What Have We Become?
I happened to run out to Target tonight. My wife is battling a flu (H1N1? Seasonal? Who knows any more?) and we were running low on Dayquil and those nice tissues with the lotion. She also wanted a movie on DVD to help fend off the boredom of being in bed all day. Plus my printer has run out of magenta ink, so it was time for a new set of cartridges. And we wanted some mailers suitable for sending out White House Christmas ornaments. Given the disparate nature of these odds and ends, Target seemed like a good place to go, since they have all that stuff.
There's a Target only about a block from us, so off I went. No problem getting everything. But . . .
Checking out, the girl at the register asked to see my ID before she would scan the Dayquil. I didn't see what she had in her hand at first, and when she asked for ID I said "For what?" Because many stores now try to collect information like your phone number or zip code for some obscure marketing purpose. When she told me she needed ID for me to purchase Dayquil, I was nonplussed. Couldn't quite believe it. I mean, it was one little box of "liqui-caps", twenty-four doses. It's not like I was trying to buy a case of the stuff.
If my wife hadn't been at home with a stuffy head, fever, and aches I wouldn't have bought anything at Target at that moment. The check-out girl said that it was the store's policy to ask for ID for anyone buying Dayquil (and presumably any similar over-the-counter cold medicine). Well, it's my policy not to support stupid people in the act of being stupid.
But my wife was waiting.
This is what we've come to. All the nanny-state nonsense we've had inflicted on us over the last few decades. Seat belt laws. Helmet laws. Red light cameras. Endless warning labels trying to cover every possible way people could hurt themselves by being idiots. "Zero Tolerance" policies. And now . . . now they want to see an ID before you buy cold medicine.
We are near the end of our run as a great civilization. The forces of stupidity are building, gentle reader, and this time there's no new frontier waiting for us to escape to. This time, we're stuck. We fight, or we surrender to the reality-impaired mentality drawn to the battle cry "won't someone think of the children?!?"