Ahh glorious summer, the time of iced coffees and frozen cocktails, refreshing drops of rain from the sky and the dulcet melodies of ice cream trucks slowly draining your will to live. Every year, the phone lines at 311 are peppered with complaints about the pernicious ear worm, and this year is no different. So far in 2016, New Yorkers have lodged 1,013 noise complaints against Mister Softee and its ilk. So far, only one ticket has been issued in response.
Like exposed feet and sweaty garbage, ice cream truck jingles are a seasonal scourge, reviled by just about everyone with ears. At a Department of Environmental Protection hearing on Monday, a measure was proposed to ban the music between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m., the Post reports. City Councilman Daniel Dromm also wants to make it easier for inspectors to issue summons, which they're now only able to do if they are present for an infraction.
"I love the sound of an ice cream truck jingle—it's nostalgic," says Michael Hearst, the man responsible for the grating arrangement of notes called Songs for Ice Cream Trucks. "I would vote for ban on Harley Davidson volume before ice cream truck jingles. It's unfair to single-out jingles." We say why not both!
Mister Softee, who's had an exciting year fighting a turf war with a rival gang of ice cream trucks, got a bit of a reprieve this week. The company, which was suing its competitor for illegally using their trademarked jingle, found success in its plight in Brooklyn Federal Court. Dimitrios Konstantakakos, owner of the ripoff New York Ice Cream fleet, was ordered to pay $10,000 to Mister Softee for jacking its jingle.
If you find your nerves jangled by the melodious noises wafting into your window as you sleep at night, there are steps you can take to lodge a formal complaint, for all the good that'll do you. Or, you can follow the practices set forth by Gothamist Publisher and Native New Yorker Jake Dobkin:
A better approach might be to meditate on the source of your resentment. By focusing your consciousness on the moment-by-moment feeling of annoyance and tension Mister Softee creates, you'll eventually cultivate a feeling of loving-kindness towards ice cream trucks and eventually, the rest of humanity. Or think about this: In what other city can you have fresh, affordable ice cream delivered steps from your door at 10 p.m. at night? Amazing, right?