Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Lemonade Stand…In The Twilight Zone

Sunday afternoon I was walking Quimby. It was blazing hot and he’d already done his bizness, so I turned a block early to get back to the house quickly. As soon as I started down the sidewalk, I realized my error. Halfway between the street I just turned off of and the next one I could turn on to was a lemonade stand. Right smack in the MIDDLE of the sidewalk. Totally unavoidable. So if I turned and went back the other way, I’d be an asshole. And if I crossed the street to avoid them, I’d be an asshole. I was trapped. Little bastards. It was brilliant.

So I kept walking. But I was optimistic. I hadn’t brought my wallet…I bet I didn’t have any money. YES, no money! I could walk on by with the same shrug of the shoulders and sorry expression I reserve for obviously able-bodied gutter punks pan handling downtown. It would be perfect. But then I remembered…we’d gone to the store earlier and I hadn’t brought a wallet then. I’d just shoved the cash in my back pocket. And I’d gotten change…including quarters. Shit. Cornered again. I’m a shitty liar…if I tried to pass with the wad of change bulging in my back pocket, they’d know. They’d know and they’d judge. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to be judged by some dirty little upper-middle-classed ankle biters.

As I approached the children (2 boys and a girl) stopped playing school or house or whatever, and ran up to me.

Blond Boy: Come see our commercial!
Little Girl: Yes, come see it! It’s called ‘Why dogs love lemonade’
Brunette Boy: Ok, I’m going to be the dog!

So Quimby (who is deliriously excited by the energy just oozing from these little figures) and I stop to watch the commercial.

Little Girl: This dog is so angry!
Brunette Boy: *BARKS madly on all fours in the grass*
Blond Boy: Quick! Give him some lemonade!
Little Girl: Here doggy! Here’s some lemonade!
(pretends to give him a cup)
Brunette Boy: *crazy BARKS turn to happy YIPS*
Little Girl: Good boy!
(pets Brunette Boy’s little brunette head)

Then the stopped and took a bow. With a leash in one and a bag of crap in the other I couldn’t really clap. Now I HAD to buy some lemonade.

So, as I tried to dig into my back pocket with my right hand for a quarter while keeping the bag of pooh aloft with my left and controlling the giant chocolate lab with the leash handle between my knees, I attempted to make conversation with the children as they stared at me expectantly.

Me: Have you made a lot of money?
Little Girl: Not very much today, but we have $29 from the other day.
Me: Wow, that’s a lot of money. What are you guys going to buy with your wad of cash?
Little Girl: Um, we’re going to buy a “Slow Down, Kids Playing” sign for the street, since there are a lot of kids that play on this street.
Me (shocked): Really? Well, I suppose that’s a good way to spend money…
Little Girl: And anything extra we get is going to be donated for Children’s Cancer.
Me (dis-fucking-belief): Wow. Well that’s nice of you.

Blah blah blah, she hands me the lemonade and I get the hell out of there.

What the CRAP is that? A street sign and a donation to cancer research? What the hell has happened to children? Where are the little selfish bastards of my youth? When I had a lemonade stand, I was going to use the money for TOYS. What kind of Children of the Corn are people breeding nowadays? I’ll not stand for it! Worries about signs and cancer research are part of the burden of being adult. In exchange, we’re allowed to vote and go to bars. Kids shouldn’t have to be dealing with this shit. They should be saving up for trampolines and Polly Pockets. It’s just wrong.

I’m never going down that block again. I’ll stick to the block before it. The block that already has a “Slow Down, Kids Playing” sign. The whole bizness made me uneasy. I was creeped out the entire day. The lemonade was good, though.

22 keep(s) me blogging:

Gorilla Bananas said...

No respect for the values of the older generation. W C Fields would have spiked the lemonade pitcher with whiskey. The little bastards can never hold their liquor.

Kara said...

They really can't...because it doesn't belong to them...it belongs to US!

thethinker said...

Psh.. I bet that was just a trick to get your money. They're probably just pretending to care about safety signs and cancer research.

Those kids don't have values. They're just smart.

Rachel said...

I'm with thethinker.

I believe in business terms, its called "sealing the deal". Making sure you won't back out of the arrangement at the last minute. After THAT spiel, you'd really look like an asshole.

And they knew it.

Damn bastards.

Rachel said...

Oh, and those little buggers are probably breaking several laws here.

1. Unlicenced to practice a business
2. No vendor license.
3. No non profit signage and licensing.
3. Obstructing a public throughfare.
4. Panhandling (accosting you for money is panhandling).
5. Possible false advertising re: nonprofit business goals.

1 through 4 are misdemeanors. 5 is a felony.

I say, you should shut them down and get your fifty cents back. You worked hard for that 50 cents! Damn if you should be conned out of your hard won change by some credit-card loan sharks in training!

*boils up some tar and collects chicken feathers*

Kara said...

thinker and rachel - eh. though that though originally occurred to me (i wasn't born yesterday, you know), i think it's more likely that their parents decided what the money would go toward. my guess is they didn't ever have an inkling that they should have a choice between a "slow" sign and fucking awesome toys. basically they have bad parents...who want to keep kids from being hit by cars and getting cancer. the soulless cads.

rachel - excellent research skills, lady!

Angelissima said...

oy vey! sounds like PC parents to me.

apterix55 said...

Strange, I re-checked your birth certificate and it clearly doesn't say "born yesterday"!! So now if a 5-year old holding a puppy offers you cigarettes, do I need to worry?

C said...

I agree; those kids obviously have bad parents. Their commercial would've been a lot better if they were working towards a trampoline. I played with a kid that I didn't know, who I think my cousin may have disliked, because she had a trampoline. You see how shrewd kids can be? Those little lemonade shillers would've totally beguiled you and made you feel positive about your purchase like Madison Avenue executives if they were going to get toys out of the sale.

Macoosh said...

my favorite point of interest during this little jaunt into your fascinating life was that you were not, in fact, holding a bag of poo....alas, you were holding a bag of pooH. how is winnie these days? and why are you keeping him in a bag? I hope you didn't do anything terrible to him; Tigger will whoop your ass.

Sarah said...

1.You actually drank the lemonade? I would be pretty wary of anything served up by freaks like those. Reminds me of kool-aid and compounds.
2. Instead of making the kids be kids, maybe we should reward them with bars and voting. I mean if they're going to ACT like adults, maybe they should get to drink and choose our next prez. If my kids ever came up with crap like that, I think I would demand they take a shot of whiskey.

AxAtlas said...

You could always do a documentary on lemonade stands and their money trails.

froelica said...

I will play the messenger once again, my fair lady-

James says its too late to get on the list for this weekend, it usually needs more notice, but to call or text him this weekend and he will see what he can do about just sneaking you in the old fashioned way.

Kara said...

angelissima - yes...and PC parents are the WORST!

apterix - actually...probably yes.

C - well you obviously had the right kind of upbringing.

macoosh - there is no difference for me between the two. i feel the same about the noun attached to both +h and -h. so, you know...suck it!

sarah - 1. yes...i drank it. it was flippin' HOT outside. 2. i find it hard to believe an occasion hasn't yet arisen where you've needed to demand that your children take a shot of whiskey. i'm disappointed.

ax - sounds like a Frontline to me.

fro - DAMN HIM and his notice! What does he need? A month? Ok, I'm up for being sneaked in.

Jill said...

You need to practice lying. It's a very valuable life tool, one that no woman should be without. Especially one who lives with a man.

"Why, no, Sweetie, I haven't seen your 'Ed's Truckstop: Longest Hoses in Town' T-Shirt. Maybe the washing machine ate it."

Jill said...

You need to practice lying. It's a very valuable life tool, one that no woman should be without. Especially one who lives with a man.

"Why, no, Sweetie, I haven't seen your 'Ed's Truckstop: Longest Hoses in Town' T-Shirt. Maybe the washing machine ate it."

Jill said...

WTF? I did not comment twice. Stupid computers.

Anonymous said...

I almost stopped for a lemonade stand the other day. Now I'm glad I didn't. They were probably collecting for Darfur or something. Pssh.

Anonymous said...

PS - How much does one of those "children playing" signs cost??? Are they going to have enough left over to donate? Oh you TOTALLY should have crushed their dreams and told them they wouldn't even have enough for the sign. Next time, ask them to see the estimates they got from the town DPW.

Niall said...

It's like that time I was talking to my nephew (he's six):

Nephew: I like looking in this catalogue.
Niall: OK.
(minutes pass)
Nephew: I like the toys.
Niall: OK.
(minutes pass)
Nephew: Niall.
Niall: Yes?
Nephew: Look at this - *toy car with a big banner saying FREE WHEELS, or something*
Niall: It's a car with free wheels! Wow.
Nephew: It's marketing.


Niall: *after laughing* what's marketing
Nephew: It's when they say they'll give you something for free but it's rubbish.
Niall: Have some sweets.

They have to be smart to get sweets!

Orhan Kahn said...

You should take your little scooter down their street and do a burn out. That'll show 'em!

The Future said...

These are probably the same kids who will grow up to make $100,000/year, drive Toyotas from standing on the street corner with their signs and cans for money donations from driving and walking passersby. You never want to trust anyone who appears to be perfectly good.