–at least in my little corner of the world.

We listened for his bell and ran to greet this man who did, indeed, have good humor inside and outside of that white truck.

In my condo community we have lots of children, ergo, customers. I hope they’re ready because Mr. Ding-A-Ling is a-comin’ !

~ by Lorna's Voice on July 12, 2011.

16 Responses to “Mr. Ding-A-Ling is a-Comin’”

  1. You’re right about the world being too crazy. I rarely pay attention to the news because it’s so negative. I used to have to keep up with the news when I taught college, but one of the nice things about having to retire early is that I can selectively tune-out the world. Remember, I’m an HSP and most news is quite disturbing.

  2. I came across this news article a few minutes ago.

    What a shock to go from the warm fuzzy feeling after your blog to hear about this wanton violence.

    It certainly makes one appreciate the good moments we share with each other on our blogs – the real world is just too crazy.

  3. That’s how I felt when I heard that organ-grinder music. Could it be an ice-cream truck in 2011? In these times of frozen designer drinks at every fast food joint, the idea that open-sided clownish truck with silly music playing would be delivering single-portion ice cream to neighborhood kids was astonishing. Maybe it was heat-stroke, but I just had to write about it!

  4. I am continually humbled by my dog and so many of life’s curve-balls. The best part of having a Ph.D. is making a fool of myself and thinking about the arrogant professors I’ve encountered thoughout my life. I’m having WAY more fun then they are!

  5. The best part of remembering. Oh, and finally getting back to my cool living room! Thanks for your comment and letting me know that I don’t suffer in the heat alone.

  6. Yes, it’s more humane outside now and Scrappy did his business on our 1st early morning walk. Go figure! Thanks for the positive feedback and concern!

  7. Hahaha, i loved the part about your sociology degree! Really funny article! Hope it’s less hot outside now over there 🙂

  8. I just fold up in the heat so I felt for you. I would only last a few steps before I was begging for mercy. But mercy seemed to come in the shape of ice-cream and I love ice-ream so now I don’t know what to think. I hope it was good. You deserved it

  9. whoever named the Mr. Ding a ling…. wow… LOL. This post had me cracking up! I loved when you mentioned your degree and awards… but not the capability to make the dog poop, too funny!!

  10. Wow does that Good Humor picture bring the memories flooding back. You definitely struck a chord that we all can relate to. I can see it and taste it right now. Thanks for waking up that part of my aging memory bank.

  11. That’s what I thought–about the strange name. I googled it to find out if it was just one really strange local small business person, but found out that this is a Northeastern US company that’s been in business for over 30 years. Go figure!

  12. This is my exact conversation with my dog everyday. Hurry up! That smell must be very interesting, now move along! “Mr. Ding-a -ling” is an odd name for an ice cream truck…hmmmm

  13. Well, Jacqueline, I’d be happy to switch places with you in terms of climate. I must have been a cave-dwelling critter in a former life because I love cool, dark weather. As for the Ph.D., it was one of my life’s goals and was quite an accomplishment as a young mother. I sure wouldn’t have the stamina to do it now. Looking back, I’m not sure how I did it then!

  14. No, that would have been awkward on so many levels! My diet is quite restricted due to my Chronic Fatigue and accompanying inflamatory immune system related conditions (wow that was a mouth-full, oops, pardon the pun!). I am vegan and don’t eat any processed sugar. I came home and had some watermelon, dreamed of Good Humor Ice cream treats and wrote that post.

  15. And did you approach the ice cream man, poop in hand?

  16. Your blog today made me think about two wishes – to live in a country where it’s warm enough to take my woollens off every now and again in summer (the Highlands of Scotland is a wonderful place to live, oh but sometimes the weather drives me nuts). Secondly a Ph.D. – now that I really can only dream about!


Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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