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Re: The Good Humor Man

Posted by R. Berg on March 22, 2004

In Reply to: Re: The Good Humor Man posted by Henry on March 22, 2004

: : I would like to know what kind of person he is?
: : Someone who contribute to the community? or is it a title that you get for doing things for your community?

: : In my context it is said ironically:

: : "A few minutes later, we meet Meter Cheater #2. AKA "The Good Humor Man." He not only pumps up his own meter, but he takes care of his friend's as well".

: : Thank you very much

: You can stay at a parking meter for a limited time only, after which you must move. This makes room for someone else. Long term parking for commuters is more expensive. This man feeds the meters when time is running out, extending his stay and his friend's beyond the permitted time. That is why he is a Meter Cheater, but his friend looks upon his activities with approval. I'm not sure that this alone gives him the title of The Good Humor Man. He is really acting selfishly rather than in the interests of the community. However, your view of him will depend on your own position.

The term has a commercial origin. The original "Good Humor men" were vendors of ice-cream bars for the Good Humor company (U.S.). Further explanation is at the site linked below, near the end of the page.

In the passage about meter cheaters, the meaning has been extended. For an audience who won't know about Good Humor men, you'd have to find a term that means "someone who does little things to make people feel good."