mister softee

it’s that time again, folks…

time to miss new york.

p.s. did you know there are lyrics? some kind soul has… well, i’ll let the article speak for itself.

(From the New York Times, May 31, 2006)

James Conway Sr., 78, a Founder of Mister Softee, Dies

James Conway Sr., an entrepreneur whose company has been delighting the taste buds, if not always the ears, at this season for the past half-century, died on Sunday at his home in Ocean City, N.J. Mr. Conway, a founder of the Mister Softee ice cream company, was 78.

The cause was cancer, said his son, James Jr., vice president of the company, now based in Runnemede, N.J.

With his brother William, Mr. Conway began the business in Philadelphia in 1956, developing it into a multimillion-dollar concern. Mister Softee is currently among the largest franchisers of ice cream trucks in the country, with more than 600 trucks in 15 states.

Even more memorable than the company’s soft ice cream is its jingle, played on a music box and broadcast through a loudspeaker atop each truck.Once heard, the song is not soon forgotten. For some listeners, it heralds summer. For others, it recalls childhood. For still others, it constitutes a form of torture.

Written in E-flat major in jaunty 6/8 time, the jingle was created by an advertising agency in 1960 for the company’s early radio campaigns. Though the trucks play only an instrumental version, the tune does have words:

The CREAM-i-est DREAM-i-est SOFT ice CREAM

you GET from MIS-ter SOF-tee.

FOR a re-FRESH-ing de-LIGHT su-PREME

LOOK for MIS-ter SOF-tee….

James Francis Conway was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 30, 1927. In 1949, he earned an undergraduate degree in business from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and afterward served in the Navy during the Korean War.

With his brother William, Mr. Conway later went to work for the Sweden Freezer company, which manufactured ice cream machines. On St. Patrick’s Day 1956, the brothers put one of the machines into a truck and drove it through Philadelphia, giving away green ice cream. And so they went into business, at first as the Dairy Van. Mr. Conway, the company’s vice president, retired in 1998. William Conway, the president, died in 2004. The company is now run by the two men’s sons.

In 2004, as part of a proposal to strengthen New York City’s noise code, city officials tried to still the voices of ice cream trucks throughout the five boroughs. Outcry ensued.

Last year, the city and Mister Softee reached an agreement, which covers all ice cream vendors, under which the trucks may play music only when they are in motion.

this needs no explanation.


fuckin’ funny

okay, this is three months late. but it’s also one of the greatest daily show segments i’ve ever seen. i was at this bar the other night where a terrible drag queen was making fun of a lady from kent, and i felt foreign because i don’t understand the stereotypes associated with kent, or if there aren’t any and i was just dealing with a sub-par comedian with no material. i would hate for any of my northwestern colleagues to find themselves in a similar situation, so consider this “what people in the northeast think of people from long island 101″*

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Video: Long Island Wants to Secede | …“, posted with vodpod

*i have some lovely friends from long island, and my mom’s from there, so please don’t get bent outta shape, no homo.**

**i know it’s not cool to say no homo, i was making fun of long island. which is always acceptable.

more politics (but it’s about glenn beck, so it will be funny, sort of)

okay. the comments on my review keep rolling in. they’re getting less hilarious and more depressing. this last woman was pretty sure i don’t have kids– good inference, crazy lady– and compared transgenderism to bestiality, which she spelled BEASTiality, and i’m gonna guess that’s either because she’s a brilliant wordsmith, or because of rampant peabrainery. hey crazy lady, rick santorum called, and he wants his asinine argument back.

so, this is making me sad. and i have a favor to ask. if you have a second, go to the book’s page and write a bad review, or go to my review and write a comment. just like, “thanks for calling our attention to this shitty book for crazy people! i am not crazy.” the thing is, this is not for my ego, i promise, it’s because right now, the crazy people are winning and it’s sad. i don’t really think the majority of amazon users think that homosexuals exist to sell five-year-olds into slavery, but right now it kind of looks that way. and, again, it’s making me sad.

also, a word about the word “crazy”: i do not claim to be a neutral, rational member of the general political conversation. that’s why i’m not an editorial columnist. i’d lose my cool too much. but i do understand the point that name-calling doesn’t do a whole lot to advance a rational political conversation. so normally, i try pretty hard to follow that rule and not lose my cool (or, you know, not talk about this stuff in my blog at all). the abstinence-only argument, for example: i 100% completely disagree with that, but i think the people who are in favor of it are just really misguided in their ideas about sex education. however, if you think that homosexuality is a deviant behavior, that homosexuals are trying to recruit children into an army, that their goal is to destroy american families, that’s bigotry, pure and simple. it’s an absolute, like racism. and that degree of hate is crazy. it is. it’s just plain crazy. so while i realize it may seem a little silly to get all uppity about someone calling me a brainwashed moonbat, then turn around and call him crazy, there’s a fundamental difference between he and i: i am right, and he is wrong. homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism are not wrong. they’re just not. so, in conclusion, if you want people to stop calling you names, stop being a tiny-minded douchebag.

all right, time for something more fun.


you know how i hate to jump on a bandwagon, but when it comes to the “somebody throw glenn beck in a river before he accidentally blows up america” bandwagon, i drive that shit on alternate tuesdays. case in point: i am in americorps. i get paid a hilariously tiny stipend to teach inner-city teenagers how to read. my other friends in americorps do things like help kids get college scholarships, work with runaways, make digital films with youth on a reservation, and teach art. in other words, according to glenn beck, a communist militia whose purpose is entirely military. (also, barack obama is apparently a cross between saddam hussein and hitler. but that’s nothing new.)

a new name, courtesy of a crazy person

sorry to occupy so much of this blog with news of crazy people responding to my amazon review, thereby implying that there’s nothing else going on in my life,* but when someone opens their response to something you wrote with the words:


…you kind of have to let the world know. i must say for this guy, he has a way with words. if only he would use them for good and not crazy.

You poor brainwashed Moonbat. This book reveals the truth about the homosexual/liberal agenda. Destruction of the family is the goal. Homosexuality is dangerous to the health of the folks that engage. Dangerous to their physical and mental health. And the homosexuals should not be recruiting 5 year olds.

you may have noticed that the moniker has had a rather profound lasting effect on me, and this blog. please let me know if you think abandoning “good grief” in favor of this much more colorful title is a bad idea… and if, in doing so, you come up with an equally evocative name to call me, all the better.

*there totally is. in fact, i actually have some biggish news. it will have to wait, though- read on.

field report from your neighborhood pervert.

someone just added this comment to my comment on the fucked-up sex ed book. long live free speech!

With the alarming increase in bisexuality among our youth, I would say that Dr. Grossman speaks the truth. We can see the results from radical, liberal indoctrination over the past 40+ years now culminating in rampant bisexuality, homosexuality, etc. in our youth. Also, I believe that many who call themselves “liberals” are truly sexual deviants, who, besides having degraded our educational system, want the parents to butt out then have our laws changed in order to have easier access to our children. It reeks of sexual perversion and needs to be stopped! How many teachers can we now count that are having sex with our babies??? Disgusting! Stand up for your children! Don’t let these perverts indoctrinate your kids!

now if you’ll excuse me, i’m going to go have sex with some babies.

jerk update, or, let’s maybe rethink this name.

first day of school, losers. at the big pep rally/assembly, as per tradition, there was a dance-off to determine which class is, in fact, the filthiest.

and since, as i’ve mentioned before, the dance that’s all the rage right now is the jerk, the annual dance-off became, you guessed it, a jerk-off.

it was funny.

p.s. they almost did the stanky legg too, but ran out of time. from what i’ve heard, the origins of the term “stanky legg” are far more vulgar than an unfortunate double entendre like “jerk-off” could ever hope to be.

you’re a jerk.

today i was in the school again for the first time. we didn’t do anything thrilling but i did talk to my most difficult student from last year– the muse of many a weekday drinking binge– who was sitting on the front steps a little away from other people, like a grumpy buddha. i congratulated her on her senior year and noted that she seemed pretty calm. she said, “yeah, i’m changing my old ways. time to grow up.” can you believe that shit? kids really do say stuff like that outside of inspirational films about teaching starring michelle pfeiffer. yes, in this metaphor, i am michelle pfeiffer. it’s not up for debate.

i have a bunch of ameristuff* to do (*sometimes we make puns out of the word “americorps.” we are really funny), the first day of school is next wednesday, and on the 14th, i’m in there for good, back “in the trenches,” as my supervisor calls it (that’s meant as a compliment; it’s not in the trenches as in, “oh my god, you teach remedial reading? aren’t those kids really, like…. difficult?” “difficult” being used strategically to cover up a number of less politically correct terms which are nevertheless implied with all the subtlety of an elbow in the rib cage. it’s in the trenches as in, we’re doing hard work with kids who often get thrown into trenches, so to speak, and not many people want to hang out there with them and do the shit that needs to get done. many, many teachers at the school where i teach enjoy sitting beside the trenches in a lounge chair with a glass of lemonade, gazing up at the sky and pretending the trench isn’t there. okay, i know, enough with the trench.) anyway, in honor of my second year of pfeifferdom, i submit to you my students’ favorite song/video/dance craze/thing to yell at me and each other all day. at least it was three months ago. i’m probably a loser for even remembering it.

p.s. this site got over a thousand hits today. why? because of this picture:


so thank you, nerds and perverts, and whatever unthinkable hybrid lies at their intersection. you’re gonna make me a star.

now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

thank god.

this is one of my favorite things on the internet. i just spent like forty-five minutes looking for it.

tragedy averted.

sometimes, i am political.

now for something completely different. this post contains no references to gregory house or the weasley twins. it’s political, y’all.

1. a shoutout from a most unexpected place! apparently, the anti-atlantic yards website nolandgrab.org is interested in what i had to say about mr. h to the izzo. check it out. um, yeah, that’s me under the huffington post. that’s right, the huffington post.

2. this is an amazon review i wrote of a horrible book called you’re teaching my child what?: a physician exposes the lies of sex ed and how they harm your child that i found at barnes & noble the other day. stupid ideas about sex education and homophobia are two of my buttons, so it seemed pretty worth my time to spend a couple hours on this. hopefully it will end up on amazon, but it might be too long, so thank god it will remain here, at least, for posterity. enjoy.

I found this dangerously popular book prominently displayed on a front table at my local Barnes & Noble and flipped through it– Grossman, a true propagandist, has successfully mastered the art of a sensationalist title that will grab a reader’s attention; I have to give her that. Beyond her New York Post-like ability to scare a reader into listening to what she has to say, there is nothing useful about this expose, an ideological rant by someone who is woefully uninformed.

Grossman advocates abstinence-only education, a methodology which has been proved time and time again to be ineffective. Grossman is too busy lamenting the high frequency of STIs among American youth to take a moment to consider that when young people are simply taught that sex is bad and scary and wrong, and, further, that condoms are ineffective and that there’s no point in learning about safe sex practices or, God forbid, being given access to safe sex resources, they then engage in unsafe sex at much higher rates than if they’re provided with education that promotes good decision-making. The philosophy behind organizations like Planned Parenthood, a name which Grossman throws around as if she were referring to some kind of secret police, is to ensure that young people stay as safe as possible, no matter what choices they make. I agree with Grossman that the high rate of STIs among young people is disturbing– imagine how many of those cases could have been prevented if those young people were made aware of the safe sex options that existed for them, instead of being taught in Grossman’s ideal sex ed classroom, in which such information is shunned in favor of scare tactics, and at the end of the day, educators must simply cross their fingers and hope that no student will ignore the advice and go ahead and have sex anyway, without the condom that they’ve just been informed won’t work. Good thing teenagers don’t tend to be rebellious, so there’s no way that would happen.

But wait, there’s more, and it gets worse. According to Grossman, the sex ed programs in this country are remiss for not informing students that STIs are for more prevalent among homosexuals and other people who engage in sexual “fringe behaviors,” an extremely dubious claim and an overused convenient excuse for blatant homophobia. Grossman chides educators for being opposed to referring “experimenting” students– that is, those questioning their sexuality and beginning to identify as gay, lesbian or queer– to conversion therapists, who work with queer youth to convert them back into heterosexuals. She’s a big fan of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, and recounts her own experiences as a (so-called) educator referring students to NARTH’s website, which, I was happy to read, were met with such outrage “you’d think I had announced my membership in the Nazi party.” It’s bad enough that Grossman is spreading misinformation about the benefits of abstinence-only education, then we learn that she has a homophobic axe to grind, basing her bigotry on ridiculous so-called “scientific” facts about homosexuality, and has sadly not learned what more and more Americans are now growing to understand, that sexuality is not a decision, not something that can be turned off or scared away. It saddens me to think that someone who’s managed to get as far as a medical degree still doesn’t understand this painfully obvious fact.

Lastly, Grossman brings her gift of ignorant rabble-rousing to the subject of transgender issues in a chapter called Genderland, basically a manifesto to the fact that she doesn’t understand anything about the transgendered community, and, like early humans convinced that a solar eclipse signified the apocalypse, chooses to yell and mock and stamp her foot in response to this potentially challenging subject rather than take the time to learn anything about it. Grossman affects a condescending tone, asking her readers, “Did you know that apparently there’s a difference between gender and sexuality? Did you know that if you don’t like the sex you were assigned at birth, you can go ahead and change it? If you’re confused, so am I.” Grossman puts educating students about gender identification on the same level as encouraging them to have unprotected sex, or showing pornographic movies in class. Transgendered youth in America face an uphill battle against bigotry and ignorance, and as long as they continue to be mocked and dismissed by the likes of Miriam Grossman (a “physician”!), this environment of intolerance will continue.

I am angry with Grossman and others who share her views, who continue to insist that homosexuality is wrong and dangerous, that transgenderism is fake or illegitimate or perverse, and that the best way to educate youth is by rapping them across the knuckles and insisting that sex is wrong and knowing about safe sex options is irrelevant. But more than that, I’m appalled by the accolades of the other reader reviews and on the back of Grossman’s book, from grateful parents who are shocked to learn these Orwellian “truths.” I fear for such an easily brainwashed populace. I fear for these parents’ children, and the amount of hatred and misinformation that is apparently, in 2009, still alive and well. I am a firm believer in the first amendment, and in Ms. Grossman’s right to say whatever she wants and to have her opinions heard. I only hope that more people can see this book for what it really is, a glorified pamphlet of ignorant and uninformed ideology.