Macker weekend and… ice cream wars?


Shawn Magrath

It’s Gus Macker time in Norwich again, which for the killjoys out there only means East Main Street will be inconveniently blocked off for the weekend. But for the rest of us, I’d like to think Macker weekend is a welcomed event every year. A tournament that promotes health, sportsmanship, community, and brings a boost to the local economy… Who could complain about something like that?

On a separate and unfortunate (but still oddly funny) note, every so often I come across a news story that makes me think, “There’s no way that can be true.” Yesterday, that news story was led with the headline, “Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver put on ice after DWI arrest while driving ice cream truck.”

The story, posted by CNY Central, reads that the driver of a Mr. Ding-A-Ling ice cream truck in Fulton County swerved in front of an oncoming sheriff’s patrol car around 12:10 a.m. Saturday morning – while driving his ice cream truck – and ran the car off the road. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing funny about drunk driving, even if the offender does wear a red and white striped button down shirt and paper hat, and cruises to the jammin’ tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low.” But the incident also comes only months after the driver of the truck was involved in a public confrontation with two drivers of a “Sno Cone Joe” ice cream truck. According to the story, police said the two Sno Cone Joe operates allegedly harassed and stalked the Mr. Ding-A-Ling man, yelling “this is my town.”

Alright, now it’s somehow funny. I never imagined that the world of ice cream distribution operated like a drug cartel, with turf wars, threats, and I’m sure the occasional brick thrown through a window. Picture “The Godfather” but with ice cream truck drivers; and instead of a horse head, it’s the megaphone from the top of the the ice cream truck that’s tucked in the bed sheets… Suddenly, the world seems like a much more dangerous place.