One Manhattan Store’s Crackdown On Elderly Drinkers

01/22/2013 11:54 AM |


On most days, I’m inclined to make fun of (or just not read) the Metropolitan Diary section of the Times, because well, have you seen most of the letters? Usually nonsense, sometimes racist! Just not the best. Today, though, it is perfect.

Today, they have a reminisce from a man named, I kid you not, “Mort Young,” about the time, at 77-years-old, when he was carded trying to buy a six-pack at the Eighth Avenue supermarket. Mort lays it down as follows:

When I stopped at the cashier to pay for a six-pack of beer, I noticed the manager lurking nearby, keeping an eye on the young girl at the register. As a constant customer, I knew she was new at the job. Before ringing up the sale she said:

“I need to see your ID.”
“I have to card you.”
“You’re kidding.”
“It’s the rule.”
“That’s crazy. Just look at me.”
A blush swept across her face. “I have to ask.”
At this point the manager strolled over. “She’s right,” he said. “We now card everyone buying alcohol.”

Mort caved, showed his I.D., and went on to buy (and presumably) drink his six-pack without any further hassle. Not before wondering, though, if he had somehow been deemed “too old” to buy beer, which is a huge bummer to think about. Blind application of corporate policy is a total scourge in America at large, and if anyone should be allowed to drink in peace, it is most certainly the elderly. No one deserves a drink more than someone who has managed to stay on this earth for decades upon decades!

But anyway, the story does have a happy ending, in that the rule was lifted, the manager was most likely fired, and Mort Young is still around to tell the tale. Maybe, just for today, everything is just as it should be.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.