When the kids in my neighborhood hear the ice cream truck, they go mad. Those darn red, white, and blue Rocket Popsicles must be amazingly delicious to illicit such tantrums and screams from the young ones. I once saw a young boy burst into tears of joy when the good old Lickety Split ice cream truck rounded 9th street. But he might have known something about the truck that I didn't, and his fiending might have been out of his control.
The ice cream man was handing out more than just soft-serve desserts, he was handing out hard-core drugs. Those aren't sprinkles, Junior, that's Oxycodone, the generic form of the highly addictive prescription medicine, Oxycontin.
No, the truck wasn't lacing the kids' treats, that wasn't in the business plan. Although I'd like it to account for the reason the children go nuts when an ice cream truck comes around, it's just not the case.
The Lickety Split ice cream truck was associated with a drug ring of about 30 people who were all conspiring to obtain and sell the "happy pill" to customers in NYC out of the innocent looking, brightly colored, innocuous ice cream truck. They got away with it for a while, and earned over $1 million a year doing the deed. The drug dealers got the pills from a crooked office manager who worked in a surgeon's office. Over time, they distributed over 42,000 pills.
Addicts in the neighborhood would wait in their cars for the kids to clear out, then line up at the truck's window to get their pills for $20 a pop. Apparently, people in the neighborhood said that they knew what was going on, that it was a "poorly kept secret," but didn't speak up. I can understand being nervous about outing a drug ring, but at the same time, I'd be more nervous about kids getting into the drug and my neighborhood being overrun by children addicted to sugar and oxycodone.
Next time I hear that damn bell and see a line of adults outside a Lickety Split ice cream truck in January, I'll know something's up.
Would you speak up if you thought something was awry in your neighborhood?
Photo via Gigi Elmes/Flickr