Tuesday, March 08, 2005

In Which I Actually Feel Good About Being "Old"

by Tom Bozzo

Whole Foods let me down earlier this evening, as they didn't stock the fennel I needed to pick up for dinner, "Tomato and Fennel Stew with Big Shrimp."

That sent me on a wild fennel chase that ended at Sentry Foods at Hilldale (nearly all the way back to work), which on my recent trips there has been a lesson in how stupid liquor laws are. Sentry employs a number of youthful grocery checkers — so youthful, in fact, that they can't ring up alcoholic beverage sales on their own authority. Late afternoon on Valentine's Day, when nearly everyone in line was a man with flowers in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other, this kept the over-21 front-end managers very busy.

Today, I found myself behind a twentysomething dude buying one food item and a 12-pack of Leinie's Honey Weiss. The checkout dude looked to be 17 or 18. A manager was summoned to check out twentysomething's beer, and the manager miskeyed the year from the ID as 1972 instead of 1982. A brief exchange between checker and customer ensued to the effect of how glad twentysomething was to be 23 instead of 33. The checker expressed a wish to be able to reach 25, then cycle back to 21, etc.

If I were Oscar, I'd wish that I had mentioned "Logan's Run" at that point. Instead, I actually said that getting older was not so bad.

Checker said, "You're, what, 29?"

The slightest grin then crept across my face. I said, "I'm turning 37 in three weeks." Checker's head popped off.

"No way! Well, if I look as young as you when I'm 37, then I guess being old won't be so bad," he said.

Update 9:59 P.M.: I wrote the preceding before seeing this post of Jeremy's, which also mentions "Logan's Run." How weird is that?
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