Saturday, December 13, 2008

What child is this?

'Tis summer here in Auckland.  People are walking to the beach in their togs (swimsuits) and towels, the city is quieter because the locals have packed off on vacation, and the ice cream truck is touring our neighbourhood more frequently.  It's a franchise of the Mr Whippy chain, which serves soft serve ice cream out of a window in the side of an orange, pink and white van.  Most towns in America no longer have an ice cream truck, let alone a rolling soft-serve stand on wheels.  My only recollection of any ice cream truck from my youth is from re-runs of old '50's TV shows.  In my day we had to hoof it down to the A&W for our cones of summer.

This particular van is a bit different from those of the Beaver's day in that it plays religious tunes.  Well, one Christian tune in particular.  "What child is this?", aka "Greensleeves", beeps mechanically through Pohutukawa and ferns from a Midi track, rolls across laws and in through our windows.  I have no idea if any kids, or adults for that matter, go to the curb to give it business.  The thing drives down the street daily now, and the music occasionally stops, which leads me to think that it's worth somebody's time to troll our neighbourhood.

We laughed at the choice of music when we first moved into our apartment.  "What kind of song is that?" we asked each other, and as non-religious people refused to rush to the curb on sheer principle.  It does make us chuckle, though.  What child is this / who comes to call / when Whippy comes along tinkling?  I guess it is December and the Holiday season, but to play the thing year round?  Really?

This is a typical Mr Whippy van (the photo was taken from the internet; we have no idea who the guy is).  They're a New Zealand icon and can be seen at pretty much every tourist beach.  The ice cream's not bad, either, and come with sprinkles, wafers, strawberry sauce, dipped and all of the standard trimmings.