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He Only Wanted A Damn Beer
Author: Shiloh

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Grocery line.
Old guy, probably my age,
but he looked a lot older;
bad teeth, missing teeth,
thin faced, skinny arms,
smiling, trying to look "normal,"
trying to blend in with everyone,
because he wanted to buy a can of beer.
One can of beer.
And a can of tuna.
Gotta give him credit -
he wasn't trying to steal them,
he had the money to pay for them.
But,- his ID was out of date,
an out-of-state license
with his picture and date of birth,
and even though you could see
that he was certainly more than twenty-one,
rules are rules, laws are laws,
and he was put through the shame
and embarrassment of being told,
by a smug, very loud-mouth clerk,
that he could not buy a can of beer
with his outdated ID.
He only wanted a damn beer.
From his breath you could tell
that he was hooked on the stuff,
and from his appearance, it was probably
what really held him together.
I felt sorry for the guy,
because even with an outdated ID,
it could have been handled a lot better than that.
It was just a damn beer.

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