Study Finds Ice Cream Trucks Leading Cause of Insanity

London, August 29, 2009 -- Ice cream trucks, the ubiquitous roaming purveyors of frozen dessert products that infest suburban neighbourhoods around the world, announcing their arrival using strident, uniformly irritating off-pitch melodies, have been found in a recent study to be a leading international cause of insanity.

The study, which was financed by the United Nations Bonkers Project and conducted by Bedbug Consulting, PLC of London, is based on the results of interviews with over 6,000 current and formerly insane individuals and their physicians cross-plotted with regional tracking data of ice cream truck densities, irritating ditty volumes, and appearance frequencies.

"There's a definite and distinct correlation," said Dr. Elmer Fedgeslicker, a psychiatrist and lead consultant in the study. "Individuals who live within 300 feet of high ice cream truck density/volume regions were statistically four times more likely to have their reason spontaneously unseated than the national averages. This applied in all eleven countries we studied, with little regional variation."

Ice cream trucks are a growing international phenomenon and, according to Dr. Fedgeslicker, a growing international health menace.

"Avian flu, by comparison, is just a sniffle," he said. "These things have to be stopped before an entire generation is lost to sound-induced paranoid schizophrenia."

The gamut of these suburban hazards ranges from the trucks of the familiar Good Humor Man, Baskin Robbins 31 Flavor-mobile and the Häagen-Dazs Gourmet Valet of the United States; to the Glassäckel and FrusenSkit trucks of Sweden; to the Lauter Hauslieferungträger der Eiscreme of Germany and Austria.

While differing in brand, location, and content, the trucks all share a uniformly abysmal quality of "home-delivered" ice cream and the distinguishing characteristic of playing short, highly annoying melodies at a volume slightly exceeding that of a jet engine, repeating said melodies at least 40 times per minute for hours on end.

"In a typical, highly-developed suburban area," said Dr. Fedgeslicker, "a typical suburban homeowner will hear the melody of these ice cream trucks up to 22,000 times in a single afternoon as they drive slowly up and down every little street, alley and cul-de-sac in the neighborhood playing their insidious tunes at high volume and looking for addled consumers to which to hawk their wares. For many, particularly those homeowners who are morally disinclined to ice cream truck driver homicide, full-fledged insanity is the only escape."

In a sister study conducted concurrently, researchers were able to induce a state of "psychotic depression or catatonia" in mice in less than three days simply by playing the ice cream trucks' melodies.

"It's a bit like the fabled Chinese water torture," said Dr. Albert Swirl, who conducted the mouse study. "You play the melody for a half hour or so, then stop. The mouse thinks the coast is clear, and, after a ten to fifteen minute period of wariness during which the mouse is inactive, begins to go about its business. Then the music starts up again. You can practically see the little creature's neurons fusing."

Ice cream companies in many of the countries studied appear to have acquired a form of regulated immunity to local noise ordinances, thus allowing them to persist with their schedules of insanity-inducing noise pollution without fear of intervention by local authorities. Some outraged citizens assert that the companies have achieved this through the outright bribery of local public officials, a claim local officials stoutly protest.

"Utter nonsense," said René Double-Ècrou, the portly Vice-Mayor of Aulnay-Sous-Bois, France. "Would you like a little macadamia nut swirl? Because my freezer really cannot contain all this stuff."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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