November 22, 2006

You Can’t Drive Until You’re 55

Ever once in a while, dear reader, one hears a variation of the following grumble: In this country, 18-year-olds are deemed old enough to die in war but can’t be trusted with a drink. It’s just not fair. Wah, wah, wah.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Yeah, that’s about right. After all, if you possess the requisite courage and magnanimity to defend the United States of America, do you really need a Zima? We collectively think not.

Naturally, most of the youths who complain about the “manifest injustice” of the “draconian” American drinking age haven’t the even the slightest desire to enlist in the armed forces. But heck, they must think, if it gets them closer to a can of Budweiser, it’s officially worth a shot.

To be downright honest, dear reader, we like our nation’s drinking age just fine. Call us a bunch of inveterate teetotalers, but we’re quite happy with Americans getting their first legal taste of firewater in their twenties. Sure, Liza Minelli and Drew Barrymore started in on the booze a bit earlier, and they turned out wonderful. But others, we fear, may not have such an easy go of it.

And, if any argument might sway us in favor of lenience, may we humbly suggest that the old “The French Drink at a Young Age” line ain’t going to cut it? The French do lots of things: Surrender to the Germans after a few hours of fighting; fail to stop Muslim youths from destroying their country; complain; and surrender to the Germans after a few hours of fighting. This doesn’t mean that any of these actions are necessarily peachy keen for Americans, now does it?

In fact, in a spirit of blue-blooded puritanical Americanism, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that the young in this country should be compelled to endure more depredations, not fewer. It’s hunky dory with us that teenagers can’t legally drink, but why should they have so many other rights? We can’t think of a reason either.

We mention this, dear reader, because one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quartelry”—let’s just call him “Chip”—recently endured a scary passing of a busy street that made him think long and hard about another suitable prohibition. A few short days ago, “Chip” attempted to amble his way across a crosswalk whilst he had the right of way. And lo and behold: Two cars came whizzing by at un-Godly speeds.

The drivers in both, need we mention, were youthful fellows. And this forced “Chip” to think: Aren’t a large majority of reckless speedsters young? Aren’t drivers in their teens and twenties liable to make all manner of boneheaded decisions at the wheel?

And so here’s our lovely proposition: American citizens can be drafted at 18, can drink at 21, and can drive at 30. That may hurt Sammy Hagar’s record sales, but if it saves a few lives—and irritates a few youths—it’ll be more than worth it.

Posted at November 22, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack