“Yo, man, did you see that ice cream truck on the news?!” asked an over-excited little boy wearing scuffed up Converse and a stained polo shirt as he starred up at the man. “It was all flipped over on the boulevard!”
“Well, hey, did you see me yesterday?” the man replied to the three kids standing in front of his van, “No, you didn’t, ‘cause that was me. I was all flipped over and that was me! I’m legend, I know, kid.”
The man’s name is Ice Mike the Ice Cream Man. You can find the legend himself driving a white four-door van with stickers of colorful ice cream treats plastered on the sides.
“It was a Nissan that hit me. It was a Nissan, it was like a 1984 Nissan. It was real little.”
Laughing, surprisingly, Ice Mike described the scene that included ice cream all over the van, the street and especially all over him. But, you still couldn’t help feeling a bit sad for the guy when he explained that his beloved ice cream truck was totalled.
“No, no it was hilarious,” he insisted.
Hilarious. Alright then, hilarious.
Sporting a fresh long-sleeve white t-shirt, an A&W Soda Company visor and a giant grin, Ice Mike smoothly pushed his homemade “Tips are Cool” jar to the front of his window. Parked on the streets of First Fridays in downtown Kansas City, he greeted a large group of high-schoolers with his usual out-going attitude.
“Hey! Ice Cream guy! I want that Strawberry Shortcake!” shouted STA sophomore Cecilia Butler.
“The name’s Mike, Ice Mike…the ice cream man,” he said.
One day “it just came to [him]” the name, that is. Nothing can bore Ice Mike; he likes to flavor things up with some fun.
After repeating “I looooove First Fridays” about six times, Ice Mike clarified that it wasn’t all because of the art.
Aside from exotic art galleries, the event – or maybe party is more appropriate – welcomes you with everything form one-man bands to fire dancers to … a cat whisperer?
Unexpected and random. Yes, that would be one accurate way to describe the scene at First Fridays. Now, Ice Mike would love to tell you about what it means to be unexpected, random and very surprising…
“Well shoot, what’ve we got here,” he huffed under his breath.
Two professionally postured men approached Ice Mike’s van. Both wearing business suits, while exhausting a stern, yet uncomfortable look upon their faces.
“What can I get you, sir?” he asked.
“Well, funny story,”
“Hah you two, funny?” Ice Mike huffed under his breath.
“So, I just got divorced from my wife because I lost my job and I need a favor…”
“Oh man you’ve got problems if you married a chick who leaves you for losing your job, but here goes nothin’,” he thought to himself.
The man asked Ice Mike if he could take a ride in his ice cream truck. Why? Well, he wanted to take a picture and send it to his ex with the message, “Look, a new job, honey!”
“I really want to show her what I’ve got,” the man said.
“What you’ve got, well you clearly ain’t got nothin’ right now brotha. But, I guess I’m up for it…” Ice Mike thought again.
The man turned to his friend, “Hey Steve, run down the block to get the picture. And we’ll – wait, what’s your name?”
“‘I’m Ice Mike the Ice Cream man, nice to meet you.”
“Ok yeah, Mike, and I – “
“Ice Mike, sir.”
Moments later the “executive guy” is flailing his arms outside the window of Ice Mike’s van that is moving at no more than five miles per hour while shouting, “LOOK AT ME WORLD! I’M AN ICE CREAM MAN AND THERE ISN’T NOTHIN’ YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, PATRICIA!”
Assuming Patrica was the ex, Ice Mike laughed along with him as he flaunted his newly-single attitude.
After about three “re-tries” at getting the picture, the man finally hoped out of Ice Mike’s van, just a bit more enthusiastic than when he arrived.
“Oh wait, before I go, I’ll take a Strawberry Shortcake.”
Ice Mike stepped into the back of the van and reached into the freezer. He dug around for a Strawberry Shortcake and laughed to himself,
“Never too old for ice cream.”
They got the picture, they got the Strawberry Shortcake, they left, sent it to his ex and a week later received a response: “You’re a butt, sincerely Patricia.”
The night was definitely an irregular one. An unforgettable one at that. Explains why Ice Mike tells this story to any customer who asks for a Strawberry Shortcake.