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Mark Clark

Mark Clark

Mark Clark is the public information officer for a law enforcement agency in the southwest. He is also a photographer and contributor to POLICE Magazine.
Patrol

The Lemonade Cartel Wars

We've dealt with dopeheads, potheads, and knuckleheads. Now we face the real problem—Lemonheads.

September 06, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

The effects of Lemonade can be quite ugly.
The effects of Lemonade can be quite ugly.
Where would we be without our true blue heroes?

Oh, I'm not talking about those uniformed men and women who run into burning buildings, interject themselves into active shooter situations, or otherwise indulge in some intervention on behalf of a citizen in perceived distress. That's old hat.

I'm talking about those who have committed themselves to a mission of truly momentous proportions. I'm talking about those who lead from the front. I'm talking about those who have their ducks in a row and tax payers, too. I'm talking about the men and women on the front lines of the Lemonade Cartel Wars.

Adulterant to the likes of Pledge and Pine-Sol, a metaphor for bad cars and for good reason, the lemon has proven itself America's most badass fruit since its introduction by Christopher Columbus during his '92 world tour. The lemon is, predictably, a precursor to lemonade—itself a gateway drink, leading directly to harder stuff, like Mike's Hard Lemonade and, in concert with its deciduous cousin the lime, margaritas.

The lemon's volatile qualities means that the dangers associated with lemonade production are unmatched by anything this side of meth labs and nuclear fission. In the hands of illicit peddlers lemons are smashed, squashed, pulped, and pureed, and their filtrate sold on the street to an unsuspecting public. With no quality control or governmental oversight, the varying degrees of purity finds unsuspecting clients exhibiting alum-enhanced smiles.

Despite the many threats posed by lemonade, there are those who denigrate the efforts of our badged brethren. These lesser mortals characterize our heroes as having screwed up priorities and exploiting their authority as an avenue to revenue and openly ponder if their vigilance wouldn't be better spent in the pursuit of cold-blooded murderers and Congressmen. But a cursory scrutiny splinters these contentions as easily as the cobbled boards that comprise these illicit stands and reveal our critics are as yellow as the fruit they defend. More than mere apologists for the lemon, they are often found to be members of NORMAL (National Organization for the Relief of Many an Abused Lemon).

Contrast these Neville Chamberlain's with the bravery of those who take on these pubescent pulp purveyors. Facing down freckle-faced feckless females and fermenting fruits, these daring-do dicks prove such sufficient inspirations that even green tea stands don't stand a chance. In clamping down on forbidden fruit juices, they prevent the taint of legitimacy that would lead to broader social acceptance and eventual franchisement. And if there's one thing we don't need it's the presence of lemonade stands inside America's malls alongside other inexplicable success stories such as Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

Still, society's bleeding hearts wring their hands in worry, fretting that some bewildered and disillusioned seven year olds might be left in their wake and our court calendars further backlogged by sociopathic fathers trying to defend the indefensible.

I will give them that. But these are small prices to pay when it comes to protecting our American way of life, and I, for one, sleep better at night knowing that the LemOnade Stand EnforceRS (LOSERS) are out there continuing their march on the rind.

So here's to you, Coralville, Iowa, and Appleton, Wis. Our hats off to you, Tulare, Calif., and Midway, Ga. You make me proud to have been a law enforcement official—and happy as hell I am retired.

And as for you who would foolishly abide by the adage, "When life hands you lemons"...Well, just consider yourselves forewarned.

Related: Ga. Officers Shut Down Lemonade Stand

Tags: Stupid Laws, Heavy Handed Enforcement, Commercial Enforcement


Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Tim @ 9/7/2011 4:01 AM

Nice research on this tongue in cheek article. I appreciate the humor but it looks like the Tulare, CA incident was a code enforcement officer, not a police officer. Maybe it is better you are retired.

AimFire @ 9/7/2011 4:46 AM

I take the point to be the silliness, not the badge ID. But at least the Tulare case was in a foreign country. We expect more from Georgia.

Rick @ 9/7/2011 8:34 AM

While the latest incident has been tied to a code enforcement officer, the previous and well published events were the result of over zealous and under tasked police officers. Perhaps Tim needs to read more before he speaks.

Tom @ 9/7/2011 8:44 AM

That is either a bitter beer reaction or an ugly bird impression.

frank @ 9/7/2011 11:24 AM

Perfect utilization of efforts and resources (Especially in the budget tightening times). Was there sufficient surveillance to determine the magnitude of the crime, was there a hand to hand buy with a UC,was the proper field test kit used to determine of it was the low end garden lemon or the more sought after and highly prized "Black Tar" Meyers Lemons. OR was there the ultimate fraud committed --- the use of faux fruit-- LIMES. The magnitude of these crimes very well clog the court system for the next decade along with the appeal process.
I salute the command personnel that approved these operations and when they are cured of the cranial rectal insertion disease. They will wake up and realize that some things need to be prioritized or just let go!!!!!

MartyB @ 9/7/2011 12:12 PM

While Dean pokes good natured fun of law enforcement's attempt to regulate an activity which used to be a summer-time staple of pre-teen capitalism there are some real public health and safety concerns regarding the "manufacture & sales" of the product in question.

I'm guessing that these enforcement actions come as a result of complaints from "Grouchy-Gus" neighbors who are tired of the accumulaton of used dixie cups and sticky sidewalks, or food businesses that have to comply with health & safety regulations and pay permit fees to operate.

These erstwhile capitalists may have received warnings in the past not to sell food without a permit Then law enforcement had to step in and stop the activity when they continued to operate.

It's all fun and games until someone comes down with samonella or lysteria.... then it's nothing but the Sh*&'s.

Some of these cities must "slow" crime days (with the exception of Tulare) to make this type of enforcement a priority and even slower news days for the press to pick up on the stories.

Mark Rich @ 9/7/2011 12:23 PM

Having first hand knowledge here are facts you were Not aware of :

1; Midway kids were doing cheerleader pyramids on the edge of a busy intersection without supervision.

2; There are 6 registered sex offender in their neighborhood - they like lemonade as well.

3; They were NOT cited. Only told to shut down OR get a permit. Ordinance requires it.

4; Naked adult male on drugs arrested in front of their home -same week

5: Kids Grandmother is sitting City Council Woman -same Mayor and Council that ordered police to enforce ordinances. Hmmm, enforce laws on everyone EXCEPT elected officials? Sounds like corruption to me.

If you don't like the ordinances in your town, go to City Hall and attend Council Meetings, after all in Georgia, they are voted on by the public 3 times before becoming law - yep thats right the citizens voted for this ordinance as read.... Get a life folks

Dean Scoville @ 9/7/2011 1:27 PM

Ah, yes - the infamous hand-to-hand transfer of illicit goods, and the omnipresent need for field testing (did I ever tell you of the gal I once worked with who "field tested" coke by tasting it? Now, she's a lieutenant with LASD...) Thanks for the feedbacks...

tinman @ 9/7/2011 7:29 PM

If your old Lt. is still testing coke the same way, I bet she's the hardest working (or at least fastest) supervisor in the department.

Morning Eagle @ 9/8/2011 12:48 AM

Thanks Dean, some good tongue-in-cheek humor on a newsletter otherwise crowded with articles that are not at all humorous. The current crisis in government control of illicit lemonade stands operated by little girls stretches the ludicrous and proves the Food Police are alive and well. Their unfailing willingness to tell the public what they should or should not consume shows a heart warming concern for our health and welfare and has nothing to do with wanting to control everything we do or say, or think - and collect taxes on all of it. The secret statistics showing the vast numbers of innocent consumers that have fallen ill or even died as a result of ingesting the products of little kids' lemonade stands over the last fifty years must be too horrible to release to the public.

Dean Scoville @ 9/8/2011 1:26 PM

I don't know whether or not she's the fastest working lieutenant, but she probably "toots her horn"...:)

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