Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On being carded

When I was 24 years of age, I betook me one Saturday morning to the beer store to buy some brew. I did not have a car at the time and it was quite a walk. It was also pouring rain. I must have had a powerful thirst to persevere. To my dismay, when I got to the checkout counter the clerk challenged me on my age (they call it "being carded" now, inasmuch as the government provides young people with proof of age cards).

I flustered and blustered to no avail. The clerk was unmoved. I had forgotten my wallet with my ID, bringing only cash in my pocket. I walked all the way home, empty-handed, drenched to the skin, thirsty to boot and reflected on whether I was pleased that I looked so young or angry that the myopic clerk couldn't tell I was well past the age of consent.

Those were the good old days.

Now I am at that age where signs that say "Seniors discount" begin to appeal to me. The problem is that I always have to ask the establishment what age qualifies you for this perquisite. I get various answers: 55, no problem, 60, no problem, 65, no dice. But more than the bother of having to ask (why can't they post the age), is the fact that whenever I say that I am eligible I am never carded. My word, apparently, is my bond.

I have not yet lied about the 65 limit. I am tempted to try it, but, like my ambivalent feelings about being carded at age 24, I think the pleasure of scamming the discount would be deflated by the fact the the clerk would accept at face value that I look like I am 65, or worse, older.

These are not the good old days, they're just the old days.

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