A local shop on the embankment here in my neighbourhood in Moscow sells food at discounted prices to people receiving benefits – including pensioners, WWII veterans, etc. I recently noticed that they have a sign tacked on by the cash register, explaining that although they’ll give you a discount if you provide your benefits card, they won’t discount alcohol or tobacco. The list on alcohol is actually quite specific – you can’t even buy a discounted beer.
So let’s say I’m 90 years old, I was a lady sniper, I fought bravely in the 25th Rifle Division or another such division, and I just want to knock back some beers tonight – because whatever. Do I really need to provide a reason? I’m goddamn 90. I’m a sniper. Give me my freaking discount.
4 thoughts on “Senior discount”
I could very well be wrong, and if so it will be familiar – but I’d submit Russia is a little sensitive about being seen to promote indulgence in alcohol that has so often escalated to misuse in the past, and tobacco that is bad for your health and increases your risk of dying young. Granted, if you’re 90, dying young has receded somewhat as a worry. However, the west loves to bang over and over on the same old chord – Russia is a nation of drunks, and their life expectancy is dramatically less than that of westerners. It doesn’t need to do anything to substantiate that viewpoint for some smug reporter.
I remember a newsmagazine article here some years ago, I think it was MacLean’s, that did a cover story on the plight of those on welfare. The magazine received a cloud of letters after it hit the stands, all wanting an answer to the same question; if the couple in the cover photo were so poor, what was the deal with that overflowing ashtray on the table? Who smokes when they can’t afford to eat? I felt sorry for you when you were just poor, but poor and stupid? Whoa – whose fault is that?
If I really were a 90-year-old lady sniper with a fondness for beer, I’d be lobbying my local politician for introduction of a bill that exempted veterans from the no-cheap-beer rules. But even then, the state would be wary of offering a loophole, because such things are always hammered on by the Russophobic press – “Russia says to it’s military veterans – Die Quicker, Already”.
The thing is, it would be a PR issue internally as well as externally, of course. All of these people would get horribly outraged – not necessarily without reason. But I can certainly imagine myself at 90 and just really wanting that discounted beer, dammit.
Well, judging from your appearance you still have better than 60 years to get good at shooting people from long range at the state’s direction, and lobbying the government for a “sniper” exception to the beer distribution regulations.
It would be a crying shame for someone like Lyudmila Pavlichenko (if she were alive today) to have to pay full price for a cold one if she wanted it. I know there are some who’d be outraged at the idea of letting pensioners have discount alchohol, but so what! Your 90 year old woman sniper or any of that generation who went and “seen the elephant” certainly earned the right to have a discount beer!