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For the record: state your age.

By Mike Cunningham On October 18th, 2017

On the basis of a casual glance, I was cleared for the purchase of a decent bottle of Red at my local Tesco. I have no problems at all with this survey, as it keeps decent booze out of the hands of youngsters, keeping more of it for people like me: but I did remember a slightly different outcome when buying a knife at the local DIY store.

The location:- A local DIY super-store, well stocked with just about everything needed for the handyman around the house. The time:-…..The present day. 

The participants:-…..Myself, being the would-be shopper: and a young female shop assistant. The occasion: the scanning of a Stanley knife, which comes complete with three extra blades. As the knife pack was scanned, an alarm sounded, the warning red light commenced flashing, and a notice leaps up onto the screen, saying, ‘Please wait for a Store Colleague to verify status!’ Enter a second young shop assistant, who was now identified as ‘The Colleague’.

She sees the knife pack, still in my hands, and asks, with a completely straight face, “Can you confirm that you are over the age of 21?”

My reply; which caused another elderly gent to curl up in smothered hysterics; “Just!”

31 Responses to “For the record: state your age.”

  1. They asked me the same thing at B&Q about a month ago when I was buying Stanley knife blades. I didn’t notice any alarms or flashing things on the till display though.
    I think it’s just something they have to ask everybody, I felt a little bit flattered really. I’ve noticed they don’t ask you this question at proper trade outlets when you buy blades.

  2. Get yourself and red suit and you can earn some extra money round Christmas Mike.
    I’d like a new mountain bike please, I’ve been good this year. 😀

  3. At Fenway Park, they ask for ID when anyone buys a beer, even if they’re 100 years old.

    A stupid but ” cover your ass ” policy.

  4. //A stupid but ” cover your ass ” policy.//

    They normally don’t like wasting time; so maybe there’s a reason for it.

    One possible reason could be the disease called Lipodystrophy, which makes people look way, way older. A 13-yr-old can look like he or she is 40.
    Maybe they’d lose their license to sell booze if someone made a mistake, so they decide to cover their asses.

  5. Oh, its CYA alright

    The US drinks age is idiotically high at 21 to begin with

    The police here will often send decoys into bars to entrap barmen who sell to an ” underage ” drinker of say 19. There can be fines and if there are enough incidents you lose your license.

    But carding everyone takes all judgment out of it, and makes the government and management compliance drones happy.

  6. I was amazed when my Alex reached his 16th birthday last year and announced he is now free to walk into any bar and drink beer or wine, or buy it himself from any store.

    But it’s true. In Germany kids even as young as 14 can drink beer and wine when accompanied by their parents, at 16 when on their own. You can buy booze almost everywhere, every kiosk, store, petrol station, 24/7 and and drink it on the spot wherever you are.

    This was all fine as long as, how shall I say, a certain social consensus of behaviour prevailed; but more recently there are some ugly sights to be seen when people can’t handle drink and find themselves in this drinker’s paradise.

  7. Gees I have less drama buying a rifle

  8. The US drinks age is idiotically high at 21 to begin with

    I’ve never understood that rule Phantom. It seems so puritanical and uncivilised.

  9. It used to vary by state, but was often 18.

    A major reason for the huge rise in the age was out of concern about the many young and by definition inexperienced drivers hurt or killed in auto accidents while impaired. All the motives were and are good.

    But I tend toward the Italian approach to this, where it is the most common thing in the world to have a 14 year old have a glass of wine at the family dinner, and where alcohol is not the forbidden fruit that it can be here.

    I think more education is certainly in order – many parents and kids don’t know how to drink – but I wish that the drinks age here were knocked down at least two years.

  10. The US drinks age is idiotically high at 21 to begin with

    But you can buy a gun when you are 18 or even younger in some states, I believe.

  11. Tesco wooden tooth picks interdental woodsticks are next on the Socialist bureaucratic “government needs to protect you” hit-list.

  12. I find it incredible that in the US an 18 year old can legally vote, be deployed in combat, ‘act’ in porn, buy a gun etc yet can’t legally buy a beer.

    Bizarre.

  13. The feds could not directly force the states to change the drinking age .

    But they told the states that they’d cut off federal highway funds to any state that did not raise the age. So the feds got their way.

  14. Paul

    It’s probably a throwback to the days of prohibition. And of course, many religious groups in America where a lot more scathing of the Devil’s brew than elsewhere in the world.

  15. This was all fine as long as, how shall I say, a certain social consensus of behaviour prevailed ..

    Yes, the basis of civilisation itself. And when a society is Balkanised, when social trust and empathy is driven out, a million useless laws are imposed in a vain attempt to replace the lost social consensus.

    Diversity is our weakness.

  16. Actually, something I’ll be interested to know from one of our Irish friends, what was the church’s attitude in Ireland on drinking? I’ve always assumed it was neutral or positive, and I correct an assumption?

  17. Dave

    The move to Prohibition had it’s greatest support among Protestant groups, especially in the South.

    Catholics, especially the big city Irish Germans, but and Italians weren’t so keen on it.

  18. It’s probably a throwback to the days of prohibition. And of course, many religious groups in America where a lot more scathing of the Devil’s brew than elsewhere in the world.

    God bless Conservative traditionalism and modesty Dave.

    I’ve never been given cause to think what the church’s attitude in Ireland on drinking is. I assume it’s indifferent. I also remember reading somewhere that Ireland had a huge number of alcohol abstentionists.

  19. Them bloody Prods starting trouble again eh?

  20. Blame the women. The Prohibition movement was led by them.

    But again for the very best of motives.

    Hard drinking was common then, and the children and wives suffered for it.

    Very interesting documentaries on this subject.

  21. I wonder if its the same store that I visited to buy a bait box and some rat poison. They sold the approved bait box (designed to prevent birds eating the bait) but not the poisoned bait which was “far to dangerous”. No problems at the garden centre, it was on the open shelve and they sold it without any problem!

  22. Father Ted, would agree with you Paul.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnNhd7dLj3w

  23. Dave, that’s what inspired me mate 🙂

  24. Cheers Paul, that answers my question.
    I remember my father telling me when he worked in Ireland, (just outside cork), about a priest who used to come into the bar they frequented in the evenings. My dad said he could put away a fair few pints Guinness, and the locals seemed to have no problem buying him tipple. Perhaps this was in lieu of a collection box on Sunday. 😀

  25. Blame the women. The Prohibition movement was led by them.

    As was the Temperance movement in England in the late 1800s. Quakers like Cadbury (chocolate) built Bournville (near Birmingham) in 1890 as a temperance village for his workers and it only got its first pub a few years ago.

  26. My parents never drank a drop and many of my older family still don’t. The “pioneer pin” (a symbol of abstentionism) used to be a regular sight in Ireland….it has almost vanished in the under 70s now though.

  27. I have/had older relatives who were Pioneers too.

    Some of them worked in blue collar jobs where it would have been common for the boys to go out after a shift ended. It may not have always been easy to be a Pioneer.

    I have always respected those who did this, even if it was not my thing.

  28. // The “pioneer pin” (a symbol of abstentionism) used to be a regular sight in Ireland//

    I remember Luke Kelly saying once that those pins came in handy for opening a bottle …

    I think the Pioneer association was a Catholic thing; there were in any case always those broschures in churches extolling the benefits of temperance, and the priests often used to drive the point home from the pulpit.

    On an individual level, of course, the clergy drank as much as everyone else. And I think for most Irish people, abstentionism meant no more than Sinn Fein’s refusal to enter the House of Commons.

    Dave. True, priests, but usually higher clergymen, used to drink in pubs. There used to be a small area separated from the rest of the pub by low wooden walls and opaque glass, called a “snug”, where priests used to drink. The snug was always just inside the door, so the priest could always make a discrete entry and a quick escape. A courting couple would also drink in the more private “snug”, so between them and the priest there must have been some interesting conversation in that wee room.

  29. It was my understanding that the Pioneer Movement was a specifically Irish Catholic Church phenomena Noel.

    Both of Belfast’s Crown Bar in Gt Victoria Street and the Rock Bar on the Falls still have fully functioning snugs.

  30. Mike looking at that picture. If you were an unaccompanied Calais Migrant the people at HMG would determine that you were about twelve. It’s a foster home for you matey. Enjoy your first day at big school.

  31. Noel

    Dave. True, priests, but usually higher clergymen, used to drink in pubs. There used to be a small area separated from the rest of the pub by low wooden walls and opaque glass, called a “snug”, where priests used to drink. The snug was always just inside the door, so the priest could always make a discrete entry and a quick escape. A courting couple would also drink in the more private “snug”, so between them and the priest there must have been some interesting conversation in that wee room.

    That’s interesting mate. I remember a retired history professor, who used to drink in a pub next to a place I worked. We used to chat to him at lunchtime, and he told us that the historically, people used pubs extensively for meetings. As well as for planning of all sorts of Machiavellian schemes.
    By coincidence, my Mother and I were chatting on the phone last night about how pubs have all become open plan these days, but they used to be separate rooms like the bar And The Lounge. My mum was telling me she remembered when she was younger, going into pubs that had a snug, to sit and talk in privacy with her partner.

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