Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Selma "Sound" Bite, by Bill Rayburn

Another story from fellow writer, Bill Rayburn:

There’s an ice cream truck that cruises the streets out here on the edge of town, where homes are usually 500 feet apart, and the oppressive heat often keeps children indoors. Nonetheless, this proprietor continues on his daily rounds, unrelentingly playing the same tinkling, and twinkling treacly-sounding tune from the worn and crackly speakers of his step van: Home on the Range.

Not to be outdone by the audible incongruousness of the song, the driver also happens to be a Sikh from the Punjab region of South Asia. The dude be a looooong way from home.

He sports a full beard and an even more effusive turban. This approach is both hilarious and shocking. Selma is not known for its particularly evolved mindset on religion, or on Arabs, for that matter.

Yet this soft spoken, kind gentleman, to the background meanderings of the state song of Kansas, goes about his daily route, dispensing ice cold treats to a grateful audience, equally comprised of children and adults.

He’d always avoided our ½ mile long stretch of street, until recently. I was sitting in the sun and heard him coming. I got up and wandered out onto the two lane blacktop, usually devoid of traffic for long stretches at a time.

He stopped and looked at me quizzically. I waved and walked up to his window on the driver’s side.

I asked him one question: “Have you ever been to Kansas?”

He thought about it, and then in perfect English said, “I don’t do red states,” and shoved the long thin silver steel gear shift back into first and rumbled off.

I returned to my chair and laughed for ten minutes straight.

Who says truth isn’t stranger than fiction.


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