Little Things Can Chap One’s Cheeks

by Curt Kovener

Two matters cropped up last week on the same day to put my knickers in a knot.
Back when I was in the 4th grade I recall a lesson on the importance of phone manners and communication. Granted that lesson was almost 50 years ago but the lessons were important. And they are obviously not being taught now, maybe because we text, tweet, twitter, e-mail but rarely talk.
It is frustrating to listen to a voicemail message where a name and phone number are mumbled and muffled. I can usually make out either a first or last name but many times the phone number gets recorded like someone speaking from the bottom of a well with a sock in their mouth and trying to mimic an auctioneer chanting bids.
There was one instance when a person called on two different occasions and mumbled the last four digits of their phone number. I have no way of knowing who to call. On the third try, she was obviously pretty miffed that I was failing to get back in touch and she spoke in an exasperated but very clear tone. I immediately returned her call and explained the reason for the delay. And she denied mumbling.
Later that evening, as I purchased some adult beverages to console myself for not listening clearly, I was asked for my I.D. Now back in May when the alcohol retailers began practicing for the new law, I thought it was kind of cute to be carded. Now it is just a pain.
For the record, anyone purchasing any alcohol must show a photo I.D. proving their age. Apparently this got passed in with a large all inclusive bill that nearly everyone wanted to vote for parts of so there was little knowledge or debate. And I learned it was the alcohol retailers themselves that pushed for this bill.
So now a gray haired wrinkled adult has to show a clerk (who is usually young enough to be their son or daughter) that they are old enough to buy alcohol.
“If I don’t ask, I’ll lose my job,” a clerk told me as she looked at my driver’s license.
“That’s fine,” said I, putting away my license after showing her my I.D.. “Now, how old am I?”
“I don’t know but you look old enough” was her reply.
And she couldn’t tell that without viewing my driver’s license?
I suspicion that I am not the only post-50 person who is getting cranky with the delay and intrusion and suspect that the next legislature will hear enough grief over geezer I.D. to get something with more common sense written into the law.
At least my mother hopes so.