How did the stereotype of ice cream truck drivers being creepsters come about?

How did ice cream truck drivers earn the reputation for being molesters, drug dealers, and kidnappers?

I almost never hear anything about them doing bad things on the news or whatever. Was their some particular incident or string of incidents that occurred that made people less trusting of these drivers?

They tend to be middle aged men, of indeterminate ethnicity, speak in funny accents, driving ramshackle little trucks selling products to children. I think it stems from people’s natural racism/xenophobia. That, and its not exactly an appealing job- I dont know of college students who work as ice cream truck drivers as a summer job, for example.

Something to do with them being a modern day gingerbread house I’d think.

Open containers of urine, perhaps?

I feel like it might be appropriate to mention the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars here.

Umm, perhaps you’ve heard of this tale? The Disneyfied versions have everyone thinking the kids come back. So too, the Ice Cream man plays music to lure children close.

FWIW, my prototypical guy is a white male. Young to middle aged. I think my perception is influenced by the Good Humor Man. Either that or Michael Stipe from Pete & Pete.

Pretty much any skeevy looking man that drives around randomly in a truck is going to set off warning signals. Combine that with a vehicle that looks like a beat-up van that specifically targets kids and offers free treats and you have hit the trifecta on the creepy scale.

I have never had a problem with an ice-cream truck driver and neither have my kids but it would make a great cover profession for a drug dealer/serial killer/child molester.

The main issue is with older men with questionable backgrounds and freedom to drive around upper middle-class neighborhoods at their discretion blaring weird music. People get snooty about that no matter who you are or what you are selling. It is only tolerated because hey, ice cream.

Ok, may I just say “HOLY SHIT!”? As an American I was aware of Bill Forsythe’s slightly weird little film Comfort and Joy, but as Forsythe specializes in very slightly weird little films I just assumed he came up with idea himself. I mean that is way too oddball to ever be real.

I’m flabbergasted that it was based on a real conflict.

A few years ago the one in my neighborhood was tossing empty beer bottles out the back of the truck. The certainly didn’t help their image. IIRC he was arrested and ticketed for OWI.

At least 2 people were caught selling drugs from ice cream trucks.

If they’re giving the stuff away for free that’s definitely creepy.


That sentence deserves some kind of Wikipedia Award. A “barnstar” or whatever they call them.

Copied from a post by me in an old thread:

Back in college I went to apply for a summer job with a local ice cream outfit. The owner smoked about three cigarettes and used some form of the word “fuck” about thirty times in our two-minute conversation, as a gigantic Doberman growled at me from under his desk.

He took me out to join a guy named Bear for his afternoon route. We found Bear tinkering with the huge plywood woofer cabinet he had installed in his ice cream truck, blasting the sort of mid-70s cock rock that was probably new when Bear last washed his tank top. Unable to hear anything over the music, he gestured with the Marlboro in his mouth for me to take a seat on the passenger side.

The music stopped, and Bear made his way to the driver’s seat, coughing and hacking all the way. He shut the door and leaned over until he was right up in my face.

“You’re not a cop, are you?” he said.

“Uh, no,” he said.

“Not with the FBI? CIA?”


“DEA? Anybody? 'Cause you have to tell me, you know.”

“Yeah, I know.”

He leaned back up and got out of the van. I quickly made up something that I had to do, and bolted.

True story.

I hear slanging ice cream is a good hustle.

[QUOTE=DoctorJ;15501026The music stopped, and Bear made his way to the driver’s seat, coughing and hacking all the way. He shut the door and leaned over until he was right up in my face.
“You’re not a cop, are you?” he said.
“Uh, no,” he said.
“Not with the FBI? CIA?”
“DEA? Anybody? 'Cause you have to tell me, you know.”

So, Bear was a prostitute on the side? :eek:

Srsly… It’s the gawd-awful skeevy music they playplayplayplayplayplayplayplayplayplay…

Anybody could listen to that music hour after hour and not go stark raving mad wasn’t right to start with.

It’s a known fact that if you ask an undercover officer if he is a cop, and “Pop Goes the Weasel” is playing, he legally has to answer truthfully.

If you had to listen to Turkey in the Straw for 8 hours a day, you’d probably go insane too.

There’s a turkey in the straw, yes a turkey in the straw
There’s a turk turk turkey in the turkey in the straw
Oh the perky lurky turkey is a jerky in the straw
Turk turk turkey, oh turkey in the turkey in the straw

hmmm I thought it was

I Had a little chickie
And she wouldn’t lay an egg;
So I poured boiling water
Up and down her leg,
Oh, that little chickie cried
And that little chickie begged;
Then that silly little chickie laid
A hard-boiled egg!

Not if he’s eating an ice-cold slurry with a fringe on top.

I can’t find it online now but I think it was on the home owners association site for a subdivision, a kid got punched by a ice cream truck driver and then his dad got into a fight with the guy.