By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
It's summer. You can stay out later, get hammered, and sleep in without worrying about having to endure your first class of the day with a hell-sent hangover. Since you've been granted these few precious weeks of freedom, who the hell wants to waste them in your buddy's dorm or running from cops after that house party gets raided? You want to go downtown and get schlitzed in some glamorous college-town bar. Only problem? You must be this tall to ride, and, well, you're not there yet. So you get that pair of platforms that is a fake ID so you can hit the town and pay way too much for your vodka-crans.
Then you meet that big dude in the black shirt in front of the door. He's going to be the Tom to your Jerry for the next several years. Here are some of his mouse traps:
WHAT'S YOUR SIGN?
Some bouncers will ask you to name your Zodiac sign. If the person being ID'ed fumbles or stutters, he is likely not using his real birthday on this ID. Another variation of this line of questioning is the simple "What's your birthday?"
A suspicious person might be asked to smile, so the bouncer can compare it to the picture on the ID. Does the person show top teeth, bottom teeth or no teeth at all? Even if someone has had braces, smiles almost never change.
NICE AND SMOOTH
Bartenders smooth their fingers over an ID to make sure someone didn't paste a different date over the real birthday or alter the date in a way that would cause an uneven surface.
GIVE ME YOUR AUTOGRAPH
Sometimes, the bouncer will have the person sign a piece of paper, then see if it's similar to the signature on the ID.
Some may ask if the person has another ID or credit card with his name on it. If someone in this day and age doesn't have a debit card on them, it's cause for suspicion. If a person is unable to produce so much as a AAA card or a library card with the same name on it, he's probably using someone else's ID.
WHAT YEAR DID YOU GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL?
It's another question designed to see if the person stutters or is nervous.
IT'S IN THE EYES
The sides of your face such as your cheeks can fluctuate with weight or facial hair, but your "T Zone" never changes. It's an invisible line drawn across your forehead and down the center of your face to your chin: The shape of a T. Bouncers are trained to compare the T Zone of the picture on an ID to that of the person being ID'ed.
IN SCANNERS YE TRUST
There are several different scanners on the market that bars use. Each scans the black strip on the back of an ID to tell the bouncer whether an ID is valid. Blacklights are also used to locate the UV light-activated holograms hidden on every government-issued ID in the state of California.
WHY SO NERVOUS?
Bouncers can sense if a person is overly fidgety or nervous and might not admit him if he's acting like he's never been carded before (especially if the ID says he's 24).