Friday, 30 October 2009

64: If I was half my age!

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

For those of you that don't know (and/or haven't worked it out yet), I live in the UK. I, like many people, moan about the weather, the health service, the postal service and the licensing hours. I, like most people who moan, don't actually mean any of it. I know that we're ridiculously priviledged in the UK. But we're British; we like moaning about stuff.

But there is one thing I'm still allowed to moan about. Stupid people. As well as variable-but-non-life-threatening weather, a free health service, and arguably the finest postal service in the world, we have a surfeit of thickos. As I've said before, I'm no rocket scientist, but I know my limits.

So let me get back to the licensing laws. In the UK, it's an offence to purchase, or attempt to purchase, alcoholic beverage if you're under 18 years of age. "Under 18 years of age." Despite all the hysteria in the Daily Mail, it's a strategy that's worked pretty well so far. It's also a bit of a wtf moment for me to realise that I've been enjoying the demon-drink legally for 18 years. I'm 36, you see. In terms of maturity, you could well believe otherwise, but I have actually spent 36 chonological years on this planet.

It's the anniversary of me and my good lady tomorrow (Hallow'een - how cool is that?), so after work today I popped into the local Sainsbury's for a bottle of fizz and some roses (yes, I'm that guy). As it's friday, and I had a list of things to do, I also picked up a Newcastle Brown for the completion of said list.

So there I am, basket in hand at the checkout, and the girl on duty cards me. She looks at the alcohol, looks at me, looks at the alcohol again (in case it's changed to pop?), and looks back at me. Then starts with:

"Do you have any I.D?"
"I'm sorry, say again?"
"Identification. For the alcohol"
"...Oh right, I'm sorry, I'm a little past that now, so I'm afraid I don't."

// she looks around arkwardly

"I haven't carried any I.D. for quite a few years now."

// she gestures for her line manager, who looks at the bottle, looks at me, and nods at the girl without a second thought. The transaction then goes ahead, and no-one has to get a slap.

I had initially thought that she meant she had to get clearance from her supervisor to sell me alcohol. If a checkout operator is old enough to work there, but under 18, they can't serve you without their line manager overseeing it. But no. She clearly thought that I was under the legal age to buy alcohol.

Many (most, in fact) stores in the UK operate the 'challenge 21' policy; whereby if a customer looks like they might be 21 or under, they get carded, just in case they're an 'old' looking 17yr old. Some stores operate 'challenge 25'. But the law is the same, 18 is the legal age to buy alcohol; 21 and 25 are just 'ballpark' points to ask customers for I.D.

Now, I'm not conceited enough to think that I'm a good-looking bastard, but I am aware that I look young for my age. Result of a stupidly-easy life I suppose. But do I really look that young? No. No I fucking don't. In order for me to break the law, I'd have to be LESS THAN HALF MY ACTUAL AGE. Even if I halfed my fucking age, I'd STILL be legal to buy alcohol. Could I pass for 30? More than likely. 25? Hmmm, on a good day possibly. 17? Fuck off.

Maybe she'd seen me browsing the Star Wars figures five minutes earlier? Not unless she's got eyes in the back of her fucking head, no. For fuck's sake. "She's just doing her job!", you cry. Well, I'll think you'll find her job entails a bit of common fucking sense, like thinking 'does this guy REALLY look like a nervous 17yr old?' Don't get me wrong, she was quite pleasant about the whole thing, and suitably embarassed afterwards, but for fuck's sake. The really stupid thing is that this isn't even the first time it's happened! It's about the fucking fourth! But each time, I'm a little bit older, and I figure the ongoing probability of it happening again is diminishing. Never bank on probability where idiots are involved.

There, that's better.


And while I'm on;

Saw this in WHSmith today. It's a magazine/book detailing the backgrounds of two of the best loved comedians of the early 20th century...

The lighter side, you say? You mean the history of Laurel and Hardy that doesn't involve child-murder, bribery, corporate fraud and witchcraft? Oh great, I'm tired of reading about all that stuff. Mind you, they did pioneer the silent-film equivalent of Hostel, didn't they? They didn't? Oh.


So, if I'm filling in a prize-crossword or quiz in a magazine, and I use one of these...

...then I'll win, no matter what I put in, right?


Now, as you'll all know, "Save The Children" is a famous charity that does a lot of great work, and the British "Children in Need" appeal uses Pudsey Bear as its mascot, also to do excellent stuff.

...which makes "Pudsey save the children collection" sound like the money will go from the bucket and straight into someone's pocket. And as for "Refreshments proceeds to Epilepsy Charity"? At least have the decency to make a fucking name up before you keep my money!


No comment about this one, it just made me laugh out loud in a public place. Didn't investigate the actual story in the magazine, I do have some dignity.


I don't know if Mr. Glitter has seen the latest range of Star Wars celebration cakes, but I'd be grateful if someone could keep him distracted as he walks past these...

...because it's not that kind of special offer.


Don't buy toys for your kids in Poundland. This one comes with two combs, a saddle and a FUCKING BLADE TO CUT YOU UP, YOU SLAG!

You've got to love the guy in the toy factory in China who says "It's okay, I know English, I'LL do the layout for the packaging..."


And if you're not going to buy your kids' toys in Poundland, that means you've got more money left over for PR0N! Really. For one pound.

Yes, it really is; And no, of course I fucking didn't.
(Eagle-eyed viewers will notice a series of Laurel and Hardy DVDs next to the pr0n, this clearly is the 18-rated section, with their collection of Saw-prequels... I can't wait to learn about the lighter side of it all)


Back on the old "restricted sale" items, these people have a policy in place...

...and I've got one too. I won't buy restricted items from people who use apostrophes for plurals and think the plural of knife is knifes (bizzarely, without an apostrophe).

Oh, and two windows down, they're at it again, with random apostrophage. And I don't know what a "computor" game is, but they sound dangerous.


I know from looking at those it seems like I spend a lot of time in poundy-shops, but they are good for bubble envelopes and CD cases.

And that's been my "stupid world" this week. And I know I haven't stuck the whole 12-days thing with the Star Wars reviews. Work committments I'm afraid. Pfff.

Peace out, y'all!

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

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