Michaels: Silent ice cream trucks scream ‘no fun’

In the battle between West Kelowna and Dickie Dee, whose side are you on?

In the battle between West Kelowna and Dickie Dee, whose side are you on?

Should ice cream trucks be able to troll for kiddies blaring the tinny tunes they’ve done for generations, or is the district right in introducing a bylaw that would put noise purveyors on mute?

It’s been a long time since the Pied Pipers of ice-cream triggered my reflex to grab all the change in sight and bolt out the door, but even a vague memory of the instinct is pleasantly cued when they roll down my street today.

So, I’m obviously on the side of Dickie Dee.

Clearly I wasn’t involved in the consultation process on the  West Kelowna Mobile Vending Policy that snuffs out any form of music or voice amplifying devices on food wagons and ice cream trucks.

But if I had been, I’d point out no number of complaints called in to the district against the sounds of childhood bliss should be given credence.

Since the dawn of time there have been curmudgeons who kick in their two cents when it’s not needed, and there’s only one cure for that problem— a blank stare.Bylaws catering to potential intolerance are a  bit over-reactionary.

I’d also dismiss the idea of precedent. It doesn’t matter  that many other cities have no-fun policies banning music playing from trucks, as has been pointed out in the days since the bylaw was introduced.

Paraphrasing the words of some family member: if other cities told you to write a policy to jump off a bridge, would you?

That said, if there’s a real desire to muffle jaunty jingles then perhaps there could just be some limitations.

When New York’s mayor tried to kill the sounds of ice cream sales—to a huge public uproar—he won one battle before he lost the war.

New York City’s ice cream trucks were green-lighted to play sprightly songs while rolling through neighbourhoods, but the trade off is they now have to submit to silence as soon as the truck stops moving.

That kind of sensible policy could curtail potential annoyance while still leaving the growing city some joie de vivre.

After all, West Kelowna is a maturing city,  that doesn’t even have a defining slogan yet. If they pass the bylaw at the June 12 meeting, though, I’d  have a suggestion.

“Shh, you’re in West Kelowna.”

That sets the right tone, doesn’t it?