Underage

March 25th 2016

Today I had an odd experience at work (waiter, restaurant). I served a mother and son and when I asked them what they wanted to drink the mum said “I’d like a Coke, but my son here is 14 and would like a beer, and I am okay with that. There is a law that states that as long as he has parental consent he can have a beer with his meal.” 

I was taken aback. I told her to give me a minute whilst I checked the terms of our liquor license, wherein actuality I just needed a second to compose myself. I was really confused, it was probably one of the weirdest things to have happened to me in 6 years as a waiter. 

Firstly, she got it wrong. It’s against the law at 14. If he was 16 we might’ve had a different discussion. 

Secondly, scratch that, even if he was 16 I still wouldn’t’ve served him alcohol. My boss said that its not worth the risk of losing our liquor license just to sell one beer. 

Thirdly, what kind of mother encourages/facilitates her son drinking at 14????

She started to quote the law and stuff to me, but I’ve just researched it, and she’d got it wrong. When I wouldn’t budge, they caved and she ordered him a milkshake. I laughed internally at the irony that he’d gone from ordering a ‘grown-up’ drink to a ‘kids drink’. 

It just shocked me to think of the dynamic that they must have. Maybe it was a special treat, for his 14th birthday he was allowed a beer because his mum thought she knew the law better than she did. 

Or maybe he’s a raging alcoholic and his mum thinks it’s better for him to do it with her than on the streets somewhere. 

Or maybe she was just taking the piss, I don’t fucking know. 

Was I supposed to ID him to make sure he was 14? And was I supposed to ID her to make sure that she was his mother? 

Of course, i had to play it off that I was apologetic that on this occasion I wouldn’t be able to give her son a drink because he was underage and I didn’t want to invalidate our liquor license. But why would I want to? What kind of message is that sending to a young lad? 

I dunno. It was weird. This town is weird. 

Until tomorrow, can I see some ID please? 

Jacn

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