Today’s story is brought to you by the letter “C” for “calescent”, “creepy” and “Christmas”.

(The third in my 26 Tales of Woe series. See “A” is for “ass” and “B” is for “barf”.)

Today is the first day of Memorial Day weekend, and it is hot.

No, please, let me rephrase that, because I don’t think anyone outside of Arizona and/or the surface of the sun will quite understand.

You know when the blast furnace that is the outside air hits the cooler air from inside the house and forms an immediate thunder storm at your front door? Or when you step outside and every exposed bit of skin screams, “For pity’s sake, if you don’t turn this body around right now and head back inside where there’s air conditioning, we swear to whatever God you believe in that we will torture you with a pain the likes of which you haven’t felt since you turned us into that blistering mess back in high school!”?

Yeah, I wish it were that cool. And this is just Spring warming us up for the main event. Summer is still about a month away.

But I’m OK. I’ve paid my power bill, so I can pull down some of that sweet, sweet electricity to properly refrigerate my house. (One of the oddest things about moving down here from Maine is going from a cool indoors to a hot outdoors. It’s backwards as hell, and I’m still not used to it after 20 years.) Anyway, that’s not what this post is about.

We have an ice cream truck that roams the neighborhood most afternoons. Yes, you read that correctly. We have a dude in a white van filled with popsicles and drumsticks that trolls about the streets trying to lure in kids.*

But I digress . . .

The really bad part about this is that the van must be owned and operated by someone in our immediate neighborhood. I don’t know this for certain, because I have never actually talked to my neighbors (some of them speak Spanish!). But I suspect it is so, because most afternoons I will be sitting at my desk pretending to work when I am jumped by an eerie, wheezing groan that sounds like the spirits of the dead have finally had enough of this fricking Florida heat and are crying out to their maker for some relief . . . which slowly turns into “Turkey in the Straw.”

Today was the worst yet. Today, this demon van sprang to life and drove up to the stop sign outside my house is tauntingly playing “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful”!

Yes, the ice cream van is mocking me with a Christmas carol . . . reminding me of cool days and the promise that this heat too shall pass.

I wonder if I have the strength of will to go out there and give the driver a piece of my mind. And I wonder if he has any sno-cones . . .

*Note: I have nothing against ice cream vans, and I am not implying that ours (or any others) are out there stalking children.

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