Our neighborhood is fairly mundane. Small, single-family homes with small, single-family yards. However, the houses on average probably hold five kids. We have one. More than a few have none. The others are making up for it. When the school bus stops here in the morning, the spawn of this neighborhood (a single street, and not terribly long) take up about 2/3s of that bus.
Into this copious abundance of children are drawn a particular creature: the mobile ice cream truck. I used to think that ice cream trucks were nice, probably because they weren't around where I grew up. What's not to like about someone driving at pedestrian speed past your house, delivering creamy, iced treats without a mercenary markup? I'll tell you what: these dudes are vicious. Territorial as lions and vicious as sharks.
The first truck I noticed was blue, and playing an instrumental version of Under the Sea (from Disney's The Little Mermaid) in eardrum-splitting range. He had sole reign of the neighborhood our first year in the house. The next year, two more trucks showed up - a white one and a red one - speeding into the neighborhood to avoid detection, then slowing and blaring their own music. One was a festive rendition of a Mexican folk song, the other a kind of jazzed-up march. I rather liked the second. They'd creep about, until the blue truck arrived, and which point they would speed away.
The incursions went on for the better part of the summer, after which there was a lull. No ice cream trucks, no music heralding their arrival. After about a week, the blue and the red ones returned. It's been two years, and they still patrol the streets daily, though never at the same time.
Based on the rudimentary evidence at hand, and a certain street smarts I've cultivated over the years, I believe that the blue truck called a meeting under the guise of developing a schedule within which all parties would be allocated territories and time slots. And then he attacked. White truck obviously didn't make it, but red and blue struck a deal. If red would help hide the body, blue would allow it some market share. I never saw anything in the paper to support this, but it's clear something happened.
I wonder sometimes if white truck left someone behind, a widow with a lantern burning in her window, waiting for her brave but ultimately very gullible spouse to return.