I went to Wal Mart after work today to purchase a few items. My list was comprised of dryer sheets, deodorant and Nyquil. I picked up my three items and got in line to pay. There were a few people behind me and together we all waited while the cashier tried to scan the two gallons of milk the woman in front of me wanted to buy. They were different kinds of milk. One was skim and one was two percent. It only matters because the two percent milk wouldn't scan and the computer wouldn't recognize the number the cashier tried to enter into it. The cashier then asked the woman if she knew how much the milk was. The woman didn't know.
"But it's all right with me if you just want to scan the other one again," she said.
The inventory prep girl inside of me took issue with this. It is NOT okay. That's the sort of thing that screws up a store's inventory because they're not the same item. But as it was Wal Mart's inventory and I'll have absolutely nothing to do with that, I decided to keep my mouth shut.
Then it was my turn.
The cashier scanned my precious bottle of Nyquil first. The computer beeped. Loudly. The little display read "Is customer 18? Yes or No?"
I looked at the cashier. The cashier looked at me.
"Do you have your license on you?" she asked.
"No," I said because I didn't have my license on me because I hadn't been planning to do any driving actually in Wal Mart.
"Well, then I can't sell you this item," she said.
She took the bottle of Nyquil and set it on the other side of her register.
"Wait, what?" I asked. "Are you serious?"
Apparently she was because she said, "You have to be eighteen to purchase this."
"Well, that works out because I'm thirty three," I said.
"I need to see your license," she said again.
I was a little stunned. The guy behind me was also a little stunned and made a small noise of disbelief. For a moment of pure irrationality, I didn't know if I should be annoyed with the cashier for thinking I wasn't old enough to buy a bottle of cough syrup or annoyed with the guy for thinking I was.
I went with the cashier.
"It's a single bottle of Nyquil," I said.
"And you have to be eighteen to buy it," she said.
"I'm not going to get high off it," I said. "I'm not making crystal meth in my bathtub."
At least I wouldn't be making very much crystal meth in my bathtub.
But the mean cashier did not seem to care about this. She was definitely in "no license, no Nyquil" mode. Since there was an ever growing line of people waiting behind me, I stopped fighting with the woman. I took the dryer sheets and deodorant.
"Have a nice day," she said as she handed me my receipt.
"Really?" I asked.
She shrugged and started to wait on the next customer. He was buying some fettuccine alfredo box dinner. Probably didn't have to be eighteen to buy that.
I shouldn't be surprised. This is the same store, after all, that once carded me for buying the unrated version of the movie Role Models.
So, thank you, Wal Mart, for keeping Americans safe from unrated debauchery and a good night's sleep. If I need any other favors, I'll be sure to let you know.
Oh...and just one last thing before I sign off. I'd like to say hello to my new reader, Mrs. King...thanks for tuning in!!