The City Council of Venice has announced that it has successfully brokered a tentative peace treaty between city residents and Mario Stillo, ice cream vendor.
Residents living in this predominantly senior-aged sleepy little seaside village, seething over what they had deemed as a lack of action by their city leaders, had commandeered the ice cream truck, torched it and kidnapped the driver, threatening to behead him if their demands to ban him from their peaceful streets were not met. Hostage negotiating teams from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Dept. were on scene, trying to free Mr. Stillo or, at least, ensure his safety for the time being.
The Venice residents involved in the violence, all of whom are well over 80 years old, have long objected to the presence of the ice cream truck. Said one geriatic guerilla, wearing WWII battle fatigues and an old Gene Autry bandanna over his face, said, "We didn't want this to happen. We warned Stillo to stay out of our town. We don't eat ice cream, we don't have any kids who eat ice cream, we don't want to attract any kids who might eat ice cream and we hate that goddamn music he plays, over and over and over. Even with our hearing aids turned off, once it gets in your head, it just won't stop."
In an emergency meeting of the city council, new guidelines were drawn up and hastily enacted into law to assuage the residents holding Mr. Stillo, who threatened to "descend upon downtown in a stampede of golf carts and late-model Buicks and wreak havoc, the likes of which this town has never seen," according to a written statement from the kidnappers.
The new rules for Mr. Stillo's ice cream truck include:
- Sales hours to be terminated no later than 7:30 PM. Residents have returned home from the early-bird specials, Wheel of Fortune is over and it is bedtime for all decent folk.
- Ice cream truck to be painted an approved shade of beige, instead of its current garish Neopolitan red, white and brown, so as to not attract as much attention.
- Vendor will offer only stewed prunes, stewed tomatoes, stewed green beans, stewed okra and one other 'stewed' weekly special.
- Ice cream is to be limited to small cones of sugar-free vanilla only.
- Music played by vendor to be limited to approved playlist consisting only of artists Lawrence Welk (with the exception of polkas, which are deemed to be too 'snappy') and Montovani.
- Absolutely NO sales to minors under the age of 40, unless accompanied by an 'adult' over 75.
Residents of Venice ask, "Would you want this sordid scene to be played out in your neighborhood?"