Absurd

Being the sort of person who doesn’t get out much, I don’t often get the chance to make firsthand observations of the more absurd parts of our world. That’s okay, because, sometimes, the absurdity comes and finds me.

Today, while I was out grocery shopping, I noticed a stand set up near the entrance to the grocery store. I took only enough notice of it to build up a little half-hearted hatred of all advertising promotions, but as I parked and walked towards the store, I came to a bizarre realization. The stand, plastered with the logo of a large beverage company (which shall remain nameless), was selling lemonade.

Some cultural context is in order: I am a member of one of the last generations to have the lemonade stand as a symbol of entreperneuership. The lemonade stand was the big capitalist metaphor when I was growing up, the very embodiment of our ideal of the American small-business spirit.

And there, right there in the parking lot of the big chain grocery store that long ago supplanted the independent local movie house, right there, was yet another gigantic corporation, moving in on the territory of the little guy, the sidewalk lemonade vendor. I desperately wish I’d had my camera with me then, because the symbolism of all that was deliciously painful (or painfully delicious).

So, just remember: if you start to get worried that the world seems to be sorting itself out, don’t worry. Proof will arrive momentarily to remind you that it’s still an absolutely absurd place.

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