Friday, May 21, 2010

Sundae Bloody Sundae: An Insider's Look at Selling Ice Cream

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Last summer, I worked as a bicycle ice cream salesman. A friend and I took turns purchasing orange cream bars, fudgicles and giant swirl pops in bulk from Winco, loading them into the back of the pink cargo tricycle we'd scored at a pawn shop and retrofitted, then riding a loop of Portland city parks barking out lewd carny-style sales pitches to the Frisbee-playing masses. We even rode our trike, "The Sundae Rider," in Portland's World Naked Bike Ride, tossing out Popsicles, a move several customers later recognized us from.

Within two weeks, our fledgling enterprise ended up embroiled in turf wars with rival companies, people's bizarre dietary and child-rearing methods and legal challenges from local park rangers. It was by far the strangest job I've ever held and probably the closest I'll ever get to helming my own pirate ship. The collected experiences became the inspiration for a mockumentary shot with a group of filmmakers fresh off the completion of Coraline.

But today, just in time for the final day of Boise Bike Week, the completed film finally arrived in my e-mail.

It's about bikes, ice cream and total weirdos, which rank right up there with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens as a few of my favorite things. If you ever wondered what it's like to be a rogue ice cream man, it's a fairly accurate representation. Enjoy.

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