When I was a little kid, my cousin and I set up a produce stand in front of my grandparents’ house. Splayed out on an uneven card table, we offered a variety of bruised, battered, and misshapen produce. From an oblong cantaloupe to a nicked-up watermelon, our “stand” carried the bounty of my grandfather’s patch of land, located somewhere on the Island of Misfit Fruit. My grandmother bought the cantaloupe, the watermelon ended up being thrown at my head, and we closed up shop after two hours of intense dumbf**kery.
I tell you this because my own experience suggests that (a) children are neither cute nor intelligent and (b) kids’ efforts to make money selling stuff are always doomed to failure. And so it was that a band of towheaded tykes got jacked by county officials when they attempted to sell lemonade and other beverages outside the Congressional Country Club golf course, site of this year’s U.S. Open. The kids were fined $500 by the Montgomery County Department of Permitting, for operating without a license.
Let’s go to the tape….
A couple things about this video. First, children are terrible. Second, parents are worse.
On top of mugging for every camera in a vain attempt to be cast in the next iteration of The Real Housewives of D.C., the women hyperventilated to every news outlet they could find. One story about the incident quotes an angry mother as saying, “What happened to the entrepreneurial spirit of this country? This is the American dream.”
Communism, mostly. Communism happened. As far as children selling lemonade being the American dream… nope. The American dream has something to do with nasty sex, millions of dollars, and no repercussions. Children selling lemonade is merely some Norman Rockwell horses**t that makes little to no sense. [FN1]
Por ejemplo, why lemonade? Who decided that lemonade would be the iconic beverage of choice for little grifters to peddle? I don’t hate lemonade, but I can think of 37 different beverages I’d rather pound in the heat. I’d have more sympathy for these kids if they had expanded their liquid horizons and set up a horchata stand. Because horchata is delicious.
Now, before you get the vapors over my cynicism, know that everything worked out okay for Blondie et al. The county ended up rescinding the fine and merely asked that the children move their lemonade stand down the road. Also, the kids ended up forgoing any profits and planned (at least as long as the nattering nabobs were around) to give all proceeds to charity. Rory McIlroy destroyed the course at Congressional, people walking to the venue got to buy bottled cliches from a “stand,” and not a single child was forced to go Galt.
[FN1] I, perhaps, gave short shrift to the cultural importance of lemonade stands. According to this article, they have a long and proud history dating back to the 1870s. They were, like, the thing back then. Also, I did play Lemonade Stand on my Apple II as a kid. That game taught me that rain sucked and my parents should buy a better computer. I should be compiling a privilege log today, but I think I’ll edit the Wikipedia entry on lemonade stands instead. #thuglife