Very often as I mull over an idea for a post someone beats me to the punch. I have on occassion used the lemonade stand as a way to teach an economic concept to my children. I was thinking about doing a whole series of posts called The Lemonade Stand Chronicles. I even asked my youngest daughter to draw a picture of a lemonade stand for the graphic for the series. Well, while I procrastinated, an interesting lemonade stand story was posted as a comment over on Vox Popoli by a Tom. So I thought I would repost it here (heavily edited by me).
Barry, Larry, and Li’l Timmy Run a Lemonade Stand
Larry and Li’l Timmy had lived in the neighborhood for their whole lives. One day, a new kid moved in across the street from them. He was different, but cool. His name was Barry.
“Uh, hi, my name is Barry. Um, do you want to be friends?” asked Barry the first time he came over.
“Sure!” said Timmy and Larry. “What are you into?"
“I like organizing kids in my community to do, um, nothing, mostly,” smiled Barry.
"Sounds like fun, Barry, we have never done anything ourselves but we do enjoy telling others how to do stuff," replied the two boys.
Barry, Larry, and Li’l Timmy became fast friends. They took over a lemonade stand from some of the older kids in the neighborhood who had listened to Li'l Timmy's older brother and ran it into the ground. It hadn’t been doing so well the last few summers, and the older kids had just given away a bunch of the supplies for free to some other kids down the street.
But, Barry was sure they could “right the ship.”
Only a few days later, Barry and Larry were sitting behind the stand looking sad. On the table sat a pitcher of unsold lemonade. It wouldn’t be so bad, except they’d borrowed the money for the supplies from Hu Jintao down the street and he was sounding like he actually wanted to be paid back.
Paula Kruggers came skipping along the sidewalk. She looked at their long faces. “What’s wrong guys? Why are you sad, Barry? Can I do anything to help?” Paula had a crush on Barry even though she told everybody she didn’t like boys.
“I don’t know, Paula. Ummm, uh, we aren’t selling any, uh, lemonade from our lemonade stand. I hear you’re smart, didn’t you get some, uh, award at school?” Barry looked at Paula hopefully.
Paula snorted a nervous laugh and pushed her glasses back up her nose. “Yeah, they gave me a medal for being smart! You know what you guys should do? You should buy more lemons right now. Or maybe some more sugar. Or a new table or sign. It doesn’t really matter what you buy, but you should just buy, buy, buy!”
Paula kicked into a serious snorter of a laugh at this point.
“Why should we do that?” asked Li’l Timmy with the puzzled look that never seemed far from his face.
"Its simple, silly!" squealed Paula as she got really excited (she liked the way Barry was smiling).
“If you spend more money, it will make everybody feel better. If they feel better, they’ll want to buy your lemonade! Besides, look at the REAL world. The more you spend, the more stuff you have!”
“Let's do it!” shouted Barry, Larry, and Li’l Timmy together.
“Lets go get some money from our kid brothers and sisters! They’ve got fat piggy banks!” Barry was really excited now.
Li’l Timmy brightened up, “My mom leaves her purse sitting out sometimes. I bet she’s got a bunch of money in there! And my mom is expecting and my parents have set aside a college fund for him. We could take that money too.”
“Yeah, let’s spend a bunch of money!” agreed Larry.
“You know Paula,” said Larry, “I wasn’t sure girls really could be smart, but you showed me! You can do math with the best of them!”
The three boys ran off to replenish their resources none to soon for Paula. She had been worried they might smell something soon. She had gotten so excited when Barry was shouting, she’d wet her pants.