>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
November 14, 2004

I‘ve never really run into any fake ID problems myself. And that's only because before I was 21 I had always been too chicken shit to go downtown to the bars and try using it in the first place. The dorky, pretty girl that stayed at the not-as-much-fun campus party while everyone else went downtown? Yep, that was I. My three roommates on the other hand are fearless. I've seen the Russian blonde look at the ID of a 25-year-old Korean exchange student and say with absolute certainty, “I can work with this.” So I decided that if Aaron Karo can talk about his triplet friends for an entire column, then I can tell you about my three younger roommates and their continuous affairs with fake ID's and the bars that reject them.

First alcoholic roommate: Alex. She's one of those younger people that turn 21 their senior year instead of their junior year. She's also that younger kid that got to skip first grade because she was so smart. So you'd think as she got older she'd be cleverer at acing a fake ID test. But no, she's not. She should have stuck to mixing primary watercolors. Alex—curly, platinum blonde, 5'9″, 120 pounds—was trying to pass herself off for a 5'4″, 140-pound straight-haired dirty blonde. And if you ever see this picture, you'll realize that 30 of the 140 pounds was all in this woman's face. It amazes me that Alex would spend hours straightening her hair, just to look a little more like the beast in the picture. Everyone looked at it and said, “Forget the hair, you need to get a double chin to make this legit.” But she'd been getting by with it all winter; all the bars with the perverted bouncers happily welcomed Alex without a second thought. Eventually, her confidence with this ID skyrocketed to the point she began to believe that she was invincible—the Superman of Illegal Entry. But in the end, hockey boys and vodka tonics were her kryptonite.

“Andrea learned to run where the cops can't find you. So she ran into the Radisson and started making friends with the janitor.”

So one weekend she was doing a tour of her favorite bars along the Avenue when she ran into a hockey/violin player with a hot hockey/no musical instrument prospective student and had a drink or two or twelve. The two guys decided that they were going to Park Central—Appleton's only real night club whose admittance policy requires that patrons be between the ages of 14 and 45 during school days, or 21 and up on weekends. Obviously a very classy joint. It's also the only discotheque on the block that is notorious for throwing underagers to the men in blue (only present to break up the fights outside between 15- and 30-year-old women over the Mexican bar) with little sympathy. And of course Alex decided she'd like to go there too with her friend Jeff (not a hockey player) and our other roommate Andie to dance the night away at what is essentially a teen club.

Andie got into Park Central without any problems, immediately heard a trashy Euro pop song (probably an Abba Dancing Queen remix), and ran to the dance floor, never to see Alex again. Alex the fearless wonder confidently handed the bouncer with the (and I kid you not) wandering eye her ID. The man took one look at the ID, then back at her, and was not wooed by her batting eyelashes or alcoholic smile. So she was enviably screwed when he asked her for a second form of ID. Then, instead of running or dropping down to the floor while foaming at the mouth pretending to have a seizure (like I previously instructed her to do if she was ever in this position), she stayed calm and said, “I know the picture doesn't look like me, I lost a lot of weight.” The man proceeded to roll his one good eye and handed her a sheet of paper. “Sign your name.” This is the point where everything got a little shitty.

Alex‘s fake name was Rachel Warne. Alex, who was at this point completely inebriated, signed it “Rachel of Santa Monica” because that's where she's from originally. Just like Moses used to sign his name “Moses of Egypt” and then later 40 years later “Moses of Israel.” The bouncer asked her to sign her last name, so she wrote out, “Rachel Freeman,” which would have worked if Freeman was the last name on the ID and not the street Rachel lived on. That's when the bouncer called the police. Alex‘s 5'9″ legs whisked her body out the door with Jeff. They were one block from the safety of the campus when red and blue lights stopped them. Now, in a small town cops don't have much to do, so even though one squad car could have handled these rebels, they thought it would take three. Three cop cars for one unarmed civilian…and Superman. This is the point where it goes from “a little shitty” to “complete explosive diarrhea.”

The cop asked them for their ID's. Jeff handed his over, but somewhere between the discotheque and the next block over Alex of Santa Monica lost Rachel of Freeman Ave. The cop asked Alex her name. Now if Alex had just said “Alex,” the rest of this story could have been avoided, and we'd all just have called it a night. But no, she told him “Rachel.” “Really? There's a Rachel who left her ID at Park Central, let's get into the car and see if it's yours.” So, getting into the squad car wasn't really an option. Jeff, never having rode in a squad car without being handcuffed, came along for the ride. That was pretty much the point of no return.

Once at Park Central the cop determined that Rachel was not Alex. Then he breathalyzed her. She blew something like a .08 and that was enough for the cops to hand her an underage drinking ticket. So she got back into the cop car and he asked her about how many speeding tickets Rachel had in the state (because small town cops need something to fill their time). Alex started throwing out numbers: “One, two, twelve—wait no, that's how many drinks I had tonight.” Dead giveaway it wasn't her. “What's your real name young lady?” She told him, and he typed it into his little computer and waited for a response. When nothing turned up, he became irate and demanded to know her name, threatening to take her to jail if she kept lying. “Fine I'm from out of state.” So she gave him all her information and he handed her a two hundred and fifty dollar underage drinking ticket. Superman's wallet was about to run a little thin.

So she went to court during finals week which was just so nice. “Hi, I have a court order that you have to move my final because I've got a hot date with Judge Judy, thanks.” She was there with about sixty other underage drinkers and fender bender victims. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one of those Alcohol Awareness classes. Keep in mind Alex is from Santa Monica, where they don't have underage drinker classes, just DUI classes. Classes for 30-year-olds trying to avoid going to jail, who also couldn't comprehend why Alex was there in the first place if she was just walking. So three hundred dollars and six weeks of her summer later, Alex was off the hook. I don't know if this whole experience was supposed to teach her a lesson, but it didn't. She's still almost 20. She still drinks. She still drinks in the bars downtown. But now she is using her own name. Turns out some guy in her class hooked her up with a genuine fake that scans and has holograms. Superman has once again regained her most important superpower: endurance. Happy ending for Alex. Not so much for Andie.

When we last left her, Andie was dancing in Park Central with the violin hockey player and his sidekick prospie. Three eight-counts into Dancing Queen, she realized that Alex was not with her. So she got up and went to every other bar on the Ave to find her, but as we can remember Alex was not in a bar, she was in a car, holding a jar, and wasn't very far from overdosing on Advil. And if she were playing golf she'd have made par and then this rhyme would make more sense. Andrea tried her luck two weeks later at Park Central again, only for the wandering eye bouncer to take her ID. Andrea ran. She learned from Alex to run. She also learned to run off the street where the cops can't find you. So she ran across the street and into the Radisson Hotel and hid out in the bathroom, standing on a toilet, wasted, so no one could see her. After an hour she put her feet down and just sat on the toilet. Another hour after that she opened the stall door, and pretty soon she started making friends with the janitor, who chatted her up about HMO and the Radisson's insurance coverage. Seriously, that's what they talked about.

Then she ran home taking the back streets and panted through a dimly-lit parking garage. She got home still drunk and began to jump about, violently screaming, “I have to take off my pants if I am wearing jeans instead of black pants the cops won't get me! Someone douse me with body spray I don't want to smell like bar!!” It was five in the morning. The cops weren't even chasing her at that point. But it was too funny watching her panic to point that out. Finally, after barricading the door, she went to sleep. Do I seriously live with people like this? Yes. Yes I do. Are they going to speak to me after they read this? Not likely.

It's funny how everyone is connected. How certain places and certain faces all seem to come together full circle. Now try and keep up, here's another one of those small school two degrees of separation. The crazy-eyed bouncer that took Alex‘s ID also took Andie‘s two weeks later. She ran into the bathroom at the hotel where our other roommate, Olia, got so sick two months before from drinking at a formal that she was given an underage drinking ticket as well. And that's all I am allowed to tell you about that story. It was a part of mine and Olia's original roommate agreement. No stories where she doesn't look like a perfect princess, sipping her vodka slowly.

And I am not in any way trying to glamorize their drinking habits. It's not as if they wake up every morning and drink vodka with their orange juice, or fill their nalgenes up with vodka cranberries and go to class. I'm trying to point out that the 21 drinking age is ridiculous. They can vote in a national election and not even legally drink themselves retarded afterward (if you took a shot for every state that went Republican to offset the dismal reality that monkey boy was about to be re-elected then you'd be blacked out like we were). Canadians got it figured out and their country is very happy with the results. By the way, is there a Prime Minister of Canada? I honestly couldn't tell you. Well if there is, he's probably a hockey player too and that's why the girls loves Canada so much.

Okay no more hockey jokes…for now.

You know, I'd like to think that our parents aren't stupid. And that my friend's parents aren't stupid. But do they actually believe that we're not going to drink until we're 21? Is there some sort of honor system that I am not aware of? Do they really think that we spend our weekends playing an invigorating game of Monopoly and Red Rover? That we're all partying and having a great time 100% sober? Without any help from the Alcohol Gods at all? Because when we mention or even allude to drinking they're like, “I hope you're not drinking at school. Are you?” Oh no mom, I wake up at 6 in the morning every Saturday to go to Alcohol Awareness class so I can teach the Sunday school kids that drinking is a sin, not to MENTION against the law—unless you have a really good fake.