Old Codger Refused to Prove How Old He was, Denied Alcohol, Got REALLY Grumpy!

When Tony Ralls, 72 (but looks years younger, IMHO) wanted to buy wine at his local supermarket, but was refused by the supermarket checkout staff when he refused to prove he was old enough!

The grandfather-of-three said he had refused to confirm he was over 21 as it was a "stupid question."

Mr Ralls, a retired insurance firm regional manager, said he expected the store manager to resolve the situation but he was disappointed. "I felt like saying 'What do I look like? Are you a fool?'

"He picks up the wine and, in the manner of a child taking home his ball, says 'Well, we won't serve you'."

[...] Mr Ralls said: "It is bureaucracy gone mad. If the check-out lady, who was about 40, had asked me with a twinkle in her eye perhaps I would not have been so tetchy. "But she asked me the question with a perfectly straight face and I said I wouldn't dignify the question with an answer.

What do you think: Blind adherence to rules or crotchety old man? Link - Thanks mikolka!

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here in europe (netherlands, im sure off) they ask for ID at stores, but they NEVER swipe them, you dont have to hand it over, showing is enough...than again, i hardly ever have to show my ID, only when i buy weed :)
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The store was 100% in the right. They can get in a lot of trouble if they sell to someone underage, and while this guy may not look underage, I haven't looked underage since I was 14. In many states in the US both the clerk and the store can be fined separately, and inconveniencing an old guy is a small price to pay compared to a $500 fine for the first offense, or $1000 fine for the 2nd offense (at least that's what it was when I was a clerk, but that's been several years ago now) and keep in mind that fine gets paid twice; once by the store and once by the clerk.
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@ sparge: "What else do you expect when police forces have nothing better to do than use mature-looking yet underage bait as a sting to bust businesses for selling alcohol or tobacco to minors?"

Someone got busted, didn't he?

Definitely carding this 76-year-old was overboard. The clerk should have made it like a joke (just like the he said) but he also could have just left the store and not turned this into an Internet sensation. Even the registers that require the ID to be swiped must have an override that the manager could have used.
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where has the common sense gone?

I worked in a MA Walgreens, where ID is mandatory for cigarettes. We'd ask the "ederly" looking their birth date only and would type it in the computer (111111 not working for long indeed), and would ID the young or litigious ones.

By mixing juvenile protection and good sense, I think Walgreen's achieved a good balance.

You still had some customers that would not give their birth date. Well we would send them at our neighbour, a gas station 30 yards away... The law is the law is the law.
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Not sure about the laws in Europe, but here in the states, if someone is NOT carded regardless of how old they look, the store can lose it's liquor license.

Sometimes that means the store has to close down. Grocery stores and liquor stores cannot be expected to run without a liquor license.

If some old guy feels a bit hassled because some clerk is DOING THEIR JOB, he should suck it up. Maybe he cut corners and did a shoddy job as an insurance firm regional manager, but some people actually do what they're supposed to do.
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