How long is it since you were asked that question?

Personally, I’d have to go back to my early twenties when a tobacconist asked me for ID.  At the time I remember initially thinking it was hilarious: I was at least 20 and he thought I might not even be 16. My good humour soon faded when he wouldn’t serve me…

Going back a bit further, I can remember getting oh-so-dressed-up for nights out in Norwich, doing my best to look ‘cool’ and nonchalantly over-18.  We’d memorise our false dates of birth, testing one another to make sure that we could deliver the correct information on cue. Standing in that line approaching the door was the most nerve-wracking thing ever- the potential for humiliation so horribly real.

This all came back to me in a local shop this afternoon.  A teenage girl, at a guess somewhere between 14 and 15, asked for cigarettes .  She’d obviously been practising her delivery and it wasn’t at all bad:


I listened in, pretending to be making a very difficult decision: Crunchie/drifter? Crunchie/Milkyway? Crunchy, drifter AND Milkyway?

Her mistake?  It was textbook: she delivered her request in that really fast voice that teens always use when they’ve stood round the corner for 10 minutes deciding what to say.  Mistake No2 was the handful of change that she looked set to present to the shopkeeper- clear evidence of a hasty whipround. Sure enough the shop keeper asked her for ID- well done that woman!  Good to see standards being upheld.

The wilful teen didn’t hesitate for a second:

“Nah, but I’m 18 next week”

“Ha!” thought I as I picked up the drifter (solid choice, ratio of wafer to chocolate practically renders it a cereal bar): “You won’t get away with that young lady!”

“Ok, here you go, just this once- bring your ID next time”

WHAT?!  What happened to sending off under-agers with a flea in their ear?  Times have changed and I’m feeling old.  It’s a wonder she didn’t offer to help me across the road…



Got any ID?
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14 thoughts on “Got any ID?

  • February 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    10 L&B and a disposable lighter every time. The disposable lighter used to throw the shopkeeper because they were always asked for a box of matches. AND I was always wearing my school uniform!!! Ah bring back the heydays that were the 1980’s when the shopkeepers didn’t give a shit – it was all about profit.

    And, fwiw, Crunchie every time.

  • February 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    LOL! Clipper’s were the best….

    What an innocent age, pre seatbelts, airbags and lung cancer… ah, nostalgia

  • February 4, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    What a great post. Crunchie/Drifter – had me laughing out loud. It’s what we all do.

    CJ xx

  • February 4, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks CJ…. just one of life’s many quandaries! x

  • February 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I never bought cigarettes – underage or otherwise – but I still get a cheap thrill when I get asked if I’m over 18 in M&S.

  • February 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Crunchie. All that wafery stuff in a Drifter is a waste of chocolate, plus with a Crunchie you can eat all the edges off, bite off the top, then nibble off the bottom, before letting the insidey bit melt on your tongue. Yum.

  • February 5, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Where is this wondrous place? I must visit it immediately! Thanks for stopping by Liz


  • February 5, 2010 at 12:12 am

    A perfect description- I have nothing to add to that xx

  • February 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    My favourite one for getting alcohol when I turned 16 was, before they had chance to ask me my age, ask them if they took switch. when switch was quite new and most people didn’t realise it wasn’t a credit card. worked like a charm.

  • February 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Deceit personified!! I’m very impressed…you were (are) obviously a cool chick! x

  • February 6, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Haha, so true.
    These days it seems as if the shopkeepers are too scared to ask for ID as they don’t know what the reaction may be!
    Hence the soft telling off rather than bricks through the window or worse.
    Lovely piece, gave me a smile and a memory 🙂

  • February 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Thank you 🙂 So true as well, we’d never have dreamed of reprisals but these days… tsk tsk (now feeling even older!)

    Thanks for stopping by!


  • February 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I used to look very young (before I had three children that is) and was regularly asked for ID to buy alcohol well into my late twenties, so I perfected the ‘but I’m 26 next week line’. I still got refused.

    I also loved the crunchie/drifter internal monologue. Crunchie every time!

  • February 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    You’ll look back and relish those days! I used to think I looked young, then pretty much overnight I looked about 150…

    I must stop thinking about chocolate all the time, it is not helping me at all!


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