Nefarious Acts of Rebellion

Yesterday I saw people breaking the law. Shrewd businesspeople breaking the law. In broad daylight. With supervision. They made me buy some against my will. Well not really. Because lemonade is not high on my list of “refreshments”. It may have something to do with a serious run-in with a never-ending bottle of Limoncello several years back. But that’s neither here nor there.

This is about free enterprise in America and the delicate balance between the  law, your job, publicity and common sense. None of which move freely when thrown into the spotlight. As a reminder, a Mom and her daughter were forced to shut a lemonade stand that they were illegally running at a public concert in Oregon last week. They did not have a license to sell lemonade. I too am in a constant vigilant state of searching for these people who carelessly play with the laws that protect us to drink safe, clean, ultra-processed liquid refreshments. Like 64oz. Slurpee’s where you get a sugar high that nearly blinds you. Or those other enormous sugar terrorism-drinks called Big Gulps. Mm Mm Mm, deelish. But not in Oregon.

But I digress…again. It is reported that the little girl was “traumatized” by the police escort as she, Mommy, and a bunch of other non-licensed vendors were forced to shut down. It was never reported, but you can bet the farm on it that this entire arresting procedure was started by the symphony people who sold spots to “legal” vendors to sell their lemonade and those very same vendors who were getting shafted by non-paying competitors. It was a financial deal and had absolutely nothing to do with little girls and lemonade, except she was stealing their money and someone must draw the line somewhere.

A day or two after all of the bad publicity that city officials got hit with, the mayor came out with a public apology about overzealous officials just doing their job and he was sorry and it would never happen again, blah blah blah. The law-breaking duo have been invited back to sell lemonade in their park once more…but the little girl isn’t talking, literally. Remember she be traumatized. Which is probably how the two people who were forced to kick her out in the first place are feeling. No doubt they were being pressured by the symphony, the legal vendors, as well as the “illegal” vendors to kick Mom and daughters lily-white patuties out of the park. Why do they get to stay when we have to go, huh? Why, tell me why?

If it were me, I’d be getting out of the lemonade business all together. Yet others march on in the face of overwhelming odds and commerce. Like yesterday. Two very adorable, sweetly innocent, youngins were in a park selling non-licensed lemonade. Surrounding them in a circle of relaxed farmer’s market veggies, candles, food spices, honey and whatnot, legal, God-fearing (probably, or at least possibly, or not) responsible adults tolerated these two little legal hooligans in their quest to hondle hard-earned cash from wimpy patrons of the park. Their ruse? A dollar per glass of that yellow acidic thirst quencher going to support even more children who still live in the streets or in tents without running water or clean bathroom facilities…in Haiti. There are sending the money out of the country!

Where is the outrage, the police (I saw them in their cars, screaming sirens, rushing through traffic lights, running away from lawlessness) were not called and the press did not blink an eye. And this was a major city. Plus, the kids had adult supervision with their Mommy and Daddy watching for lurking trouble. There could have been some. A violinist and a flute player sat nearby, softly putting everyone to sleep with there long-hair orchestrations. See the connection – acoustic music and classic-trained musicians together with underage lemonade sales. I guess we should all be thankful it was a non-violent demonstration of live and let live.

But I did contribute to the their nefarious acts of rebellion. I “donated” a dollar without accepting a drink in return. This simple little act really confused the Dad. I attempted to explain that his kids could sell “my” lemonade to someone else and make even more money for the children in Haiti, but he had difficulty with the basic premise. He had water to give to me if I refused the lemonade, so why am I refusing water too, huh? Now who has terroristic tendencies? Refusing liquids from big brown eyed, innocent little children just trying to do good. Who, just who?

Sitting down, lower in this picture, the kids were doing just fine, thank you very much. “Thank you for the dollar, mister.” But Dad? Where were those inspectors when ya need ’em.

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