Can’t Be Drinking

People born in 1995 can’t be drinking. Seems impossible. How can they even be walking? I mean, we’re talking 1995! And yet, legally they can drink. As the bartender, I serve them. Warily.

Yeah, they come in here, the guys with their neatly trimmed beards and the gals wearing their vintage Blondie t-shirts, and they order their pear ginger bellinis and their charred pineapple mojitos. I check IDs and, sure enough Austin and Melinda can, according to the laws of the State of California, imbibe alcoholic beverages. I smirk and serve.

But it irks me. When I get off at 11 and Louie takes over, I head to the other side of the bar. And then I, Herb, start drinking and chatting with the hipsters. These kids are amused by “the old guy” and they’re pretty sure they can match me drink for drink. So, we drink together. But Louie knows my ways and he puts a little extra absinthe in the drinks.

Pretty soon, Austin and Melinda are trying to play it cool but I can tell they’re queasy. Austin steps away and doubles over. Melinda dashes to the rest room. They’ll get better, and they’ll even be back tomorrow, but in the meantime I enjoy the show. They return woozy and crawling on all fours. Because they shouldn’t be walking at that age, much less drinking. As a precaution I call 911. I’ve got it on speed dial.

Whatever the law says, these kids are too young. Can’t be drinking.