My little brother Mark called me to tell me about his Snow Cone Stand that he was thinking of opening this summer.  I was impressed that my eleven year-old brother had done his research.  He told me if he used his dad’s camping canopy and put a table under it that he would have the stand for free.  His thriftiness caught my attention, but while I was marveling at his comprehension of overhead he pulled out the big guns and told me that he had already secured the location (in front of mom’s office) closer to the four-way stop in town and across from the busy grocery store.  The bullets just kept coming with snow cone machine price comparisons, sponsorship ideas (yes, he asked if MTV would sponsor him), and the best flavor package by price. 

What did he need me for?  I silently reminisced of being eleven but back then I didn’t even know what a sponsorship was so far be it for to interject any nostalgic ‘when I was your age’ speak.  He was hell bent on MTV sponsoring his snow cone stand.

“Sissy, you think MTV will give me any money?”

How do I delicately let him down while at the same time encouraging him?

“Hmm, I don’t think so bubby.”  I replied on beat.  “We’re pretty tapped out with the economy and all.”

“Well can you get  MTV to give me any cool music to play at Jamrok Sno Cones?” His tenacity amused me.

“I’ll get you some music,” I thought about the promo bins on our floor.

“Too bad MTV can’t give us any money, but we’ll get other sponsors.”

I couldn’t deny his ambition, “I’ll get MTV to give you some money.  How about I send you $50 to get you started.”

Essentially a check from me is from the (WO)MAN—referring to Judy McGrath, CEO MTV Networks–so in theory it was from MTV before it made it’s way to my hard-working hands.

“The check will be from me, but it comes from MTV,” I explained.

Bear in mind, he’s not your typical eleven year-old kid.  Nope, my brother is a true life genius—we’re talking MENSA.

“Sissy, I know it’s from you,” I could tell by his little voice that his eyes were rolling.  “Just send me $20.”

“$20!”  I shouted.  “That’s not how to do business.”

“I’ll send you $25,” I negotiated.

“Okay, thanks Sissy.”

One day I do know he will realize that his sister took advantage of his age, but by then I’m sure he’ll surpass me in income anyway.



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