Little Johnny decided he wanted to spend his summer earning money so he could attend Boy Scout Camp.
He figured he could do it by selling items door-to-door, to family, and family friends as a salesman like his grandpa did as a kid back in the 1960s to earn cash to buy his first bicycle.
Grandpa had answered an ad in the back of a comic book and was sent a salesman starter kit by a company out of New Hampshire.
He figured if grandpa could do that, so could he.
Boy, does Little Johnny have a lot to learn.
He managed to find an old school firm that gives kids commission on selling packets of seeds that people order from a catalogue.
Once he got the catalogue in the mail, he put on his Sunday best, combed his hair and hit the bricks.
His first stop was a neighbor that was a legislative staff member who helped write Assembly Bill 5.
Little Johnny rang the bell. Mr. Les Jobs opened the door.
After they exchanged greetings, Little Johnny gave his spiel.
He was interrupted at one point by Mr. Jobs.
MR. JOBS: “What are they paying you to sell their seeds?
LITTLE JOHNNY: (In an excited voice) “For every packet I sell for $3 I earn $1.50.”
MR. JOBS: “Do they tell you when you should work?”
LITTLE JOHNNY: “Yes, sir. Ben Franklin Seed Co. is a very old-fashioned firm. They say I should only sell after school when I’ve finished my homework and before it’s time for dinner with my family. They also say I shouldn’t sell on the Sabbath.”
MR. JOBS: “Next you’re going to tell me they eat at Chick-Fil-A and no one in your family is transgender.”
LITTLE JOHNNY: “Sir, I don’t understand. . . “
MR. JOBS: “Of course you don’t. You, your family, and others of your kind aren’t as enlightened as I am. So does this seed firm pay health benefits?”
LITTLE JOHNNY: “Mr. Jobs, I’m only 13 years old. I’m on my parent’s health care plan.”
MR. JOBS: “I see. Your family has the audacity to have health care while undocumented families entering the United States under cloak of darkness go without.”
LITTLE JOHNNY: “I don’t understand . . . “
MR. JOBS: “Of course you don’t, you’ve had everything handed to you because of your skin tone. I bet your parents live off old wealth, right?”
LITTLE JOHNNY: “No. My dad is a solid waste truck driver and my mom works two part-time jobs — one at J.C. Penney and the other cleaning houses for $25.”
MR. JOBS: “I bet they do and they’re probably yelping about taxes being too high like most self-centered deplorables do.”
LITTLE JOHNNY: “Huh?”
MR. JOBS: “Enough being nice. The gig’s up. First of all, I’m going to turn Ben Franklin Seed Co. in and make sure they are fined big for offering piecemeal work selling seeds while they also have staff they sells them to Home Depot.”
“They’re also shirking their responsibility under the constitution to provide health insurance for all employees. They’re not paying you $15.50 an hour. You aren’t 16 years old yet. And they’re telling you when you can work.”
“I bet the seeds they are pushing were produced on a non-organic farm where they are contributing to global warming while using undocumented farm laborers that were probably exposed to Round-Up.”
“As for your mom, how dare she clean houses for a flat rate. Your family may just have to apply for food stamps because I’m seriously thinking about finding who she cleans houses for and turning them in. That aside why are you selling seeds anyway?”
LITTLE JOHNNY: “I’m selling the seeds to pay my way to Scout Camp.”
MR. JOBS: “That homophobic organization? What parent allows a young boy to join such a group that for years resisted allowing gays that openly proclaimed they were gay to serve as scoutmasters?”
“If you don’t get off my property now, don’t file an unfair labor practice claim against Ben Franklin Seed Co, and renounce your Boy Scout membership, I’m going to turn your parents into Child Protection Services and see that you are placed in a re-education camp, I mean foster home, so you don’t grow up to be one of those low lifes you see wandering the streets.”
LITTLE JOHNNY: (Obviously shaken up) “You mean one of those homeless people that are also strung out on drugs and go around yelling the ‘F-word’ at other homeless people that aren’t drug users as well as at little old ladies walking down the street?”
MR. JOBS: “How dare you kid! Those people are the true down trodden. They are on the streets because of their parents, a society that is so backwards the majority still blocks the government from distributing free drugs, and because they refuse to be a slave to dictates that everyone has to follow rules and work to support their selves.”
“They are victims of America and its oppressive capitalist system that still values — although barely, thank Mao — hard work, independence, and delayed gratification over entitlements. No, kid, I’m talking about the real threat to society. Those people that believe in an honest day’s work and don’t expect every one of their wants and needs to be handed to them au gratis. Now scram!”
A dejected Johnny walked back home and tossed his seed sales kit into the garbage and headed out back to do something decidedly inappropriate in the Age of Victimhood — to sit under a shady tree and think how he could help himself get past all the roadblocks tossed up in front of him so he wouldn’t have to ask his hardworking parents to pay for scout camp.
After thinking for a while, he came up with an idea. He was going to open a lemonade stand. But it wouldn’t be just any neighborhood lemonade stand.
He’d employ disruptive economics and eschew the wooden crate and cardboard lemonade stand model.
It would be a virtual lemonade stand.
He’s took a page from the Door Dash and Uber Eats playbook and use his bicycle to deliver lemonade to neighbors that ordered online from his website because it was more convenient than walking neighborhood sidewalks to find a lemonade stand on a hot and humid day.
After a few weeks things were going so well he hired a friend at minimum wage so he wouldn’t be caught up in the net cast to snare Uber and Lyft to help deliver lemonade orders during peak demand hours.
It cut sharply into profits — in fact he lost money on every glass of lemonade sold when he was paying his friend minimum wage — but he needed to stay competitive and keep customers happy and loyal so he could bank on revenue from slower periods when it was just him so he could get the money needed for camp.
Everything was going fine until that fateful day when an Olds Cutlass Supreme driven by Ms. Sue Court pulled up in front of his house.
Ms. Court stood high and mighty as she knocked on Johnny’s front door. When Johnny opened the door the following conversation took place:
MS. COURT: “Are you Johnny B. Good?”
LITTLE JOHNNY: “Yes I am.”
Ms. Court hands Johnny an envelope.
MS. COURT: “This is a notice advising you that you are being sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act for operating a business website that does not accommodate the blind. You are being ordered to cease and desist, put up an ADA compliant website, and pay a $20,000 fine. Have a good day.”
With that Ms. Court and the Supreme drove away.
The moral of the story: California is a great place to do business if you’re a lawyer or you don’t need employees.