Monday, November 14, 2005

Lemonade Stand Audited After Youth Makes Political Statement

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MEMPHIS, TENN. -- According to Patrick Davis, his lemonade stand was audited by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) today, as the result of an anti-war statement he made last week.

Davis, 8, said that as he made change to a customer last week, he said mentioned that he "misses his dad a lot," and "hates this stupid war." A few days later, IRS agents raided the lemonade stand, and demanded to see receipts.

Davis' father, Stanley, is currently serving in Baghdad with the Tennessee National Guard.

Anthony Mallett, a field agent with the IRS, said the reason for the audit has nothing to do with Davis' "anti-war tirade, but everything to do with the fact that his business expenses clearly exceed his income."

Davis was visited by Mallet today and asked to submit receipts for sugar, lemons, plastic cups, ice,and other materials involved in running the stand with his brother, Alex, 10. After two weeks in business, the lemonade stand has generated $10 in revenue.

Several neighbors who frequented the lemonade stand said they will be happy when the controversy dies down. "He really needs to watch it," said Martin Cooper, a civil engineer who lives three houses down from Davis. "He is sending a mixed-message to the enemy, and really bringing down the morale of the troops when he makes over-the-top statements like he did."

Rita Morrison, who lives across the street from Davis, agreed. "Next thing you know, Patrick is going to start sending chocolate chip cookies to Saddam Hussein. Haven't our boys in uniform been through enough? I don't care if Patrick is donating the proceeds to the Humane Society. They ought to take away his tax exempt status over this one, or at least put him in time out."

Patrick's brother, Alex, said the audit has probably destroyed their business. "We were really excited, because Mom had agreed to give us $8 this week to buy Splenda so we could start selling diet lemonade, too. But, selling lemonade just isn't that much fun now."

Karen Davenport, a regular customer at the stand who overheard the anti-war rhetoric, said she is probably in the minority, but feels sympathy for the Davis boys. "They do miss their dad," she said. "Plus, when it comes right down to it, doesn't everybody hate war?"

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