One of the ways I try to justify my existence during this time of recovery, during which I can’t even apply for a job, is to try to make my sister’s life a bit easier by chauffeuring my niece Kristen to and from the pool, to piano lessons, to the tennis court and other places a privileged kid gets to go. I just returned from one of those excursions a few minutes ago, and had to smile. In the upscale neighborhood through which we drive to get to the pool, there was a little girl, about 8 or 9 years old, engaged in that great American tradition of young entrepreneurs: She was running a lemonade stand. She was being pro-active about it too: waving and smiling and trying to attract customers. Now that I think about it, I should have stopped.
Anyway, it made me think that maybe she got her inspiration from the success of Suzy’s Lemonade, as chronicled in this Verizon commercial:
And I thought back to the very few times that my sister and I awoke with that entrepreneurial spirit, waaa-a-a-a-a-a-y back then, and decided to have us a Kool-Aid Stand. Not sure why it was always Kool-Aid in the 60s, but it was. Now, we weren’t exactly the sharpest marketers in the world, and the fact that we lived on a street in Newington, Connecticut, which received very little traffic of any kind did not deter us. And our parents did not allow us to put up signs directing auto traffic off Main Street to our little stand.
So our main customers (in fact, I think, our only customers) were our grandparents, who were visiting at the time. Now that I think about it, I don’t imagine that they were nearly as thirsty for Grape Kool-Aid as they claimed to be. And as adult, I don’t know how they choked down more than a couple of Dixie Cups full of the stuff. I’m not sure I could. But they kept us in business for the full hour and a half history of the company, before we lost interest completely and went inside to watch cartoons.
Anyway, I hope High Point, NC doesn’t have The Lemonade Cops, like they do in Montgomery County, MD. As I wrote here a month ago, kids there who have the temerity to buck the system and operate a lemonade stand without a permit learn a thing or two about how crime does not pay!
There’s nothing more satisfying to a dedicated bureaucrat than crushing the spirit of a kid who has the nerve to think he or she can make some walking-around money by setting up an unlicensed lemonade stand. Unless, of course, it’s crushing the spirit of a practically-minded adult who wants to grow a vegetable garden in his or her front yard. Take a look at Reason TV’s Nanny Of The Month: