Stanley Steamer and a Popcorn Brain

Is it just me, or do others think the guy Stanley Steamer picked to be in their ads is just creepy?  It’s not just the way he looks, it’s what he says. He kisses floors where llamas have defecated.  He loves cleaning up vomit and cat pee.

Would you let this guy in your house? His picture is almost certainly on some sex offenders list. He just creeps me out. And that theme music… I know they’ve had it for years, but it’s almost as bad as ice cream truck music.

Last summer an ice cream truck came through our neighborhood from time to time. We have families with small children and the ice cream truck is a lovely part of childhood memories. I still remember the taste of Fudgcicles on a hot Indiana afternoon. Which, by the way, don’t taste the same as they did when I was a kid.  Must be the high-fructose corn syrup.  As a child I remember the ice cream truck music creating anticipation; as an adult, the response is more visceral.

I was in the garden weeding late one afternoon. I can hear the ice cream truck music. Ah, I thought. Childhood Is Calling. The music came closer and then faded away. Came closer and faded away. By now the music is imprinted in my brain and I know I will be humming that tune for a week. Only thing worse is The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. (If I’m really pissed at my husband, I sidle up to him and whisper that tune in his ear. He’s wrecked for days.)

By the tenth time the ice cream truck music approaches our street, I’m wondering if I could pay the ice cream truck guy to go away. Would $5 do it? $10? $25? Either that or I’m getting out the shotgun. I can see the headlines: Local Writer Terrorizes Ice Cream Truck. Then my popcorn brain goes into overdrive. What if the guy driving the ice cream truck is the Stanley Steamer Guy? Cruising the neighborhood for small children who will be happy to step aboard his truck and help him find his missing puppy. What if he kills them and puts them in the ice cream truck freezer? Okay, I know, I’ve been watching too many episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. What if the Ice Cream Truck guy turns the kids into kidcicles? Oh, yeah, that’s Criminal Minds. I can never watch that one. Too, too over the top.  Back in the garden, weeding is not going to turn off my popcorn brain. Maybe I need to go inside and take a cold shower.

BUT…there are some interesting (albeit kinda sick) ideas here for a character in a story, a script (perhaps for Criminal Minds), or a novel. Popcorn brain is something all us writers have in common. Sometimes it’s truly annoying; at other times it’s just what we need.

Laura, you better post something soon. My posts are getting way weird.

3 thoughts on “Stanley Steamer and a Popcorn Brain

  1. Oh my Mala! Too funny. While defecating Llamas adored by demented Stanley Steamer guys using ice cream trucks to turn children into kidsicles is just this side of side of Stephen King disturbing, you make a great point: the scenes we let pop in our fevered brains are the seeds of future stories. And as every gardener knows, you need a big packet of seeds to produce a few really nice plants.


  2. Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and
    say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but
    I’m still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for rookie blog writers?

    I’d certainly appreciate it.


    • Sherry, just keep posting. I don’t seem to have a focus although the blog was supposed to be mostly about writing. It’s ended up being more about gardening and cooking and then writing.


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