My documentation of the season's lemonade stands has fallen short so far.
On Monday, I patronized a well-staffed stand on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. The waitrons all wore bikinis, they cut the sugary Kool-Aid with some water, and the mom was there to approve picture taking. Unfortunately, all I had was a phone camera that I rarely use and, in the bright light, I couldn't see that I didn't properly save my shots.
I expect they'll still be in business, should I swing past for another portrait, since they have a prime spot along the east-bound bike lane near St. Thomas.
Today, I chanced on an unlikely stand somewhere in Crystal as I wove a route through streets undergoing pavement replacement. It had a nice parasol over the table, but the back-neighborhood location was made worse by the nearly impassable streets.
The boy told me what he was selling wasn't really Kool-Aid like the sign said, but that's what his grandmother called it. He was selling 4-oz. bathroom Dixie cups for 25¢ or two for 40¢. Clearly the worst deal I've found since I began tracking the market. And the product, whatever it was, was something only a kid could love.
Turns out, I only have a dollar and if I make a purchase of one cup, I'll clean out all his change (he had no idea how to make change). Just then, the older sister came out. She said she had a dollar, but actually only had three quarters. She was clearly not part of the Kool-Aid venture, and I didn't want to set up some sibling conflict by making her the banker.
We tried a couple different scenarios, but each one left somebody short.
Finally, I said I'd give the kid the dollar and take two cups if he'd let me take a picture of his stand — definitely the best deal he would get all day. By this time, the mother came out of the house. She made him give me 60¢ change, and when I asked her if I could take the picture, she said no.
This Kool-Aid stand business is sensitive that way. Old guys aren't supposed to ride around on bicycles and stand around talking to little kids. I apparently didn't pass the pedophile profiling going on in that neighborhood. The mom was just doing her job, but I was just doing mine.