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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the fleecing of Old Country Road

There was a lemonade stand set up on the Old County Road near my house yesterday as I drove to my haircut appointment. I had left in time to be exactly on time (I'm somewhat neurotic in this fashion) and as I drove by, the kids arms waving down cars and potential customers with an enthusiasm that would make any salesman proud, I had a nostalgic moment.

Knowing that I would sacrifice the 3-5 minutes that would cost me my punctuality, I turned around.

"It's not everyday you see a lemonade stand!" I said to the three kids as I got out of my car.

The sign read: "Lemonade 50 cents."

But this was no ordinary roadside lemonade kiosk. Oh, no. This stand had several avenues for cash flow potential. They had "cookies" (graham crackers spread with frosting and topped with, now melted, chocolate chips), book marks made from some woven, artsy-craftsy kid activity, and "goodie bags" (consisting of a pencil, a little note pad, and an eraser.) "You're little kid will love it!" the boys says, pointing at Maya in the car.

"I will take one of everything," I said proudly, happy to encourage these budding innovators.

More like savvy, stick-it-to-you entrepreneurs.

"That will be 50 cents for the lemonade, 25 cents for the cookie, $5 for the bookmark and $5 for the goody bag."

Do you take debit cards? I felt like asking.

I'm not really sure what the best move here was. I didn't really have the time to devote to it since I had a punctuality issue at hand, and I wasn't sure if I should let the kids know that what they were charging was outrageous. After all were those Prada bookmarks?

There was a babysitter there with the kids who kept a tight lip so I just politely told them that I would take the lemonade and the cookie and pass on the other items. I gave them a generous overpayment of $2, wondering if that was a kind thing to do or if it just taught them more unreality about money.

I left thinking to myself, does anyone else just buy lemonade on a hot day and not think of these ethical issues?????

1 comment: said...

okay, i laughed out loud when the kids gives you the prices for everything and read it to sam. that is so freaking adorable, and you are such a good sport.

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