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Thanks, mostly

I just have to belatedly blog about the conversation I had this weekend.  It was one of those where you immediately think “this is blog fodder, b’gawd.”

I was at the liquor store (ah, for the days of being able to buy liquor in a grocery store!) for some holiday-related purchases.  TB needs him some Maker’s, oh yes.  Don’t you know the in-laws are inbound for Thanksgiving?

Anyway, I grabbed my big bottle and thumped it on the counter.  I go to this liquor store maybe once every month or two, so while the old fellow behind the counter is somewhat familiar to me, I’m just one of his many not-so-regulars.  He was just starting the whole “turn my attention away from the game on the small TV and proceed to checkout,” so I asked if he wanted to see my ID.  I had my wallet open anyway, it was right there, why not?

“Sure,” he said, “Never hurts.”  Which I took to mean I wasn’t going to ask for it, but sure. Which is cool with me.

He glanced at it for a long enough second that I was starting to wonder why.  Then he handed it back with a small grin:  “Well, you’re nine or ten years older than I had you pegged.”

“Well, hey, thanks!” I said, laughing.  That’s when the conversation took the you-wouldn’t-make-this-up turn.

“How long have you had your beard?” he asked.

I’m not put off by this question, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it, so it took me a second to blink and start trying to answer.  “Hmm, well, I grew just the chin-beard in college, then shaved it all off when I got married, grew it back not too long ago.  I didn’t have the mustache to go with it until I grew a full beard a couple of years ago.”

He nodded.  “See, I could tell you had your beard a while.  I get 19-20 year old guys in here from time to time that have beards, but you can look at them and tell they haven’t had it long.”

Ah, I thought, finally getting it.  “Well, I started going bald about the time I started growing the beard…” I say as I pull off my cap.

He laughs.  “Now, see, there I might have guessed your age a little closer!”


9 Responses

  1. Uh…huh.


  2. I’m being really stupid (as usual) so please indulge me- why did he need your ID? Is it common to be asked in the States? Here, they’d only ask if you looked REALLY young, like not old enough to grow a beard in the first place!

    It’s always nice to be told you look younger than you really are!

    The penalties for both the store and the employee if someone’s caught selling alcohol (or tobacco products, for that matter) to someone underage are pretty stiff. Most stores have fairly strict policies for counter staff that if the person even remotely looks like they could be under 30, you should card them.

    I normally beat them to the punch and ask them if they want ID. Sometimes they’ll wave it off, sometimes they’ll say “Sure.” I’m not bothered either way. I’ve only been stopped and carded once in the last five years or so, and that was when Dys and I were going into a casino. I laughed as I gave him my ID and asked if he wanted to see my bald head too, whipping off my cap. Didn’t even crack a smile.

    That said, when I first turned 21 back in college I went out to buy some booze and got carded. The guy looked me over really closely, quizzed me about some details on the ID, and finally sold me the stuff. “I was thinking you were the government mystery shopper of the day. You could easily pass for 15,” he said.

    I used to actually think I looked too young to be taken seriously when meeting with people for work purposes. I haven’t thought that in a few years now!

    Heck, now that I think about it, my son is now closer to being 21 than I am…

  3. I still think I look 21, but no one has been asking me for my ID for about five or six years now. The bags under the eys and the salt and pepper hair are dead giveways.

    Looking 21 one in not only in the rear view mirror, but back a couple of streets and around the corner.

    I love the guys that work there.

    “…and around the corner.” Heh, I like that!

  4. Hmm.

    That said, I never get carded anymore, either. It’s all the WISDOM I’ve got on my face. Yeah, that’s it.

    [Tommy Flanagan]Yeah, me and my wife, Morgan Fairchild! Yeah, that’s the ticket![/Tommy]

  5. I get carded and my answer is usually ‘You first!’ especially when it is someone obviously younger than I am. Then at the grocery store they say ‘Well we card anyone who looks under 30’ and I usually thank them because I’m very far past that as well.

    I guess I’m tall enough that they can’t see the crop of gray hairs on the top of my head, they’re trying to flatter me or they are just plain stupid.

    I’ll take “All of the above.” 😀

  6. You can’t buy liquor in your grocery stores? Even our Target has applied for a liquor license…just can’t buy it on a Sunday.

    Nope…beer and wine in grocery stores, everything else in liquor stores. Or pharmacies, for some reason. The local Rite-Aid is super-stocked. But I go to the little mom & pop in the strip mall a mile or two from my house.

    I do miss being able to buy it in the Midwest, though. Although it was hysterical because the grocery store we frequented was half-staffed by kids who looked about 8, and they always had to call an adult over to ring up my bottle of booze.

    Could be worse – in Virginia, the liquor stores are all run by the state. “VABC” stores.

  7. I smoked on and off from the time I was 13 until I was 25, and the number of times I got carded actually increased after I turned 18. I could probably still pass for under 21 on a good day.

    Where I live, you can’t buy liquor, beer or wine anywhere but a liquor store – no grocery stores etc. I don’t know if this is local or statewide. BF went to college in Pennsylvania, and there they call the liquor stores “state stores” because they’re all run by the state. I.e. “Let’s go to the state store and get some Jim Beam.” In the states I’ve lived in in New England you can buy beer at 7-11 but you can’t buy it on Sunday or in the middle of the night. The rules there are weird.

    You could definitely buy on Sunday where we lived. I don’t know about middle of the night, I don’t think I ever tried.

  8. Nope, where we lived, couldn’t buy after 2 or 3 a.m. — and used to only be able to buy beer on Sunday and not liquor. Also couldn’t buy until after 6 a.m. on weekdays and, I think, 8 a.m. on Sunday… can’t remember, but I know it was different.

    And the pharmacies get to sell because they have DEA privileges for the narcotics anyway (and the crowd says, ahhhhhhh!).

    —more importantly: Heck, now that I think about it, my son is now closer to being 21 than I am…

    Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii hate you for that. 😛

    See, the funny part is that everybody here knows better than to think you’re the alkie of the couple, even though they don’t necessarily know that you grew up there and I just lived there for a few years and therefore you have a good reason to know the liquor laws better than me.

    As for the other part, heh, add it to the list, lady. 😉

  9. I haven’t been carded in so long. I don’t even think about it anymore when I walk into a liquor store or order a drink at a resturaunt anymore, you know, until I’m leaving. Then I ask myself “why didn’t I get carded?”

    Hmm. Since you mentioned it, I haven’t been carded in a restaurant in ages. Only at the liquor store (and casino).

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