Friday, June 12, 2015

Predictable Result

What you have to wonder is what's going on in someone's head when they do stuff like this.

A police officer in Overton, Texas, told two elementary-aged sisters that they couldn't sell lemonade without a permit. The police chief is very clear: The police officer did not shut down the girls' lemonade stand, which they were using to make money to buy passes to a splash park for themselves and their dad for Father's Day. The officer only told them that they couldn't sell the lemonade unless they got what the city of Overton calls a "peddlars' permit."

Yeah, that makes it better.

My question to the Overton law enforcement representative who acquainted the girls with the wonders of the modern regulatory state is to describe exactly what circumstances he envisioned that would make this move look good in the eyes of everyone who learned about it. Seriously, dude. What alternative world did you dream up in which a police department that makes little kids get permits to sell lemonade comes out on top? Were the kids named Lecter? Were they chanting Latin in reverse and laughing maniacally as they hand-squeezed the lemons and promised customers, "You're next, human scum!" Did they intone, "Winter is coming!" and chop the head from a Sean Bean doll?

And once you learned they were raising money to buy passes to a splash park for a trip with their dad for Father's Day? Their father who's an oil field worker and who's away from home for a few weeks at a time? What happened to the part of your brain that should have told you, "STOP DIGGING! BUY A GLASS AND GET IN YOUR SQUAD CAR AND ZOOM OFF!"

Let's not forget the good representatives of the city of Overton, who at one time in the past crafted a regulation about the sale of perishable food or drink that was written so broadly as to include kids' lemonade stands. I'm curious as to what scenario existed in your thinking that didn't involve this move making your city look the dingiest, grayest corner of Oceania as the clock strikes thirteen.

Of course, the story has a happy ending. The kids found out they can give away the lemonade and the people can donate to them whatever they want. The splash park gave them free passes, and apparently some people bought passes and gave them to the girls. Their mom says they will use the money to create a scholarship for a graduating senior and give away the extra passes to kids who might not be able to afford them.

Happy, that is, unless you're an Overton police officer or the director of the Overton Chamber of Commerce. Then you're just hiding and hoping the inevitable next bureaucrat to do something stupid gets on the stick and does it already so you can get out of the doghouse.

No comments: