(The Following is Satire)
Washington DC– In the wake of the shut down of the Federal Government, DEA officials warn the public of the impending resurgence of illegal lemonade stands. Reports of children as young as five years old selling lemonade on street corners all across the country have been pouring in ever since the shut down of the federal government. Officials warn that, if gone unchecked, these stands will engulf every street corner in every suburb across the country.
Using children as underage laborers, these stands make hundreds of dollars every year in non-taxable income. Illegal lemonade is, of course, an all cash business, making the flow of the money very difficult to trace. While authorities are unsure, it is estimated that over one thousand dollars of illegal lemonade were purchased in the last week alone, and that anywhere from 300-500 children in any given city are involved in the manufacturing and distribution of illegal lemonade.
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told reporters today that these illegal stands contribute to one of America’s most dangerous black markets, and that “immediate action must be taken to keep this scourge off the streets”.
“Not only do these illegal lemonade stands violate minimum wage laws, they violate child labor laws, and health codes as well. We don’t know what are in these toxic concoctions. There can be as much as 20 grams of sugar per cup, and this street lemonade is almost always made by children under ten years old in unsanitary conditions. There have even been reports of lemonades being sold in quantities over sixteen ounces.”
In a harrowing study commissioned by the DEA, researchers outline the structure of the underground lemonade market and study the unintended consequences of illegal street lemonade.
“Not only are children forced to make these drinks, but children are the target market as well. These lemonade pushers will set up near suburban areas, parks, and playgrounds where they know they can find kids, and get them hooked. While the first glass may cost only twenty-five cents, lemonade pushers know once they can get a child to try it once, they’ve got a customer for life. Soon these kids will become so dependent on the saccharine drinks that they will go into the illegal manufacturing of lemonade themselves, thereby perpetuating the circle of abuse and addiction.
Street lemonade has become such an epidemic, that the DEA has set up an entire branch just to deal with street corner lemonade stands. When interviewed, an anonymous DEA agent told reporters that before the shut down, the DEA staffed almost three thousand armed agents to investigate and prosecute lemonade related offenses. However, since the federal government shut down, the DEA has had to rely solely on volunteers and vigilantes to help curb street sales of illegal lemonade.
“We’ve been working around the clock to try and keep this garbage off of the streets. Thankfully we’ve had some volunteer support from local busy bodies and control freaks, but it just isn’t enough to stop the organized juggernaut of street lemonade.”
While it is an uphill battle, authorities have made some encouraging progress in stopping the flow of illegal lemonade since the shutdown. In a raid conducted Tuesday in a small DC suburb, authorities were able to confiscate over four kilos of uncut ,South American, cane sugar, over 10 bags of Quicktime lemonade mix, and almost forty-five dollars in marked bills. Three area elementary school students have been taken into custody awaiting a trial.
“We need to send a message to people everywhere that if you want to sell lemonade on the streets, the government is watching you, and we will catch you.”
Follow the author, Patrick Kane, at www.facebook.com/heroinpuppies or on twitter @PatVKane
(The Preceding is Satire)