Turning twenty is a big deal in Japan. The age marks the transition from childhood to adulthood and is celebrated with a coming-of-age ceremony hosted by cities across the country. It also marks newfound liberties of individuals to smoke and drink. Indeed, many young people's horizons expand upon this coming-of-age occasion.

Until that age, however, its hands-off as far as alcohol is concerned. Despite alcohol being available in vending machines across Japan, this rule seems to be mostly respected by minors. Nevertheless, many are indeed curious to take a sip, say, when mom and dad enjoy a beverage with dinner.

Twitter user Hitoshi Kitazawa (@kitawaza1104) posted a post on Twitter which is making the rounds. The internaut is a Japanese comedian, half of the duo the "Robinsons.” Yet, the burgeoning artists still have their day jobs at a convenience store

Regardless, Hitoshi posted about what happened one night while he was working a shift.

"Recently, a young customer brought some beer to the register and said, 'I'll be twenty years old in three minutes! So, I will wait till midnight, and I'll buy this!’ Indeed, he waited until he became twenty, and once it became his birthday, he said 'I'll take it!' showing his ID. However, he didn't have enough money in the end. He made me laugh, so I bought it for him.”

The customer got his first birthday present from Hitoshi Kitazawa. The young guy’s excitement, matched with Hitoshi’s kindness, struck followers. 290,000 people liked this story and reacted:

  • “I think he won’t forget the taste”
  • “That young boy is sweet.”
  • “He might think beer is the same price as juice? Lol.”
  • "It's a nice story. I want to do the same thing as Hitoshi Kitazawa if this would happen to me.”
  • “It’s a good episode. He must be happy to meet such a nice staffer. He seems like a good boy.”
  • “The first beer for him is a present from a staffer. Thank you for the heart-warming story.”
  • “The boy’s first memory as an adult is a bit bitter-sweet.”
  • "You are so cool. It's a small gift for him. I think he'll never forget about you."

As you can tell, turning twenty is a special occasion for Japanese residents. During COVID-19, Japanese coming-of-age ceremonies are cancelled in many places, causing a lot of disappointment among young people. Therefore, it’s endearing to hear a story like this.

Another episode at the convenient store

There is another peculiar episode trending on Twitter that also occurred at a convenience store. Twitter user shirimadara (@oogomadara) buys cat food at a convenience store every night for his cat and a beer for himself. shirimadara also asks the staff for chopsticks which he uses to flake the cat food. However, the staff took this the wrong way and assumed shirimadara was drinking the alcohol and having the cat food as a snack. shirimadara eventually learned that the staff called him “the cat food lush.”

"When I lived by myself, I had a cat. I would buy cat food and beer at the local convenience store every night. I also asked the staff to give me chopsticks to flake the cat food. And the staff thought I would drink the beer as I ate the cat food. And I learned that the staff called me “the cat food lush.”

The convenience store staff’s misunderstanding naturally made many readers laugh. Interestingly, shirimadara learned the staffers called him “the cat food lush" when he went to his friend's house and realized his friend’s younger brother was one of the convenience store workers. The worker then said to shirimadara “Oh, you are the cat food lush." Fortunately for shirimadara, this serendipitous encounter allowed him to clear the air about a potentially embarrassing misunderstanding. If the two hadn't met, who knows how long the staff would have thought this about him.

The lesson to be learned: be careful about the items you bring to the register.

By - Luke Mahoney.