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My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

June 21, 2010

tax shelter

This is the first lemonade stand in San Francisco I’ve ever seen. Most parts of town have gutter punks staked out on the prime corners spare changing people to death. Why not show initiative crusties? Sell some punk rock lemonade! In the Financial District security guards at every door would chase off even the cutest blondest child who tried to compete with the corporate giants. But out here in the Richmond we abut Sea Cliff, a three block wide Shangri La where multi-million dollar estates overlook the straights of the Golden Gate. Another sign of the economic meltdown’s far reach. These rich kids were pedaling lemonade and cookies.

It was a brother and sister act, probably 9 and ten, and I pulled my scooter over. I had just gotten my change back when Mom came hurrying down the sidewalk. It must be hard to be a parent in this day and age. The attention we pay to child predators puts it in all our minds. I myself wondered why these kids were out here alone. “If only I’d brought my truck, I probably could have gotten them and the cookies all in,” I thought. “But I can’t sell them at the flea market,” I realized. I blame Capitalism and The Media for this chain of thoughts.

She stood and smiled, but it seemed a nervous smile, and I wished I had shaved that morning, and not put on the hoodie that looks like I have an embroidered flower garden for breasts. I’ve taken to wearing a batting cage helmet on the scooter. My jeans were dirty. I hadn’t planned on interacting with impressionable youth, but here I was, supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Sometimes adults have silent conversations between themselves around children and ours went like this:

“I’m terrified of you but don’t want my children to pick up on this fact.”

“I only thought for a second about stealing the kids because every one says kids get stolen. I don’t even want kids.”

“I can’t wait until you leave but I’m smiling and waiting.”

“I’m smiling a lot too, trying to reassure you Mom.”

So I pulled out my camera and asked if I could take a picture.

Just of the sign. I’m no dummy. I complemented the L in lemonade. The brother said he drew it so it would look like his sister made it. This was fascinating. I was standing before a true natural of the sales pitch.

At this point the silent adult conversation had reached a one way fever pitch and I slugged the last of summer’s favorite non-alcoholic money maker and kicked off my scoot with a wave. I did not look behind me, but I overheard, in my head, Mom saying sweetly, “You two wanna come in now and watch tv?”


  1. no, she handed them each a $20 and offered to buy them a new xBox 360 if they’d come inside.

    Comment by Chris — June 23, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  2. I love your pottery stuff. You haven’t written much lately, and I don’t even know you, but I’m honored you comment here.

    Comment by Rolston — June 24, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

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