As a lad in my late teens, I was never "carded" when I bought beer. At that time, I lived only a few miles from the Pennsylvania/New Jersey state line, and since the legal drinking age in Jersey was 18, going over the bridge to Jersey was more than a right of passage. It was called - Saturday Night. Only the uninitiated went through the toll gates on route 22 and then back again. On the return trip, they were cheerfully greeted by Pennsylvania State Troopers who warmly welcomed them home. The more seasoned lads used the free bridge that connected downtown Easton, PA. with Phillipsburg N.J. ; no toll fees and no police. And we always went to the same store. I guess the guy figured that taking money from Pennsy kids was just as good as taking money from Jersey kids. After all, it was Saturday Night.
Several weeks ago I was reminded that the virus that causes chicken-pox as a child hangs around and can bless you with shingles as an older adult. Not having a desire to deal with shingles, I found a local pharmacy that offered the vaccination. I stepped up to the counter and made my request only to be politely told that I needed to be over 50 to receive the vaccine. My reply was the truth; I am well over 50. The druggist caught wind of my banter with his young clerk and asked me if there was a problem. Again polite - this is Texas. I said no, that I just wanted a shingles vaccination. He repeated his clerk's words almost verbatim and also asked to see my insurance info and photo ID. Since I wanted the shot, compliance with his request was not an issue. At his first glance, the guy thought that I had given him a fake ID. Well, those pictures on driver's licenses always look bad. Thankfully, he was able to confirm my age with my insurance company. As he gave me the injection, he apologized for assuming that I was, ah.......too young. Not to worry, I said, it's all in the genes. But I wonder: if I started to drink single malt scotch back in the day in stead of beer, would I look like a teenager today? Just wondering.
The above is all true and a bit funny but shingles is not a laughing matter. If you are over 50, had chicken-pox and reading this, check with your doctor, get your butt out the door, and get the vaccination.
Copyright @2012 Terry Unger
Since I first published this post, the issue of voter I.D. has become a hot button issue. Here in Texas, that is the rule. I needed I.D. for the vaccination; not a problem. When we travel within the continental U.S. , we need a photo I.D. to confirm and pay for our hotel; again, not a problem. The real blast came this past holiday season. Because the charge card total was over $100.00, we were asked for photo I.D. That was a problem. We were told that was store policy. The hair on the back of my neck stood up like a porcupine's. The demand for the manager left my lips, and he repeated what the cashier originally told us. When agitated, I can be vocal. The crowds that filled the space around the checkout lanes heard exactly how I felt about I.D. Thankfully, we live in Texas, where photo I.D. is required to vote.