Monday, December 2, 2019, 02:26 PM
Posted by Administrator
To be proofread...

As I scrolled through my more recent entries, past Top Ten Things I Learned Selling Volkswagens and Top Ten Things I Learned Selling Computers In Slightly Upstate New York, I thought to myself: What is missing? Could it be (now that I am of very, very advanced years and have been doing the lawyer thing for multiple decades: Top Ten Things I Learned As A Lawyer?

"Of course not", I thought.

There is only one logical next step: TOP TEN THINGS I LEARNED SELLING ICE CREAM IN THE MID 1970s. You, the reader, might think that I wouldn't/couldn't write the thing about being a lawyer because clients would see the title and wonder if I have included them (by name or by reference) in the list in violation of the ethical rules that say I can't talk about anything anybody has ever told me...ever. Good point. But, not really my reason. I am thinking more along the lines of: I can't write the lawyer thing until (like selling computers, cars and ice cream) I am done. So, my plan is to write TOP TEN THINGS I LEARNED AS A LAWYER after I am dead. Look for it!

Top 10 Ice Cream Man Things......Here goes:

10) Ignore Escrow: One of the things lawyers do is hold money and things for clients and others with instructions for how and when to disburse. This can help when there isn't a lot of trust between parties doing business with each other ("You hold the money until he delivers me the white horse") or when there is a lot of money involved (real estate transactions are the most common). In ice cream sales as in lawyering, the question frequently arises: Do I give the customer the ice cream pop before he/she gives me the money or only after I have the money in MY hand?

When I did my training (one day in Brooklyn with an ice cream man who, because of his seniority driving trucks with Eskimo Pie was also allowed to sells hotdogs!), I was told "DO NOT give them the ice cream until AFTER you get the money.

My first sale on my first day was a can of Dr. Pepper to a teenage girl outside her high school. She ran off with the soda. I chased her in the truck------wrong way down a one way street, through a construction zone---until I cornered her in an alley. She gave me the soda back.

Afterwards? I handed the customers the ice cream and waited to be paid. It just seemed like (for an ice cream) the right thing to do.

9)Ignore Robbery: One day, a young man came to the window of my ice cream truck, held out a knife, and mumbled something. I thought he may be robbing me but I was not sure and it seemed a little embarrassing to ask. So, I said to him "Nice knife." Then I walked from the window of the truck to the driver seat and drove off. (Note that unless I erased it, there is another robbery story in the blog: short version: I tried to ignore the robbery but my friend stood there, allowed himself to be robbed, and yelled to me "They say they'll shoot me (the main robber did have a shotgun pointed at him at the time) if you don't go back and give them your wallet.") (2nd Note: I believe relates to another of my entries, below: Is A Flower In The Desert Beautiful If Nobody Sees It. How many things in life---many good but a lot bad) would never have happened it we never noticed them happening?)

8)Ignore Firecrackers: One day, a boy names Dante (real name), age about 14, threw a lit firecracker into my ice cream truck. It exploded. I remember the explosion to have been LOUD but, less loud than the cherry bomb that blew up when I was in the 2nd floor bathroom at Valley Stream North High School. My ears rang for days after that one. (Note: Evidence of the innocence of the late 1960s was that after I staggered out of the bathroom after the giant explosion, nobody came to see what had happened. Now, (and with good reason) a SWAT team would come.)

Anyway the fire cracker exploded and Dante ran away. I jumped out of the window of the ice cream truck and ran after him. I caught him. Then, I had no idea what to do. Assuming that I was capable of beating the shit out of the kid, I was an adult (and, I was not willing to make the assumption)and it would have been bad form to hit a kid. He did continue as a customer.

End of story? No. Apparently, I tensed up when I jumped and, as a result, I messed up my neck and spend the next week in bed. Easter week started when I was in bed and, this particular Easter in New York, the temperatures were in the 90s. This was amazing ice cream selling weather. Mitch Blank, a friend of mine from back who disappeared long ago ran the truck for the week and we split the profits. (Note: My neck has been fine for the subsequent 40 years.)

7) Do Not Ignore Global Warming: Yes, that Easter in the 90s was in the mid-1970s when the unscientific masses had not been warned about the human-caused warming of the earth that will eventually wipe out life as we know it (Note: This will not apply to the uber rich who will be able to escape earth). Easters in New York have been much cooler since.

So, another ice cream man from the 70s who sold a truckload of ice cream that amazingly hot Easter might be able to say to himself (there were no female ice cream people back then): "How can I believe in global warming when I, myself, have witnessed first-hand the cooling of Easters over the past FOUR DECADES?"

But, I am not that ice cream man from the 70s. I am the ice cream man who grew up skiing at downstate New York ski areas that no longer exist because they stopped having snow on the ground.

And, everyone knows that, on the subject of the scientific basis of global warming, the loss of downstate ski areas trumps that one hot Easter.

Everyone knows this, that is, except Trump (and, maybe some other ice cream man from the 70s).

6) Better Reputation Than Car Sales: First, let me say that I really liked selling cars. Back when I did a showroom that was not overstocked with salespeople.....demonstrating cars that had a stick shift and only had to slow minimally for corners...with a boss I liked and a cast of interesting was a good way to spend a day. Drink a lot of coffee. Listen to WWII stories from an ex South Pacific Marine.

Anyway, a long time ago I represented the wife in a divorce case that went quite well. The husband did not seem to like me much and, at one point, he told my client about me: "Your lawyer is just an old car salesman."

My response? "Tell him I'm really just an old ice cream man."

5) There Are Lots of different jobs in the world: and, most of them, will teach more than being an ice cream man. On the other hand, it was more than 40 years ago, so, maybe some things I forgot.

4) Education Is Good: Without some, I might be just now graduating to selling hot dogs from that truck. I see these young people in their 20s working at fast food restaurants or chain pharmacies or big box stores and, I think "Are these the kids who didn't care about school, did crappy and really are landing up doing low brow work for the rest of their lives? Just like their teachers said they would?" It's sad. Better, maybe, to be a drug dealer. Like an ice cream man, you can be your own boss. Money? Every drug-dealing day is potentially like that hot, hot Easter in the 70s. Prison time? If you get caught, but, at least you tried. President Kennedy's grandfather was a rum runner during prohibition. How long until one of Pablo Escobar's kids gets elected to run Columbia? Just to be clear: it is immoral and evil to sell to kids or to sell things that will kill (e.g. heroin) but, on the other hand, the health effects of marijuana (which still, whether you believe it or not, is illegal in about 47 states) seem to be less than the health effects of sugar.

And, I sold LOTS of sugar.

3) I invite other ICE CREAM WOMAN and MEN to suggest 3, 2 and 1. Apparently, I only learned 7 things.

To be continued.

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