Being a kid at heart, it is not unheard of that someone will say to me: “Act your age!” My favorite response to this these days is “How can I act my age? I have never been this age before so how am I supposed to know how to act?” The whole idea that our character and responsibility is somehow determined by a rather arbitrary number is funny to me. Like some irresponsible and immature person is suddenly going to turn into a responsible model of society simply because they had an 18th birthday.
Laws based on age are downright ridiculous in my eyes. Specifically because they are inconsistent. You are not responsible for your actions until you are 18. But suddenly on your 18th birthday the magic switch is flipped, you know exactly what you are doing and the repercussions of it, and can be finally held responsible for your own choices. You can now die for your country, marry without your parent’s permission, watch R rated movies (or better yet porn), and actually be blamed for any crimes you choose to commit. You are now legally a responsible person.
So why is it that one can get permission to control a couple of ton death trap; a device that when handled irresponsibly is downright dangerous, when one is only 16? After all the magic switch hasn’t been flipped yet. And why is it that if you can make your own choices about life, death, sex, and movies because you are now the wise and responsible age of 18, your are still NOT capable of drinking responsibly?And finally why is most of the silliness in the world actually caused by people who are significantly older than 18? Does the magic wear off that quickly?
Oops! Sorry for slipping into rant mode. That is supposed to be for one of my other blogs!
Silliness of the drinking age aside, in my years of barroom activity on both sides of the bar, I have observed that one can basically tell if someone is of drinking age simply by HOW they respond to “May I see your ID?”. Generally the response falls into a few categories based on age groups:
- Under 21: I left it at home; I’ll go get it (and then never come back); Damn!
- 21: Yay! I am 21 at last! Here take it! See! See!
- 22-25: (Usually annoyed) Why do you guys always have to ask. Isn’t it obvious I am over 21?
- 25-35: Sure. Here ya go.
- 35-45: Why didn’t you ask ME for MY ID?
- 45 +: You just made my day!
Considering the whole usefulness of ID issue in the first place, maybe ID checkers would do better without the piece of plastic?