Brentwood, 12.15pm: 9°C, broken clouds

Ice Cream is off the menu!

We heard today why authorities in New York have seized no less than 46 ice cream trucks that owe over £3.5m in fines for allegedly violating numerous traffic laws such as running red lights, parking next to fire hydrants and blocking pedestrian crossings.

Between 2009 and 2017 the vans accrued 22,000 tickets, but the owner Dimitrios Tsirkos avoided paying any fines by creating dozens of “shell” companies.

When authorities tried to seize the vehicles for nonpayment, he would simply dissolve the business and re-register the vehicles under the names of newly formed companies.

Each of the 46 vehicles seized owe at least £7880 in tickets but apparently more than 90 vehicles have unpaid summonses against them.

In addition Mr Tsikos has been involved in a long-running dispute with the MISTER SOFTEE ice cream company after he launched a rival service under the name MASTER SOFTEE using a near identical logo.

Although the courts ruled against Mr Tsikos, the rival businesses have been engaged in a mafia style turf war with drivers using all manner of intimidation to get the most lucrative areas of THE BIG APPLE.

Meanwhile on this side of the pond a Spanish Council in the town of Estepona on the Costa Del Sol has come up with a novel idea to save people a 10 minute walk between 2 streets, well at least in one direction. 

At a cost of £24000, they’ve installed a 125ft slide.

Videos posted on social media showed people hurtling down the steel chute and flying off the other end. One woman posted pictures of the grazes she suffered to her elbows but mercifully kept pictures of the injuries suffered to her bottom to herself.

Some expressed concern that drunken holidaymakers could seriously injure, or even kill  themselves.

Council officials claimed that more than 1000 people had used the installation safely and added that users had been given instructions on how to use the slide properly and that they should sit, rather than lie down, keep their arms inside the chute and ride one at a time.

Presumably health and safety regulations are not as strict in that part of Spain, however fresh safety checks are now being made.

Meanwhile some locals have claimed that the device, intended to form part of a new green space in the town, is nothing more than a “vanity project” for the mayor. 

Well I never!

See you once more tomorrow,

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