1. I think they’re ice cream cones, not traffic cones. Notice the waffle patterns on the cones, and the melted ice cream under each one.

  2. It’s a pied-piper effect. The music makes the cones come along with the truck. (but yes, because ice-cream trucks sell ice-cream cones, and traffic cones are also cones.)

  3. Absurdist humor (or shall I say “Good Humor”?):
    If your work truck is an ice cream truck then your work cones will be ice cream cones.

  4. The speakers atop the truck are also cones. He couldn’t stop drawing cones!

    Swazoo may be right, considering the waffle pattern. But they do have the orange color we associate with genuine traffic cones.

  5. The intent of the comic seems to be that an ice cream truck could be “protected” by melting ice cream cones instead of traffic cones. But the “SLOW WORK ZONE” sign just confuses the joke.

  6. “Because… the ice cream truck sells cones and there are traffic cones in the street??”

    I…. guess so.

    “I think they’re ice cream cones, not traffic cones. Notice the waffle patterns on the cones, and the melted ice cream under each one.”

    I….. guess so.

    “If your work truck is an ice cream truck then your work cones will be ice cream cones.”

    I…. guess so.

  7. Mitch4, when I was very young, I did read “slow” as a modifier for “children” in those signs. I’m not sure how I became aware of the intended meaning.

  8. I like James Pollock’s take on it. I have noticed that there is certainly a pied piper effect on the children on my block

  9. In my old neighborhood, the summoning music would echo and carry, so you might hear the ice cream truck that never gets within a half-mile of you. So the kids didn’t pay much attention to it. Then again, we were only blocks away from a 7-11, so the kids who wanted overpriced ice-cream would just head over there.

  10. Send in the cones…

    Either the cones in the comic are extra-large, or the ice cream truck is extra-small.

  11. @ Arthur and Mitch4 – only last weekend I passed by a farm shop with a sign outside that read


    which I naturally read as being dog food that actually worked (for a change/ amirite?/ etc). Only after a moment’s thought did I realise it meant food for working dogs (I was in Wales, where they have a lot of sheep and associated sheep dogs and suchlike).

  12. The ice cream theme made me think of the old joke about cruel parents telling their kids that ice cream vans only put the jingly music on when they have sold out.

    But also of this classic Morecambe and Wise line from one of their mid-70s sketches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myptvBfapls – only 14 secs long.

  13. It’s pretty clear that everyone knows what this comic was trying to show, it’s just that the execution was defective:
    1) The colors were very sloppily done (but this might be the syndicate’s fault, not the cartoonist’s). It would have helped to use a color closer to graham cracker brown for the cones, and the melted goop surrounding each cone should have had a separate color, too, instead of just the black scribbles (the little spots were probably intended to be “sprinkles”) .
    2) The cone in the lower left corner is slumped over, as if it were melting. Ice cream melts, cones do not. Straightening that cone would have helped a lot.
    3) The warning sign has no visible means of support.

  14. One of the (many) benefits of living in the particular subdivision I chose two years ago is that we haven’t heard the #$%^&*() ice cream truck jingle (last I heard, it was Scott Joplin’s ‘Solace’ [a/k/a the theme from The Sting]) for over two years now. I suppose there aren’t enough kids here to make it worth the company’s time and gas.

  15. “It’s pretty clear that everyone knows what this comic was trying to show, . . .”

    Count me out . . . it’s still a CIDU for me.

  16. Andréa, you’re very lucky. All summer, every summer, I get ice cream trucks, ice cream carts, churro carts, ad nauseum. 3-4 times a day, So loud you can hear it coming three blocks away.

    I love my town and my block, but I could do without that.

  17. Kilby, I kind of agree that we know what it’s trying to show. The question we have is “What’s the joke?”

  18. I’d have to move . . . I have misophonia and would go crazy . . . or if nothing else, be in a REALLY BAD MOOD much of the time, as we spend about 95% of our non-sleeping time outside:

    “Misophonia is a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses that some might perceive as unreasonable given the circumstance. Those who have misophonia might describe it as when a sound “drives you crazy.” Their reactions can range from anger and annoyance to panic and the need to flee.”

    Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, edgers, weed whackers, garbage trucks are a necessary evil; ice cream trucks, etc., are not. (Hubby doesn’t hear all sounds, so he has no idea why they bother me so much. And no, earplugs are NOT the answer – I want to hear the birds and savor the silence.)

  19. Chak: You might want to check into county/city rules about noise levels and the frequency of their visits to any neighborhood. I know that in the city in WI where I lived, there were certain restrictions, esp. on the level of the noise.

  20. Andréa, when some of the trucks come around, they don’t bother me. But I I always whistle to myself when Mr. Softee comes around to make sure I don’t catch an earworm. Fortunately, they’re all just passing through and don’t actually make any stops nearby.

  21. @ Arthur – All it is (and all it ever was) is simply “an ice cream truck marks off its working territory with ice cream cones”. This is not a big laughing matter, but a chuckle (or just a smile) is all many (if not most) comics ever get. That’s why CIDU has a separate category tag for “LOL”.

  22. Kilby, you might be right. It might have worked for me without the “slow work zone” sign and if the truck had been at a curb. Sometimes added details make it difficult to spot simple jokes.

  23. The one around here used to play “Turkey in the Straw”. Now, I’m not sure it’s a recognizable tune or at least not one I recognize.

  24. The “Good Humor” truck in my neighborhood didn’t play music: it had a set of four bells above the windshield and a classic design. I really missed it when it finally disappeared. The replacement that followed it the next year was an ugly panel truck that sold inferior ice cream and a lot of other stuff (candy, etc.) I don’t remember what kind of noise it made to attract its victims, but it was obviously not as distinctive (or memorable) as the “Good Humor” bells.

  25. One thing several neighborhoods had was . . . peacocks. Noisy, filthy peacocks. One of the houses I planned to look at had two of them on the porch, ‘guarding’ the front door. Soon as I saw that, I nixed the house, no matter how nice or how good the price!

  26. “The other popular tune is Pop Goes the Weasel.”

    Along with “Turkey in the Straw”, other popular tunes for ice cream trucks are “Twinkle, Twinkle” and “The Entertainer”. I once, but only once, heard one playing “fur Elise” (apologies to the resident Germans for not punctuating that one correctly).

    As annoying as the ice-cream-truck music might be when one does not wish to purchase overpriced ice cream, it’s still better than the boom-car drivers who think everyone wants to listen to the same music they do. I actually like heavy metal, but I have hearing damage from working on the flight line and no longer turn the volume knob to “11”.

  27. Andréa,
    I did check noise regulations some years ago, and found only regs pertaining to car stereos. I have managed to limit the noise somewhat by going out to the truck, complaining about the noise, and demanding to see their vending licenses. They never showed me any licenses, but after that they either didn’t come down my block (a dead-end street) or they turned the music WAY down.

    It was a pleasant summer. 🙂

    Now I don’t really even hear it, unless I’m trying to talk on the phone and can’t hear what the other person is saying.

    My friend Marilee who lives in North Dakota was shocked to find they came so often. Where she lives in nowheresville, an ice cream truck is a once-a-month-if-that kind of treat.

  28. Oddly, “The Entertainer” was not a particularly popular piece until the 1970’s when it was used as the theme music for “The Sting”. It was one of dozens of Scott Joplin rags, and the Maple Leaf Rag was the one big hit.

    As for “Für Elise,” that piece had absolutely zero popularity during Beethoven’s lifetime. He composed it directly into his girlfriend’s autograph album, and it wasn’t published or publicly performed until after both of their deaths.

    I wonder if Beethoven ever ate ice cream?

  29. ” wonder if Beethoven ever ate ice cream?”

    I don’t know, but what else is there to do with it?

  30. When I was a kid the Good Humor truck would come by (as mentioned – bells no music) and I would run into the house and ask to buy something. Sometimes yes – generally “We have ice cream in the freezer if you want ice cream, I’ll get you one.” Either mom did not understand the idea of buying the ice cream from the truck or she did and did not want to spend the extra money as the freezer ice cream was cheaper. Although – using my own money did not change the answer.

    Robert and I were talking recently about ice cream trucks. He insists that when he was a boy the Carvel store up the road from us (he lived in the same general area with his parents) had an ice cream truck and even had their brown bonnets available. (For those who might not know – Carvel is a softserve ice cream chain. They also make ice cakes and specialty items and in the last several decades also have scooped ice cream. This would be about the only one that had a truck – it was/is not common. A brown bonnet is a cone whose vanilla ice cream has been dipped in a hot chocolate coating that solidifies when it hits the cold, soft vanilla ice cream. After a while they had a strawberry bonnet also – strawberry coating over ditto. )

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