The Ice Man

Submitted by IN SEINE

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

During the summers in the early 1940's, my uncle Harry, a young man working his way through college, was working as an ice man and drove an ice truck up and down the streets and alleys on the north side Chicago looking for the "ice cards" hung on the screen doors and windows of the residents who wished to purchase ice for their ice boxes.

The cards usually had 3 settings; 25 lbs, 50 lbs and 100 lbs. It was a poor time, the country just coming out of the depression and facing the start of WWII.

There were two spinster sisters that lived alone on the second floor of a frame wooden house on our block and they sometimes would display their ice card in the window for 25 lbs.

My uncle, knew they could never scrape together the money to pay their bill but he always stopped and took all the broken ice pieces off his truck and carried it up to their place and packed it in their small wooden ice box.

One day, towards the end of summer, after he had packed their box one of the sisters, the younger one, stepped out on the back porch and asked to speak to him. She seemed a bit shy and seemed flushed in embarrassment,

"Young man my sister and I know you have helped us this summer with the ice, even when knowing we could not pay. We've read in books recently that sometimes women offer their bodies for sex in exchange for favors. Well since we have not been able to raise any money we decided to do that for you and since I am the youngest I am offering myself."

Well my uncle always claimed that he tried to convince her that it wasn't necessary, but knowing him, that's highly doubtful, but he said after she insisted, he finally gave in and said, "Okay" and then they supposedly went at it with youthful fervor.

Afterwards, he thanked the woman and dressed, took out his receipt book and wrote "PAID IN FULL" and handed it to the sister.

The women looked at the bill for only a second and blurted out, "Now, look here, young man, we got that ice a little piece at a time and we damn well intend paying for it the same way!"


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