Today, as I’m walking to get something for lunch, I round the corner and see two young girls have set up a lemonade stand on base. This obviously leads me to almost jump up and down with excitement because:
1. Who doesn’t love a good lemonade stand? Unless you’re German, because in which case you don’t have them because you don’t have lemonade. Add it to the list of things that confuse me about this country.
2. I was the owner and manager of many back in the day and employed 1-4 siblings over many summers. We had quite the operation, though some days it was Kool-Aid.
3. I believe kids should be put to work as soon as they can walk so clearly I was happy to see these kids keeping busy. Just because you’re a child doesn’t mean you get a free ride.
4. It was insanely hot today and I was parched.
5. I’m pretty charitable.
So. I approach the stand and as i do, I see a soldier walk up and give them a dollar and then leave with no lemonade. Hmmm. Too charitable, I think. Wouldn’t kill him to toss down a drink to show the kids that they need to actually produce something to get the dollar.
Now I’m at the front of the stand, which looks like this:
So even though I think their stand is bullshit already, lacks effort, lacks pricing and lacks enthusiasm, I start in with a “Hiiiiii, ladies. Selling lemonade today?”
“Yeah,” they state flatly, not looking up at me and not smiling. I remember back to the days where we used to jump up and down and scream for cars, doing cartwheels and high kicks and smiling up a damned storm for a quarter. Oh dear god, I just said quarter.
“Can I have a glass?” YOu wouldn’t really think I’d have to ask.
“Do you want Crystal Light (which is a damned diet lemonade) or Country Time (which is old school and awesome and used to come in the can at the country store by my house when I was younger)?” I noticed the lack of real lemons, sugar and a decorative pitcher filled with ice. Now I’m aware you want to make jugs of powered lemonade for affordability purposes, but could you just humor me and give me some ambiance at your stand?
“I’ll have the Country time. It’s the best. By the way, is that a friendship bracelet you’re making?” I ask one of them and I realize I am stilling trying to talk to them for God knows what reason.
One of the girls looks me up and down like I don’t need the Country Time and maybe I should consider the Crystal Light and I want to slap the look off her face but hitting other people’s children is apparently unacceptable so I consider just telling her she looks homeless. The other one, the one making said bracelet rolls her eyes, making them almost fall out of her damned head, sighs and informs me its a lanyard, not a bracelet, in a tone that I translate into, HEY OLD WOMAN, GO AWAY.
“Do you want a full glass or half glass?” Interesting enough, there is no pricing anywhere so I just pick the full one. Now as I reach into my bag to take out $5, which I think is a pretty nice donation, she goes to hand me my drink and take my money but before she does, she inserts,
“You really actually want the lemonade?” She looked at me like I was annoying her.
Yes. Yes I want the damned lemonade. Yes, I want what you are selling. This isn’t a damned tollbooth I stumbled upon, is it? Because if it isn’t, the way this works is I pay you for something and you give it to me. GOOD GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH KIDS THESE DAYS????
Do I want my goddamned lemonade.