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Monday, November 19, 2012

Playing to the lowest common denominator


A few years ago, in The Great State Of Tennessee, Governor Sundquist decided that it was too problematic for grocery store clerks to use discretion when deciding if a customer was old enough to buy beer.  He sent a law through the legislature that said (I'm paraphrasing) that all customers buying beer must produce id, regardless of age. Now, instead of using a common sense approach, i.e "if you look like you are younger than 40, you must show id", instead, your own great grandfather would have to show you his drivers licence before you could sell beer to him in the grocery store. Also, an existing law here says that it is illegal for a minor to sell alcohol.


So, I'm in the local Bi-Lo grocery store in beautiful Cleveland, Tennessee one day, and I put my 6 pack (not my abs, but beer) on the conveyor belt for the clerk to ring up.  Of course, she asks me for my id (please see my profile picture to understand why that is such a stupid thing).                 ------->                                        

                                                               or  ↓  for a closeup


                                                              THE STORE CLERK

I show her my id, and then she asks me if I will press the enter key on the cash register, because if she rings it up, SHE WILL BE BREAKING THE LAW, as she is only 17!

"Eh, whatever", you say.  "Why are you getting so excited about that?"  BECAUSE IT IS STUPID! We are conditioning ourselves to accept stupidity as the norm.

Stating the obvious:  First, I'm 53.  Anyone who thinks I could possibly be too young to purchase alcohol should not be allowed to operate a cash register. Second, pressing a button, or having me press a button, does nothing to achieve the goals of these laws, which, ultimately, are to keep underage people from buying and selling alcohol.

I don't have any great answers.  Just thought I'd gripe.

Thanks for reading.  Now, you kids: Get off my lawn!

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