The government of Tulare California narrowly averted a health emergency this week when it finally tracked down and shutdown Daniela Earnest, aka “the lemonade girl.” Earnest, 8, was running an illegal lemonade stand to raise money “for Disneyland” (probably street slang for heroin).
Daniela was only dealing in illicit lemons for day when the police swooped down and cut her off.
Ernest appears, however, to have made lemonade out of the lemons. A radio station has offered to send her entire family to Disneyland for 30 cups of lemonade. The city council in the meantime is considering an ordinance to allow lemonade stands.
Like all good lemonade-fearing Americans, I am appalled. It is well known that lemonade leads to stronger stuff as a “gateway beverage.” Little Daniela will be perfectly happy I am sure to help neighbors plunge into regular use of apple juice, orange juice and then PCP-laced alcohol shooters.
Daniela wasdealing lemons on the corner with her enabling step-mother, Marisa Earnest, — at $2 for a 32-ounce plastic cup. Given the industry standard of 25 cent cups of lemonade, this stuff was clearly pure, “non-stepped on” yellow rocket juice. That is when Richard Garcia, a Tulare code enforcement officer, had enough.
In a scene reminiscent of Gary Cooper in High Noon, Garcia demanded Daniela’s business license (presumably after explaining through analogy that it is sort of like a library card.).
His boss Frank Furtaw, insists that “he wasn’t out there on lemonade patrol” but he sure hit the jackpot with the lemonade girl.
It is a shame to see another evil step mother pushing her daughter to crime. In my case, I discouraged the four kids when they asked this summer about setting up a lemonade like some other kids in the ‘hood. I should them that they could make much more money in a shorter time by simply staging a slip-and-fall at the stand of the kids down the block. I have never been more proud as when I heard them all scream “soft-tissue damage” while writhing on the ground.
With lemonade stands popping up around town, it is unclear how long Tulare can keep its mission objective: “To promote a community making Tulare the most desirable place to live, learn, play, work, worship and prosper.” Just ask Daniela “The Lemonade Girl.”
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