Just when I thought our overbearing, busy-body, nanny-state government village idiots couldn’t possibly inflict new stupidity upon my life that would surprise me, I just had to go to the grocery store.
You see, I thought I’d be a good husband and cook dinner one night last week. So I grabbed “The Boy” and headed off to Albertson’s for all the necessary fixin’s for my not-quite award-winning seafood fettuccini Alfredo.
Since we really didn’t have that many items, I opted to use the self-checkout counter. Naturally, the 5-year-old wanted to do the scanning. Which was fine by me. I wasn’t in a hurry and kids need to learn real-life skills.
So “CJ” proceeded to scan: Bag of pasta…bloop! Jar of sauce…bloop! Bag of shrimp…bloop! Package of Andouille sausage…bloop! Loaf of garlic bread…bloop! No problem. But then we got to the last item.
“Son, that’s glass…so be very careful,” says I.
“SIR, HE CAN’T DO THAT!” the panicked store clerk yelped from her perch in the middle of the checkout area.
“Don’t worry,” I replied. “If he breaks it, I’ll pay for it.”
But that wasn’t the problem. Turns out what the clerk was having a conniption over was the fact that the glass item was a bottle of…wine.
“Ma’am,” I tried to ‘splain, “he’s not going to drink it. He’s not even going to buy it. He’s simply scanning it. Don’t have a cow.”
But she did have a cow, and jumped on her microphone to summon forth the store manager post-haste. I don’t think she shouted “Code Red! Code Red!” But she may as well have.
To make a long story short, the absurdity of the situation was just too much for me to take. Since I hadn’t paid yet, I informed “Miss Hysteria” that (a) I wasn’t going to be making this purchase after all, and (b) I had no intention of waiting for the store manager to show up and try to explain this unexplainable stupidity to me.
So it was left-overs for the Muth clan that night.
Now, here’s the thing. I was initially pretty ticked off at the store clerk for making such a mountain out of a molehill. But then I realized she was just trying to protect her business from the heavy hand of government apparatchiks who, if scanning alcohol by a minor really is against the law, could have fined the store.
Now, I don’t know if such a law actually exists making it illegal for my 5-year-old son, in my presence, to simply scan a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer (probably is). But if so, then the law is an ass. One can only imagine what Samuel Adams would say were he alive today.