Summer has officially started, and as we get ready to shamelessly envelop ourselves in copious amounts of citrusy booze and BBQ, we are once again met with that most quintessential of summertime practices: Assholes attempting to capitalize on or promote mass hysteria with baseless stories of child abductions.
Sadly, it seems like this time around the agitators are using innocent, goodly ice cream as their medium for unfounded distress, and there's no way in hell we're going to stand by and let anybody besmirch that nectar of the gods that is ice cream, especially if the story is a hoax.
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As the fact-checking site Snopes reports, Facebook pages like Stylish Guru and Trending Styles recently began to circulate a story titled: "Terrifying Warning For All Mothers Of Girls This Summer!" The article, written by one Sarah Firth, was published earlier this month on a website called Momma Buzz, which seems to focus on Internet rumors centering on motherhood.
The article starts by saying that there are, "recent reports of ice-cream trucks putting Chloroform inside in (sic) the ice-cream in USA," It goes on to baselessly claim that there have been multiple cases recently of ice cream truck drivers attempting to kidnap children.
Then, the article really goes into shocking detail:
"By using it in ice-cream [the chloroform] works 10 times faster and the girl is subject to being injured very badly due to falling and hitting her head. The ice-cream trucks that were reported to the police were said to have the writing "Mr Ice Cream Man" and another reported was "Mr Softy".
Despite making such damning claims, the article doesn't actually cite a single police report or news article and provides not even one detail as to where, when, and who were involved in these "daily" abduction attempts. Oddly enough, the author also claims that the ice cream trucks are singularly targeting girls, despite claiming that the perpetrators are lacing all of their ice-cream wares with chloroform.
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Snopes went into investigative mode and tried to find any evidence backing up the shocking claims. All they could unearth was one incident in Kansas City in April of this year, when a four-year-old was allegedly offered free ice cream by a woman in an ice cream truck. The Kansas City police looked into the matter, cited the truck owners for lacking a business license and seatbelt violations, but declined to press any further charges. Snopes says, "The police department representative described the female suspect as 'affectionate,' but neither dangerous nor suspected of being a potential kidnapper."
Bottom line? It's a hoax, folks.
Ice cream truck operators—and ice cream itself—have come off as being faultless.
Going forward, all we can ask is this: Won't somebody please think of the ice cream?