When Life Gives You Lemons, You’re Screwed

The entrepreneur is a risk taker – someone with dreams and aspirations of doing his or her own thing, someone that has a special kind of drive and determination to do things “their” way. Entrepreneurial spirit and free enterprise is something that America was built on and separates us from the dictatorships and fascist governments around the world. Those who take charge and show a relentless work ethic have been looked up to with a sense of honor and admiration since the birth of our nation. Well, until last week, that is.

lemonade-standMeet Julie Murphy, a seven year-old enterprising young lass who hails from Oregon City, in the great northwest – a girl who saw her favorite cartoon pig open a lemonade stand and thought it would be a great way for her to earn some extra loot for herself. So Julie and mom set up their own little stand at the monthly art fair in North East Portland, a very grass-roots attraction. Fifty cents for a tall cup of ice cold refreshment was the asking price as her homemade booth sat between a couple of local-yocal merchants. And the girls did everything right by keeping their operation sparkling clean, including sanitizing their hands and covering all open containers. Yes, it was an exciting day for little Julie, until one person by the name of Big Brother arrived at her booth, and life would change in an instant for the pint-sized business owner.

lemonade_standA woman carrying a clipboard from the county health inspector’s office asked Julie to see her temporary restaurant license – at a cost of $120 to purchase – and then promptly shut down the family operation while warning them they could face a $500 fine.

“I understand the reason behind what they’re doing and it’s a neighborhood event, and they’re trying to generate revenue,” said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department. “But we still need to put the public’s health first. When you go to a public event and set up shop, you’re suddenly engaging in commerce,” he said. “The fact that you’re small-scale I don’t think is relevant.”

Yes, life has given little Julie lemons but unfortunately they are sour, rotten, and can make nothing more than a heaping tin of fecal merange pie.

While many in our great nation are starting their own Tea Party revolts, it seems that in Oregon, the locals have started a lemonade revolution and have bombarded county officials to the point of national embarrassment.

hezb-nazi1I really have to ask, couldn’t these belligerent bureaucrats have handled this a little better, a little softer, a with just a little more decency? Don’t the county’s paid officials have better use of their time than busting a seven year old, while looking to shake her down for $120 and an accompanying fine? My son told me about this story this morning and I instantly knew it was something that had ZMAN RANT written all over it. Which begs me to ask – why stop at just a fine? Why not bring in state inspectors and Oregon government officials, including the department of sales tax, which I’m sure would have a thing to say about a business that has not been recognized by the state registers office. I’m sure there should be penalties assessed for lack of workers compensation and obvious OSHA violations during construction of the work site. And hey, while we’re at it, I’m sure the IRS wouldn’t be overly pleased with little law breaking Julie, I mean there’s been no application for an Federal Employer’s Identification number and no set up for estimated quarterly tax payments, as well as collection of mandatory FICA, social security, bla, blab bla.

76-big-brotherAnd why stop there? I’m sure the department of Homeland Security would want to know about a possible terror plot involving tampering with the county’s lemonade supply. Concocting food born illnesses is a real threat within our borders and I would think that Julie and mom will be facing interrogation, including tactics such as waterboarding, as no stone should be left unturned when there is the grave possibility of a national security breach. Hey, I’d go as far as putting them on the international no-fly list, I mean you don’t know what these two criminals are capable of doing. And just to let you know, Julie and mom have been released on two-million dollars bail with a court hearing set for later next month.

What in the name of God is happening to this once great nation of ours? When did someone jam a bug so far up our collective asses that everything is a under a microscope and the word freedom is losing its intended meaning with each and every passing day? Light your cigars, pour your scotch and enjoy it while you can, my friends, as we face a fatalistic epidemic involving grotesque political correctness and rampant Big Brotherism. And sorry, bro, I’d invite you in for a refreshing glass of lemonade, but mine was taxed and confiscated in yesterday’s early morning raid. But I’m sure I have a hunk of Soylent Green to share with you.

Damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead,

Tommy Z.

JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

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