Monday, January 14, 2013

ice cream man: the adult version


 
mid morning sunday, there was the clang of a bell outside our building, like an old schoolhouse call, or maybe a dinner bell on the ranch, something that sounded like the 1941's best ice cream truck in the world. i ran to the window. NO WAY, i breathed, as a black and white beauty rolled by, emblazoned with words in cursive: Mike's Sharpening.
 
this sent me into a mini frenzy, bouncing between desk and sofa and cat like a pinball. ruggy! i yelled. should i go get my scissors sharpened? ruggy raised his eyebrows. if you put some pants on.
 
a second glance out the window confirmed that mike and his truck were moving on down the road. SCREW IT, i said, grabbed my shears and threw on my floor length down coat.
 
mike had paused halfway down the block, allowing new yorkers to let their curiousity get the best of them. normally rageful traffic paused, and let me dart out into the street with delight. the back of mike's truck was open: well hello, how are you today. HI I'M FINE THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER. mike, to his credit, did not turn the lunatic lady in tony the tiger pajama pants and pink puffy moon boots away. are these worth sharpening? i cut through two metal pins with them... mike eyed them. i eyed his left thumb, which was heavily bandaged to roughly the size of a snowball. i counted this as a good sign. yes dear, these are good scissors. i handed over my bit up ginghers, and, sparks flying, mike restored them to their original brilliance in five minutes. this beauty entertained me as mike and apprentice did their work...
 
 
is she the sweetest or WHAT. now be careful with these, the handle will be hot, mike instructed. i gleefully handed over a fiver, skipped back up the block, and cackled as my ginghers sliced like butter through a leather remnant. the transformation was so good, i ran right back out with my replacement ginghers and an eight inch chef's knife. by this time mike had attracted a little crowd. a doorman from down the block held a pair of orange handled fiskars with great tenderness. neighbors scurried out of buildings with entire butcher's blocks. a jogger struck up a conversation with me. does he come here all the time? she queried hopefully. nope! only like every three months he said! and there's no number on his truck or anything, he doesn't even tweet! i got so excited when i saw him, i ran out here in my PAJAMAS!
 
two minutes into ranting at her i realized i hadn't brushed my teeth yet.
 
 
the fact that anyone would strike up a conversation with a woman wearing frosted flakes, HOLDING AN EIGHT INCH KNIFE, only speaks to the wonderment that mike's truck caused. suddenly hyper aware of my coffee breath, i held in my sigh of relief as mike handed me my wares. now be careful when you're doing dishes, this'll cut ya!
 
is that what happened to his thumb?
 
i've heard of this sort of thing, but never in manhattan. at least not present day manhattan. and i missed out on sharpening my mundial thread clippers! mike, you beautiful man, i'll be waiting for you. and this time my teeth will be brushed.
 

52 comments:

  1. WAAAAA! For a quick moment there, I actually wished I live in NY so I could get my scissors and knives sharpened. That is so awesome!

    Hey, coffee does a great job covering up morning breath. So, I bet you were just fine there. The pj pants, though... oh, dear. :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG! That is totally awesome! See there are definitely some advantages to living in the city vs. living in the burbs!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've seen this before! On the West Side...I think in the Village? Or Chelsea...I wish he came to the Bronx!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You ran out in your jammies with morning breath, but you still took your phone to document the sharpening joy for the blog! Oh, I would love, love it if a van like that came through my neighbourhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know!! in my head, getting pictures was top priority!

      Delete
  5. That is AMAZING! Almost as amazing as those shoes of yours! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awww MAN, I've never seen him in my 'hood! That's freakin' awesome! My friend told me about him-- I guess he goes to Greenpoint, at least...

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh goodness, you are serious about those pajama pants, LOL! You are hilarious.
    I've been wondering about a local sharpening service for my scissors. I can't believe this guy just rolled by your place. So awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember as a kid the knife grinding man coming and us all thinking it was the ice cream man and being disappointed. Funny how things change!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Haha! This is my favorite blog post I've read all month.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's SO awesome!! ...so are your pj's ;) Not to mention, cutest puppy dog ever!!! My heart melts for the blocky heads. What a beauty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i thought of you & my parents specifically when i saw her :)

      Delete
  11. That is so cool! I'm lucky if I get an ice cream man down my street. I get all excited but never chase them down. James usually has something top notch in our freezer. I just watched an episode of Top Chef and they were sharpening their knives crazy fast. Looks like fun!

    ReplyDelete
  12. A FIVER?!? Blimming heck, send Mike down to Australia!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would especially want to talk to the lady with the frosted flake jammies! Mike sounds like a dream!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This made my day. I remember hearing the sharpener man once as a child. ONCE! And never again.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Get. Out. That is so freaking rad. I need Mike round Canberra parts. That's awesome AND a bargain.

    ReplyDelete
  16. AMAZING. Are you sure this isn't some sewing fantasy dream???

    ReplyDelete
  17. whaaaaaaat? oh my scissors could sooooo use that sort of lovin'!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Whattttt.. why does this not happen in Australiaaaa.. gah

    ReplyDelete
  19. I WANT ONE!!! Oh, the great recession, you sometimes bring out the awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Haha you got away with running with scissors! I freakin love those jammiepants.
    What a cool business! I never have sharpened scissors, because The Guy who comes to the haby shop comes only on the first Tuesday of every odd month if he happens to feel like it on the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha! ruggy actually said, as i left the house, "don't run".

      Delete
  21. I laughed out loud reading this. I can totally see you standing in the middle of the road in pj's with a kitchen knife in your hand. Also, I get the pajamas on Sunday thing. Sometimes J and I decide to have a "smelly no-pants Sunday". Yep, that's what we call it. It's not as bad as it sounds. It just means it takes us a veeeerrry long time to actually start our day on a Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. erm, that sounds great. no, really. just remind me no sunday brunch invites at chez jane.

      Delete
  22. This happened during the summer in my neighbourhood, only I had no money on me so I couldn't get anything sharpened. I had never seen a sharpening truck in Niagara Falls all my life until 2012! And heck, I thought that ice cream trucks only existed in the movies until about 5 years ago (imagine my surprise and delight!...not that I can eat dairy anyways...)! Guess I'll have to make sure I have a tenner on me for next summer!

    ReplyDelete
  23. EPIC!! I would have run out in my skivvies and robe to get my Ginghers sharpened because that is just AWESOME.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ha ha you had me cracking up good but for sharpened scissors it would be worth running out in pj's!

    ReplyDelete
  25. How cool is that truck! The lettering on it! The dog! Quite a heart starter the whole thing.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh man if that happened here I would have done the same!! My sister and I always lament that there are no more traveling metalsmiths, but this is the next best thing! I think I'd be embarrassed to run out with my scissors, though...they're the pathetic no-name dollar store kind. I always think I should invest in a real pair of scissors, but somehow I never do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my doorman friend got his beat up fiskars done, mike did not discriminate :))

      Delete
  27. Oooooh!
    That's about as much as she's able to say...

    ReplyDelete
  28. The sharpening man! That's fantastic! And going down the street in your PJs is no big deal - when I was an undergrad a group of us decided to go to the movies in our PJs. And decided to walk the 20 minutes to get there, too.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am so excited! I am a child of the 50s and grew up in a little town over the East River from Manhattan. We had the sharpening truck, the milk and bread and soda trucks, of course, and the produce truck. For some reason, the sharpening truck and the produce truck always seemed like magic to me.

    You know what? With the rise of food trucks, I think the time has come back for sharpening trucks all over....Hmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am heartened to know that these guys still exist! I remember when the knife-sharpening guy with a bicycle and a little trailer used to ride through our neighborhood when I was a kid. I'd be playing outside with my friends and suddenly all these moms would come bursting out of doors, hands full of knives and scissors. They were just as giddy as you!

    ReplyDelete
  31. That is Awesome! And I'm jealous. Plus he saved the life of your Ginghers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. do you think these guys can sharpen pinking shears? I'd love mine to go through the mill... he must have loved your pjs! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i wondered the same thing. how would he do it? he had a whirly thing...

      Delete
  33. All I can say it ONLY IN NEW YORK!!
    What the HELL was that lady doing talking to you while you were holding a big ass knife dressed in this manner?!?! She must be a recent transplant. Or a tough ass native New Yorker, lol

    Next time you're lucky enough to run into this guy, you must use your Oona charm to convince him to tweet his location!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. maybe i'll bring him a little irish cream.

      Delete
  34. It's amazing that these guys still exist, and I love it. We've got a couple in Ottawa too, but only see them in the summer, and usually at the end of the day. But I've done the same thing, when I hear the bell I scramble for all the scissors and knives!! I've had to run down the block to get him!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ha ha! Love this story... I'd be out there with my pjs and my entire kitchen knife set.

    ReplyDelete
  36. We have at least one guy in Toronto during the summer, but I've never been on the ball enough to catch him.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello! How are you ?
    My name is Suzy Anne Linn, and im the seller representative of Manequim Magazine from “Abril Comunicações” in Brazil
    If you are interested to become a subsriber email to abril.subscription.service@gmail.com. I am looking forward to hear from you . Thank you

    Best Regards

    ReplyDelete
  38. OH MY GOODNESS, I mean we have a cutlery store that does sharpening in my neighborhood while you wait BUT they are not the best (scorched tips on the Ginghers :/) and the idea of a truck is just TOO MUCH TO HANDLE. I think it would only work someplace like New York, though . . . ah well.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Like a few other commenters, I have heard the bell in my neighbourhood but never with the time (or money on hand) to catch them. I love your story and I will remember the frosted flakes pants next time I hear the bell and run like the wind with scissors in hand regardless of my choice in clothing.

    ReplyDelete