So I had thought I might fly today, and went up to the airport. Low cloud deck meant that I got to spend an hour updating the maps in the avionics and not much else. On the way back home, I was instructed by “She who must be obeyed” to buy some brats and some beer to boil them in. So, I stopped at the local Springdale, AR Harps store. picked up the brats, some buns and some cheap beer to boil them in.

Welcome to 1984…

When I reached the checkout and got ready to pay, the girl asked for my ID. Being 54 and looking most of that age if not older, I muttered something about fishing for a tip and pulled out my wallet to display my license. I was then astounded when she asked me to pull the license out so she could scan it. Since I was a bit pressed for time I did so, but on the way home I kept thinking about the Orwellian implications.

1. What does Harp’s want with my license info? Name, address, phone number, DOB, that I am an organ donor and who knows what else. This is info that most places would be happy to pay for, yet I had to give it up just to pay THEM for a bottle of cheap beer.

2. On doing some research, I was unable to find a “Confidentiality of Driver’s License” Statute in Arkansas. In California, for instance, businesses cannot retain information like this that they (supposedly) scan for validation of DOB. Like, can the kids not do math anymore? Actually that may be a problem, but that is why they have the little calendars that say “Don’t even think of buying liquor unless you were born before xx”.

3. Is the fact that I bought beer tied to my AMEX card that I used to check out? My Insurance? What happens to the information? Why is it that Harp’s scans DLs when other places (including Liquor Stores) don’t?

Perhaps I am overthinking it. But the 4th of July is supposed to celebrate our freedom, and I got stuck showing my papers to a computer instead. Not going to be buying beer at Harp’s anymore, that’s for damn sure….