Square pegs

I’m sure the guy’s company had a name. I’m sure he had a name. We never knew either of them. We simply called him the Ding-Ding man. That was the sound his ice-cream Jeep’s bell made as he idled down Yulan Drive. Ding-ding, ding-ding.

If we had the change and a taste for treats, we’d run out to the roadside, flag him down, and buy a slush pop, a bomb pop, or a drumstick. Our parents might watch from the porch or they might not. They trusted the Ding-Ding Man and so did we. There was no reason not to.

Now, I’m 28 years old. I have my own house and a new Yulan Drive. The Ding-Ding man has been replaced by the fat guy in the dirty t-shirt who drives a panel van with pictures of ice cream on the side. It plays a blood curdling loop of children’s music. Occsionally some ill-conceived attention-getter-machine screams out a barely-human sounding “Hello!” He often skulks through the neighborhood at dusk. And if I had kids, I would buy their popsicles from a grocery store.

This was set to be a long diatribe about my lack of trust in people supposedly falling victim to crime (parents of kidnapped children, etc). I’m going to back off that for right now, because I’m slipping into quick fear of an otherworld society.

I’ll leave it at this…I want to live in a world where I can trust my neighbor. And I’m tired of people telling me I cannot.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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