It’s Okay, Fructose Kills Germs

Summer is here, and children ‘round these parts are aglow with entrepreneurial spirit.  They have warm weather, free time, and a hankering for cold hard cash. And because I apparently live in the 2013 version of Mayberry,  except without sidewalks or Aunt Bea, their ambition translates into lemonade stands. And the customers come. Because who doesn’t want a  warmish paper cup of sugar, fructose, and citric acid on a blistering hot day?

Lest you think these kids are just throwing these juice-slinging pop-ups together willy nilly, I have to tell you there are apparently rules. An unwritten code of conduct, if you will, that I have observed. Seriously, I’m like the Jane Goodall of suburbia.  So I’ve jotted down some of my observations to help your kids have the best lemonade stand ever.

  1. Competing lemonade stands in the same neighborhood, in the same day, are a no-no. Like some kind of lemonade mafia, once a territory is staked out for the day it’s yours. The other neighborhood kids will dutifully hand over their fifty cents, and you will hand it right back to them tomorrow at their lemonade stand. There are quarters that haven’t left this neighborhood in ten years.
  2. Disregard all directions for lemonade powder to water ratios, and wing it. As long as customers get the essence of lemonade, it’s fine.
  3. Homemade sign hastily scribbled with a sharpie is essential.
  4. Despite what is written on the sign, yell random prices at potential customers. “50 cents or a dollar!”, “Fifty dollars!” or “Six-hundred and sixy dollars and three hundred cents!” are all acceptable if you’re six and unfamiliar with the basics of currency.
  5. Shout loudly at all passing cars, even ones containing people that have already bought lemonade. If they accelerate and look frightened, it’s just because they’re not used to such enthusiasm. Feel free to chase them down the street.
  6. Remember: It takes at least eight children to run a lemonade stand. All must be hopping up and down and don’t forget the shouting.
  7. Does the customer want ice? Make sure to pick up ice with unwashed, bare hands. If germs think they’re taking the summer off, they are wrong.
  8. Everyone pays, even the parent who purchased said lemonade at Costco in the first place. Practice saying the following to your thirsty parent: “No dinero, no drinky, deadbeat.” They’ll think it’s cute.
  9. In the entrepreneurial spirit, when out of lemonade raid house for random snacks like granola bars, spotty bananas, and Dixie cups full of goldfish crackers. Because nothing says “refreshing” and draws customers in like a sun-warmed raisin granola bar on a 90 degree day.
  10. When bored, or if the ice cream truck comes, run off and  leave the supervising adult alone at a makeshift lemonade stand with a handwritten sign, looking like a complete tool.

Got it kids? Now, get out there and sell, sell, sell. And remember, you’re doing it right if people can hear you from the next time zone.

Lemonade Stand




  1. Hm… I’m assuming these are all based on hypothetical situations. I did laugh. hard. reading these.

    • As always, real life is funnier than anything I could make up. Thank goodness the kids give me tons of material.

  2. Hahaha! We had the exact same lemonade stands when I was a kid. Here in the country, there are no lemonade stands. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about it.

    • There are good things about the suburbs, for sure. On the flip side, I can’t have chickens. Someday…

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