Yesterday I was in a Michael's Craft Store, and I wanted to buy a can of spray paint to update some antique paintings by covering the really ugly paint on the frames.
The rack of spray paint was locked up in a cage. I had to push a button and wait until a clerk could arrive. While I was waiting, a lady with a girl of about 8 arrived, and the girl was disappointed that I had already pushed the button. I told her she could push it again if she wanted to. But just then, the clerk arrived and nearly shouted, "No, don't push it again!"
I mouthed "sorry" at the little girl, but I could see she felt shamed.
The clerk opened the cage with her key and stood in front of the rack of paints. I told the little girl she could go first -- and she cheered right up, carefully pronouncing the name of the color her mom (presumably her mom) wanted.
The clerk then looked at me, and I asked if I could please take a look at the can. She had to hold it for me; I couldn't hold it myself.
The other lady with the girl had to wait while this happened.
I finally chose two colors quickly, as I could not study the cans to determine how much I needed, drying time, color mixing, etc.
The clerk slammed the three cans of paint (my 2 + the 1 for the lady and little girl) under one arm, wrestled the cage closed, and locked it -- all while body-blocking the rack, as if the three of us customers might at any moment throw her to the ground to get at the paint. She then announced that she had to take the paint to the cashier herself, that we would not be allowed to touch it or keep it in our shopping carts.
I was thoroughly surprised that the cashier didn't card me when I later went to pay for the stuff.
Geez, I know graffiti is a big problem, but I had no idea it was this hard to buy spray paint. Seriously.
In Utah, I think it's probably easier to buy a gun.