We're shopping and my girlfriend isn't allowed to buy three packets of painkiller. "I'm sorry I can't sell you all of those", the teenage till operator apologises.
We're in Tesco. The shop assistant is embarrased, we're embarrased, it's an embarrasing situation. Even the people in the queue behind us are unsure how to react. The reason the rule is there is because if you take too many pain killers you can die. This means that there's an implication that my girlfriend is either suicidal or stupid. It sets up a hierarchy between us and the lad who is working at the tills, currently apologetically blinking at me and my girlfriend. The tacit suggestion is that this spotty little kid is actually some sort of hero, leaping in at the last minute to save my poor girlfriend's life.
It might seem petty but I believe that in life the devil is in the detail. Little things like this can tell you an awful lot about society.
In my opinion, the idea will have been worked out somewhere by a committee of people, none of whom will have ever had to implement the policy personally. It's an extension of our soceities gradual decline as those in power choose to treat others as if they were all idiots. George Orwell once wrote that the more fool-proof we make our society the more we create "a world fit for fools". The old adage treat "people like children and they act like children" springs to mind. The shop assistant was right to feel embarrased.
I went to a different till and bought the extra box of painkillers myself as I mused that "there would have been no such problem had we been buying lethal quantities of alcohol".
People often misunderstand my thoughts on the recently imposed smoking ban in public places but I see it as an extension of this "you lot are all f#ckwits" mentality. There's no room to rejoice when it comes to the fact that the majority have stepped in and forced a minority to stop doing something they enjoy. "All political decisions are moral decisions" - Tony Benn Glastonbury 2007. The moral choice here is do you patronise adults with measures that insult their intelligence simply to appease a political campaign which mearly serves to detract from worthwhile debate about genuine change? If the answer is yes then I believe you're immoral.
Arrgh. I've wound myself up. I'm going to buy some painkillers and end it all. See you tomorrow when my life has been saved by a Tesco till tart.