Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fake IDs I've Seen (part 1)

While I was going to college, I (like so many other college students) worked in bars for a few years for some income. While I did bartend for a short amount of time, I was mostly a bouncer for around 4 years of experience (a little over 2 years at one bar and a little over 1.5 years at another, though some of that I was working at both). Considering one of those bars was a pretty well established underage bar, I saw a lot of fakes. While most of them were pretty forgettable, there are a few incidents that definitely stick out in my memory. I will recount one of these tales for you right now, with more to come.

I was at the bar (I won't say the name to protect the bar), guarding the door like a good bouncer should. Now, the general rule of thumb for the bar was if it was busy and we didn't need the numbers, get hard on IDs; if it was sort of dead, be a little more lax. Well, the bar wasn't very full on a Saturday night, so I was trying to get our numbers up by being more lenient with my checking. A group of four girls came up to the door, all of which were pretty clearly underage. I braced myself for the onslaught of bad fakes, and ended up with something I could never have braced myself for.

Now, most girls will try to flirt with the bouncer in order to get into a bar. While this will work sometimes, it didn't with me. That doesn't mean I wouldn't let you in if you flirted with me, but it wasn't because you flirted with me you got in. Most of the time I was trying to make more money (we got a share of the tips, you see) or I just didn't care that much. Another thing that people will try to do (and this is a good bit of advice for underagers) is put a legitimate ID at the front and lump the fakes in the middle, bookending with another legit person in the back of the group. This works pretty well too, but if you have an entire group of less than 21 year olds, you can't bookend very well.

Back to the group of girls: the first three handed me pretty obviously fake IDs. They were all out of state and weren't plausible, either because of the bad picture or just terrible fake qualities of the ID itself. I rolled my eyes at the cards, even asked a couple where they got them and how much they payed. I was going to let all of them in until I got to the fourth girl. She handed me her ID and I looked at it. I then had the following conversation with her:

Me: I can't let you in with this.

Girl: (looking confusedly at her friends) Why? It's me! [standard response]

Me: No, it's not. I can't let you in.

Girl: It's actually me! I have a second form. (pulls out a student ID matching the license)

Me: I know this isn't you and that means I can't let you in.

(Now her friends are really confused because a second ago I made fun of their fakes)

Girl: But it's actually me! See I have this second form! Why do you think it isn't me?

Me: (a bit annoyed now) Because if this is you (holding up the ID), that means I dated you four years ago, and I don't seem to remember that!

Girl: (stunned) Uh, wha-... What?

Me: Tanya Fay Risley (named changed to protect the innocent) from Edina, MN (also not true). She goes to grad school in South Dakota now for Physical Therapy (grad school true, nothing else). I've been to her house and met her parents.

Girl: (stunned silence)

Me: I can let a lot of things slide, but this isn't one of them. Bye.

(Girl and her friends walk out of the bar with weird looks on their faces.)

That's right, she handed me an ID of an ex-girlfriend from my sophomore year of college. I'm okay with most fakes, but that I just couldn't let through. The looks on the girls' faces after letting in three fakes and then stopping the fourth were pretty priceless. Sometimes I really liked that job.

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