Did you know that it was a young Maggie Thatcher, in her first job as a research chemist, who discovered how to infuse perfectly good ‘proper’ ice-cream with air and thus double the quantities and the profit? I didn’t either – now there’s a metaphor for politicians.
Mr Whippy was born and has blessed our suburban streets ever since with his ear splitting rendition of Greensleeves and his ’99s’ that haven’t cost 99p for as long as any of us can remember. There are exceptional profits to be made in blackmailing us into buying fresh air surrounded by iced water and a soupçon of milk powder, and the business has long attracted a hard line gangster element. Back in the 80s the Glasgow Ice Cream wars erupted, leaving several dead, as rival gangs, who by then were supplementing their already swollen profits by flogging drugs as well, fought for exclusive control of ‘their’ area.
Campbell fought Doyle fought Steele – the names are redolent of Glasgow’s famous criminal families. A measure of how important it was that the ice cream van arrived selling ‘something’ is the above photograph, captured by The Sun, as the Ice Van Cometh in Coatsbridge, even in the frozen depth of the worst winter in living memory…
Eventually 2 members of the gang went a wafer a very long time – but were released after serving 20 years on the grounds of an unsafe conviction. (Did they get compensation, anybody know?)
On Saturday, the Ice Cream wars broke out again. Mr Whippy and Mr Yummy fought hand to hand in front of the children. Mr Yummy smashed Mr Whippy’s van window. Mr Whippy retaliated by ramming his van into the back of Mr Yummy’s. The children scattered. Mr Yummy was wielding an iron bar! ‘D’ya want a head-butt with that’?
Mr Yummy turns out to be Zeheer Ramzan in real life, and Mr Whippy is Mohammed Mulla, that really is a sign of the chimes…..
Fortunately, the Father of one of the watching children whipped out his mobile phone and filmed the incident. We are indebted to Mobeen Quizam.
Argggh, modern Britain.