“Can I see some I.D.?”
This is the first time somebody’s asked me that without blowing an entire evening to hell. I’m finally 21, a day I have been waiting for with explosive anticipation since my junior year in high school.
I smile at the guy behind the counter and reach into my pocket. I can barely see him over the two cases of Rolling Rock I need for the night’s festivities. Of course, that’s just the first round.
“Yeah, no problem, man.”
My wallet flips open as I take it out and I slide out my driver’s license. My jaw drops as I see the look on the cashier’s face.
“What’s this supposed to be?” he asks. Witty fella.
“My driver’s license. See, it says Minnesota driver’s license in big letters across the top there.”
“You mean right above where it says under 21?”
“Exactly.” This takes just a moment to process – he looks confused and looks at my stats.
“This is expired, kid.”
This is true. “It just expired today. Licenses will do that, you know. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of grace period or something.”
Luckily it’s a Sunday night, so there’s not too many people in the store. It’s looking like this might take a while and he’d probably be even less amusing if there were a line forming behind me. I shift a little bit, getting comfortable and the cashier eyes me suspiciously.
“This is really the worst fake I’ve ever seen,” he mumbles. The look on my face must’ve made him reconsider. It’s a brave man that gets between a man and his booze. Sparks of anger began to illuminate my eyes.
“It’s not a fake! That’s my damn driver’s license!”
“Is this even your picture?”
“Yeah, but there’s five years between then and now, cowboy. I’m just growing up so fast.” Sarcasm never makes anything better, but it comes quickly when you’re drunk and mad. “Look, it’s my birthday, give me a break.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t think I can sell to you. Do you want to put this beer back?”
My cell phone tells me it’s getting to be about beer o’clock and this fool’s been arguing with me for almost five minutes. Aware of the possibility of trouble with an out-of-state I.D., I had brought the ultimate weapon against asshole liquor store guys.
“All right, here.” I dig in my wallet again for a second. “This thing verifies every piece of information on my license. It even has my social security number on it.
Again, confusion. He takes the brightly colored paper from my hand and peers at it as though he were looking at a foreign language.
“It’s my draft card. Or I guess it’s a …” I take it back and read what it says to him, since he was having so much trouble, “registration acknowledgement card.” He takes it back, comparing the stats on it to those on my license.
“I’ve never even seen one of these before. And it looks pretty easy to fake.” He hands it back.
“What do you mean you’ve never seen one of these before? Are you some kind of damned traitor? There’s an astronomical penalty for not registering!”
“Get out of here.”
For the second time that night, my jaw drops to the counter. “What?” I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.
“Come back in a year or two,” he adds.
What an excellent way to start off my 22nd. “You commie bastard!” I yell at him. “This is the most ridiculous bunch of bullshit that I’ve ever heard in my life!” Shouting also comes easily when drunk. And it also never helps.
But this is truly fucked up. I look him in the eyes, call him an asshole and walk out, leaving the beer on the counter.
Good ol’ fucking America. Effective oppression does start at home. There’s no way we could deprive millions around the world of their rights to free will if we let that shit run rampant in our own backyard.
Assistant Opinion editor Cory Anthony thinks outlawing fun is stupid.