(pictured- me, being super transcendental on a field of grass next to an old sneaker, 1999)
When I was a kid, I was kind of an entrepreneur. I was always doing spazzy stuff like trying to run a day camp in my backyard and starting my own ice cream business. Both of these ideas brought in an average of zero dollars and zero cents, so when those ideas didn’t work out, I’d move on to the next one.
The lemonade stand was not the most original idea that I had, but it was the most lucrative. I gathered all of my neighborhood kids around to join me in this business adventure on the curb by my front yard.
Molly A and her brother, Doug, brought a pitcher of lemonade, Rachel brought a sleeve of cookies, Chris M brought a table, and I provided the second (and better) pitcher of lemonade and the cash register. It was a cool cash register too. It was the kind that also had a scanner that beeped when you pushed the red button on top, and that dinged when you opened it. I also had the ball rolling a bit because the register was filled with loose change.
As cars whizzed by Great Ring Road, we would all scream “LEMONAAAAADE! LEMONAAAAADE! GET YOUR LEMONADE HERE!” Most cars would keep on speeding by, apparently so poor they couldn’t afford a one dollar lemonade, or they were just deathly allergic to lemons, so they couldn’t even slow down in fear their throats would close right up.
We did get customers, though. We lucked out. A few construction workers started work on the curb right across from mine. They were making a brand new, shiny, fancy curb out of hot and soft pavement. Twice, Chris M stepped right in that brand new but soft curb and screwed it up for those poor guys who kept buying our lemonade.
At the end of the afternoon, we had made a whopping 25 bucks! Between us five kids, that was five bucks a pop!
Doug dinged open the register and took out all the money. He counted it carefully. He gave five dollars to his sister, Molly, eight dollars to Chris M, and kept the rest for himself.
I yelled. I screamed. “THAT IS SO UNFAIR!” I tried to grab the money from him.
“WELL, THAT’S BUSINESS!” he yelled back. I glared into his scrunched up, Donald Trump face before running into my house, crying.
I told my dad all about it. He was pissed. And I mean, super pissed. He opened the front door, yelled for Doug to get inside, and laid down the f-ing law. I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for Doug. I hated that I felt this, but I did. His head hung real low as my Dad yelled at him (he wasn’t really yelling, just scarily lecturing), and he replied “Yes, sir. Yes, sir,” over and over again.
At the end, Doug pulled out five dollars from his wad of cash. “Here, Hannah,” he said.
For some reason, I waved my hand and said, “Oh, that’s okay…” But my dad told me to take it, and Doug left.
It was the right thing to do. I earned that five bucks- I did! And Doug never should have split up the money so unfairly like that!
But for some reason… I still feel compelled to give Doug a five dollar bill if I ever were to see him again.