But the ice cream man's worst enemy isn't teenagers, or even early-onset diabetes. It's other ice cream men.
J: "When you have drivers in the same territory, it gets nasty. There was one guy, we kept bumping into each other. This guy owned his van, it was his territory, and he'd threaten me. I tried to laugh it off, until one day him and one of his friends parked near me, pulled a shotgun on me, and threatened to kill me if I came back. That was a bit shocking and scary to me.
"I worked in the U.K., and in Glasgow in the '80s, people were killed. They'd have Molotovs thrown in their van. A lot of money is at stake."
Presumably while shouting some kind of "Baked Alaska"-themed one-liner.
Wait, what? When we first asked ice cream men about the dark side of their business, we thought, at worst, we'd learn all the terrible things people will do for a Klondike Bar. We never imagined one of those things was "burn another human being alive." But it's true: The Ice Cream Wars were a reality. And yes, that is the official name for the bout of violence that erupted in Glasgow in the early 1980s. It had more to do with that whole "ice cream as drug-running" thing than man's insatiable appetite for Otter Pops. But still, the main players in a violent conflict that lasted years and led to the deaths of six innocent people (all of whom were burned to death) were all motherfucking ice cream men.
Rich Legg/iStock/Getty Images
"Underneath that, I want it to say 'Chocolate or Vanilla: Born Killa.'"
But while the violence in Glasgow died out by the mid-'80s, tensions between rival ice cream men can still get violently high:
"If someone pulls you over on a countryside road, beats the shit out of you, burns your van -- you're on your own."
So, there you go. The next time you hear that sweet jingle rolling down your street, maybe you'll just lock your doors and hide behind the couch.
Haha, no you won't!
Dude's got ice cream. Bring a helmet.
Robert Evans has a Twitter, for some reason. Follow him here.
For more insider perspectives, check out 6 Realities of the Secret World of Paid TV Audience Members and 6 Ways You See the World Differently When You Can Hear Color.
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