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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tiny American Entrepreneurs Shut Down by Royal Parks

The smalls were eager to continue a summertime tradition of a lemonade stand in Hyde Park today. They made a shopping list, purchased supplies, crafted signs, whipped up a great batch, cobbled together change and set up shop atop their Radio Flyer wagon.  They were cheerfully calling out to afternoon park goers, "Lemonade!  50 p" and having a grand time.

For a matter of minutes.

They entertained lots of folks, spread good cheer, and sold exactly 3 cups of lemonade to one family before a badge wielding Royal Parks employee approached and gave me a stern (albeit polite) tutorial on vendor permits in the park. For which we have none.

Do you know that the British call unsweetened lemon syrup "squash"?  It is also what a British bureaucracy managed to do to 4 little hearts today. Make that 5. I was torn between feeling squashed, setting a good example of obeying authority, wanting to fight the power, and staging a citrus filled mini-revolution.

Squash indeed. But we shared our surplus inventory with our porters on the way inside and are certain to be sipping lemonade for days to come. To our potential walking, bike riding and horse mounted customers in Hyde Park we say, "We'll be back. Somewhere, someday, but less likely in our giant front yard." Meanwhile, I'm serving lemon G&Ts.


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