Friday, December 30, 2005

Catch 21

The legal drinking age in China is controlled, practically, by each individual parent though in theory it is pretty much in utero. The legal drinking age in the states is, of course, 21 years old. So drinking is always legal in China and if you're over 21, it's also legal in the states. But if you're Chinese, over 21, living in the states, and haven't fully thought through the implications of certain questions, you might run into the following problem:

Store clerk: Will this be all ma'am?

Mom: Yes.

Store clerk: Good choices ma'am. '01 was an excellent year for Napa. That'll be $68.88.

Mom: Great. Credit Card.

Store clerk: Oh I'm sorry! Can I please see your ID?

Mom: My ID?

Store clerk: Yes ma'am.

Mom: Do you know how old I am?

Store clerk: No ma'am. That's why I need to see your ID.

Mom: I'm 47! Why do you need to see my ID??

Store clerk: We need to check the ID of everyone who looks under 35.

Mom: But this is ridiculous! I have a son who is already over 21!

Store clerk: Well I'd check his ID too, ma'am.

Mom: But I'm 47!!! I'm old enough to be your mom! Why would you possibly card me?!?

Store clerk: Ma'am, isn't it a compliment that I'm asking you for your ID?

Mom: ...

So on one hand, it's convenient but you look old and on the other hand, it's inconvenient but people still think you look young...

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