…Texas style. An eight-year-old girl and her seven-year-old sister were selling lemonade and kettle corn at their homemade stand in front of their house in Overton, TX. You recognize the deal: kids selling cool drinks (with a snack added this time) on a hot summer day to give passersby some relief and to pick up some spending money.
A police officer on Monday approached the stand, which offered lemonade for 50 cents and “kettle korn” for $1.
In patrol-car video, the officer can be heard asking the girls’ mother…for a permit. She says she wasn’t aware they needed one.
The stand was shut down for that lack of permit. When a family friend went to the town’s government to get the needed permit, the town offered to waive the $150 fee. $150 to be allowed to set up a lemonade stand that might make ten bucks over the three or four days it’s likely to be open.
In the end, it remained too hard for the little girls to do: the town said that health department officials needed to inspect the stand, too. Because of all the food poisoning that occurs at lemonade stands around the country. You remember the epidemics caused by the lemonade stands dotting the neighborhoods when we were growing up, don’t you?
Understand: my beef isn’t with the town or the cop—waiving $150 is no small thing for a metropolis with a population of 2,500, and the cop is doing his job (cops aren’t allowed discretion in these days of politically correct zero tolerance). My beef is with the regulations and with the foolishness of one-size-fits-all rules. Where’s the common sense? Why can’t little boys and girls set up a stand to earn some spending money sometimes without official interference?
In the event, the little girls have decided to stay open, more or less. They’ll give away their lemonade and kettle corn, accepting only donations. If you’re in Overton the next few days, or even if you’re only nearby, head on over to the stand and make a generous donation. And enjoy some cool lemonade and a snack on a hot Texas day.