Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kids Get In On The Industrial Act

It's always been cute to see kids out selling lemonade on the sidewalk.

I remember trying it a couple times myself with lemonade and Kool-Aid. A kindly adult would come along, feel sorry for us and buy a drink. Then I'd feel very self-conscious, knowing these were pity purchases and give up. It was embarrassing. It takes a real tycoon type, like Donald Trump probably when he was a kid, to sit there and not feel embarrassed and even jack up the price.

But there's different kinds of kids just like there's different kinds of everything else, insects, trees, or cars. And I get the impression that today kids -- maybe through a lack of known ancestors who went through the Depression -- would just as soon you gave them your entire wallet and skipped the drink. They're a lot wilder.

That's not to say we haven't got good kids. Some of the kids on my block are probably good kids. They're like us in certain ways, they take after their parents. They're not rebellious until they're about 16. After that, they'd just as soon stab you in the back. Now, with all the residential industrial activities, my advice to parents would be to keep all your patents in a safety deposit box, because your kids could very well steal them and leave you without rights.

But when they're young, they're a little more innocent, and so their little activities are cute. But even then they can kind of give away the family secrets, if you know what I mean.

I saw an example of this yesterday. Some of the kids from way up the block, over toward the southeast, had a little stand outside, a table, and were selling X-ray machine wheels. Isn't that cute? It would be, except there's some family secrets being given away. One, now I know that someone up there's making X-ray machines. And two, they must be pretty far along to be down to the wheels already! (Or, I know, maybe they started with the wheels and are working up, since if you built it top down it might be pretty heavy and tougher to get wheels on.)

But there they were, as innocent as anything, with a little table and a pile of freshly manufactured wheels, selling them one for 15 cents or two for a quarter. I picked up a couple, and I might surprise their parents later on with the news, that their little darlings are giving away the family business before it even gets off the ground!

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