Hey, stop right there. Yea, you, the one with the greasy mitts on that keyboard, trying to sneak by me like some kind of animal who is inherently sneaky, like a fox or something. Who do you think you are?
You think you can type in that URL and waltz in here like the belle of some fancy ball that I didn’t get invited to because I’m socially awkward? Well you better think again, cupcake. This here brewing website falls squarely in the lands of my jurisdiction, my protectorate, my realm. I’m the shining armored knightly savior turned bouncer because he was low on cash after all the dragons migrated south for the winter. I’m it, the glacial wall, the Tim Howard of this website. I, in all my power and glory, am the Age Verification System.
I have one job, and it’s to keep underage law-breakers like you from entering this site before you’ve seen at least 252 moons (maybe 253 depending on how blue those moons got). We can’t just have innocent children looking at label art or reading descriptions of beer; we don’t know what the long term ramifications of such wanton hedonism could lead to. We need to protect the innocent young folks out there from the slinking, smirking evils of taproom hours and release updates. If someone doesn’t put the children first, they’ll end up last, or possibly third or fourth which is just as bad, really.
So here I stand, questioning, probing, challenging, keeping this law all legal and stuff. You want in? You want to cross this SSL threshold and enter this veritable Valhalla? Fine, but I’m not going to make it easy. You have to prove yourself. Test your mettle. Show you’re experienced enough to take on this quest.
Question the first!
Are you at least twenty-one years old!?
OK, well off you go then.
What, no, I don’t need to see your ID. I trust you. I mean, if we can’t just trust each other, what kind of world do we have to accept that we live in? No, no, you’re good, I don’t need any proof. I was just encouraged to ask, not by law like I suggested before (at least in the USA), but because of a vague recommendation established by the FTC in 2008.
Since I know you’re 21 now, I’d like to suggest that in the future you bring a box of cookies and walk right through this completely unguarded door on my left, but my boss has sort of demanded that I ask you how old you are every time you visit. Yea, I don’t get it either, but thems the breaks. At least he’s just using the yes or no method; can you imagine how annoying it would be if you had to give me your full date of birth every time? You’d probably just start making it up after a while.
I know, right? An underage kid can physically walk into a liquor store and wander around unimpeded as long as they don’t physically handle the alcohol, so you’d think this sort of superfluous annoyance would phase out because of basic logic. Heh, look at me, talking myself out of a job again. My first gig was in the porn industry (look, I was young, needed money, and the dragons had all flown south for the winter), but despite a robust selection of employers, my particular skill set soon became obsolete. Mostly because everyone realized that leaving one unarmed guard at the front door to a building with 5,000,000 backdoors was a less than efficient security system. But honesty, I only stand here and guard the site because I’m supposed to. I work to live, not live to work, you know?
Look, I want to protect the kids. I really do. They’re our future (or so Whitney Houston lead me to believe), and we should do our best not to expose them to all sorts of brain altering crap before they’ve had a chance to mature properly. That’s why I stand here, the ever faithful watch dog. I can’t have a buzzed teenager on my conscience.
Yea. It does seems sort of pointless given the exposure they’ll get to much, much worse than the contents of a brewery’s website on television, on the radio, in magazines, from their peers, from their parents, from professional athletes, or from pretty much every conceivable source of media extant in the world today.
But I’m not here to sort out what’s totally pointless, and what’s only kind of totally pointless.
I just want to do my job. If you’re going in, go in, otherwise I might forget who you are and be required to ask you how old you are again. Wait, it has already been too long. I can’t trust you’re the same age you were 5 minutes ago.
Are you at least twenty-one years old!?
Alright sweet, enjoy your visit.