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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I was at QuikTrip tonight when some teenaged girls bought some Red Bulls. This apparently offended the gentleman behind them (and in front of me) because he made some comment to the cashier, who was still muttering to himself and incidentally me when it was my turn. The cashier told me that they're (Red Bull) probably going to be on a restricted list soon because of the twenty-year-olds having heart attacks. Then he said that until then they were perfectly legal and snorted, "Capitalism! Harrumph."

Never mind the irony of the gentleman who originally was outraged by the teenagers' purchase of legal stimulants while simultaneously buying a carton of cigarettes and a six pack of beer. Never mind the cashier spouting off political views to a customer he doesn't even know. Never mind the inanity of seeking a ban on a 12 ounce energy drink that contains half the caffeine of an 8 ounce cup of coffee.

For me the supreme irony was that this cashier disparaged capitalism in its very temple. It is hard for me to imagine a convenience store of such variety and value as QuikTrip existing anywhere besides a capitalist economy. (Side note: I'm not at all suggesting that we live in a capitalist economy—but we certainly are among the freest economies in the world.) Sadly, none of these responses occurred to me at the time.