a 7-year-old selling lemonade

前两天报纸上登了一篇题为Sorry, Kid: No License, No Lemonade的文章,全文如下:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

When health inspectors cite you for it, get famous.

Julie Murphy, a 7-year-old Oregonian, set up a lemonade stand on July 29 at an art fair in northeast Portland. County health inspectors shut her down, however, telling Julie and her mother, Maria Fife, that they needed a temporary restaurant license, which costs $120. The penalty for selling food without a permit, they warned, was $500. At 50 cents a cup, that’s a lot of lemonade.

Others at the fair urged the family to give away the lemonade, and they wrote "free" and "suggested donation" on Julie’s sign with a marker. But the inspectors were unmoved.

Julie left the fair in tears.

This, of course, is the kind of incident that the Internet was made for. "Oregon Fascists Shut Down 7-Year-Old’s Lemonade Stand," one blogger blared on a pickup of a local newspaper article. Another posted photos of police officers and federal agents in riot gear with the caption "WHERE’S THE REST OF THE BOOTLEGGED LEMONADE?"

On Thursday, Jeff Cogen, the Multnomah County chairman, called Ms. Fife and her daughter to apologize. "My kids sell lemonade, and I sold lemonade as a kid," Mr. Cogen said in an interview.

The Health Department employees were doing their jobs, he said, and "there’s a reason those laws exist," but "a 7-year-old selling lemonade isn’t the same as a grown-up selling burritos out of a cart." As for the health inspectors, Mr. Cogen said he had "engaged them in a conversation" about professional discretion.

Ms. Fife, who recently graduated from nursing school and is living with her daughter in an aunt’s house in the Portland suburbs, said she was gratified by the apology and stunned by the response to the incident. "It just kind of exploded," she said.

Julie declined a request for an interview. "She’s overwhelmed, and I’m just letting her chill out," her mother said.

Besides, she had to get ready. A local tire store and a radio station were sponsoring a lemonade stand for her on Friday night.

不知道是不是我英文不够好,把文章会错意了,反正我看下来文章的大致的调调是,七岁的小孩子卖柠檬水,玩玩的,城管放着大把的不法商贩不抓,跟小孩子一本正经,又罚款又怎么的,把小孩子都吓坏了。文中还引用当地一个高级政府官员的话,大概意思是说,关于临时餐馆执照的法律条文之所以存在的确有其原因,但执法人员在执行时需要使用他们的“专业判断”(professional discretion)。反正到最后,政府方面有人出面赔礼道歉,然后这个小女孩或许会在一家当地轮胎店和一家广播电台的赞助下,重新出山卖柠檬水。

如果文章的意思和事情的前前后后真的如我所理解的那样,那这个就大大的不对了。早年之所以当地会就临时餐馆营业执照颁布法律条文,想必是当时出了一些食品卫生相关的事故,比如一些人吃了无照经营的路边摊(street vendor),回去拉肚子了,食物中毒了,死翘翘了,于是当地就颁布法令,要求所有的路边摊都必须经过一定的审查并获得临时餐馆营业执照,以确保当地民众的食品安全。如果法律的初衷如此,那么无论是七岁还是七八十岁,都应该遵守该法令。即便是一个七岁小女孩卖的柠檬水,也有可能因为原材料保管不善、腐败变质、细菌含量超标等原因,让喝了她的柠檬水的人都上吐下泻。



  1. 开始的两句已经点题了,如果生活给了你柠檬,做成柠檬汁。如果城管不让你卖,把事情弄大。无论中国美国,都一样的。


  2. 一条规则后面总有一大堆exception的嘛,不然多不好玩


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