This morning an editorial in The Dallas Morning News calls for a crackdown on ice cream vendors:
"... the vendor's presence is rudely announced," the paper complains, "through loudspeakers blaring cheap electronic music like 'Turkey in the Straw' or 'The Entertainer.'"
The editorial calls for tougher law enforcement and points to the suburbs as places the city should emulate in trying to make itself tidier and more orderly.
Well, hell yes, then. I say let's beat the shit out of those ice cream bastards. Let's all get in on it. I think we as citizens should wade in there with baseball bats and broken beer bottles, drag them out of their damn cheap vans and beat them down bad.
Why? Because I think we need to beat hell out of somebody. The ice cream guys are the only people I can think of that we could maybe beat.
Obviously we can't do squat about cheese heroin. As Anna Merlan has already observed here today, our kids continue to kill themselves with bad drugs at about the same rate they always have. Every few years we act surprised. But that's just to cover our utter inability to do anything about it.
We can't even do anything about the fact that we here in Texas are the main source of armaments for the gangs that sell the drugs to our kids. I mean, what is that? "Oh, we're shocked, shocked that our kids are killing themselves with bad drugs purveyed by bad gang persons. Hey, I wonder if those bad gang people could use some better guns?"
Impotence. That's what it is. We can't figure out how to solve any of our own real problems. We're angry. We're frustrated as hell. So let's go beat the shit out of some ice cream vendors.
OK, I'm not serious about beating up the ice cream guys. I don't want anybody to beat up any ice cream vendors, mainly because I love ice cream vendors. The cheesier and more dented their vans, the more their badly broadcast music coming around the corner at me sounds like grackles startled from the roost, the better I like them.
Why? Because their music is a single note of crazy dilapidated fun in this terribly tightly wound, buttoned-down, pissed-off, sour-faced city. City leaders here dare talk about wanting more street life in downtown. Bullshit. They want NorthPark Center in downtown -- a sterile, locked-down, private-property ambiance in places that are supposed to be public, which is supposed to mean free.
You know what? If The Morning News can't handle "Turkey in the Straw," maybe it needs to just stay the hell at home. Or, I know: go to NorthPark. The Morning News will love it there.
The place smells like Clorox. People move their asses up and down the prison-echo corridors as fast as they can, hurrying from shop to shop to buy more stuff, never speaking or being spoken to by strangers.
Strangers. They're the real terrorists, aren't they? They go around terrorizing us by being strange. It's too bad strange can't be against the law.
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If some cheesy ice cream stranger showed up at NorthPark with his "Turkey in the Straw" and his "Entertainer," those mall cops would be all over him like ticks on a dog's butt. There's your blue heaven, Morning News, if I'm not mistaken. So go there -- the land where strange is not allowed.
Meanwhile, every little chance The Morning News gets, I wish it would leave the rest of us the hell alone. I'm sick of having to go all the way to New Orleans to find a street with some weird-ass buskers, some card hustlers and some shoe-shine on it.
Cheese heroin? Gun traffic to Mexico? Not much we can do, really. But let one poor son of a bitch in a van play "Turkey in the Straw" within earshot, and they want to send out the Scrubbing Bubble stormtroopers.
It's not a heroic culture.