As you first-years will soon discover, your social life at Columbia will depend mostly on the kindness of bouncers at various bars between 107th (Ding Dong) and 123rd (Max SoHa). These tireless soldiers who guard the gates to $4 beers understand that you are not 21. (The centimeter and a half-long patches of facial hair non-withstanding). The key to this boozy detente is the Fake ID. Here, upperclassmen regale Bwog with tales horrible pictures, incorrect passports, and the lucky international students’ away-game

  • My fake ID comes from a friend whose friend worked at the DMV in

    Texas. He actually stole a license-making machine.

  • My fake ID came from one of those souvenir shops on 42nd street with signs that say “IDs MADE HERE.” The entire experience was almost disappointingly unsketchy–you walk in, pay your $50, choose your state, choose your birthday, and walk out matured.
  • Upon seeing my made-up hometown of Mays Landing in deep south New Jersey, a bouncer in DC commented that he was in fact from a town nearby my own. Fortunately, my dad is a guru when it comes to transportation, and I was able to chat with the bouncer about the area’s seasonal traffic patterns and the shortest routes to Philadelphia sans tollbooths.After entering the club, I promptly changed my shorts as I had just shat them.
  • My fake ID is actually real and free. It’s been expired since last year and it looks nothing like me except for our similar long brown hair, but with my penchant for four-inch heels and low-cut tank tops, it has never given me a problem. Having an older friend who doesn’t mind passing on her old real ID is the best–having a stranger with said friend’s ID pass it on is even better. I still don’t the girl who’s changed my life so dramatically. To her I owe thanks for countless regrettable hook-ups and of course my lost youth.
  • A girl I know had an ID that put her as a native of East Haven, CT (she is actually from L.A.). Unfortunately, for her, she was once at a bar at which the bouncer knew East Haven intimately. Suspecting that her’s was a fake, he said, “So, do you know Morris Cove?”, Morris Cove being one of the most high-profile neighborhoods in East Haven. She couldn’t really hear him so he asked her again, and this time she replied, “No, I don’t know Morse code!” Needless to say: Rejection City.
  • When I went to bodegas to get beer and was asked if I was 21, I pretty much just stroked my baby-smooth chin and said “yes” in my big-boy voice. This worked from age 18 on up. Sometimes at liquor stores. Also 1020, although there an intense stare was required.
  • My first fake ID had nothing to do with alcohol, but was a joke ID
    based on the new ID cards our school had implemented, which had to be
    worn around the neck. I scanned one in, changed the number around, and
    changed the picture to a ridiculous redneck named “Billy-Bob F Jones.”
    I printed them out on stickers the same size as the IDs, and handed
    out sheets of them, and soon there were lots of rednecks running
    around, and our school security guard was shouting “I’m gonna get you,
    Billy-Bob Jones!” through his megaphone. Eventually, one of the kids
    wearing the sticker over his ID got caught, and ratted me out, and the
    teacher turned me in to the office. The principal brought me in and
    had a chat about how he thought the IDs were turning the school into a
    prison system and if I felt the same way I should write an article
    about it for the school paper. Also, he said that even though he
    thought the IDs were “funny as hell” he couldn’t allow them. I also
    made a George W. Bush ID, but that one wasn’t as popular.
  • I remember going to Casbah Rouge, which before it was a Chipotle, was a hookah bar with a liquor license and a cabaret license. The police always dogged it because, as a hookah bar, it was allowed to admit eighteen-year-olds. For a while, it did.
    The first time I went to Casbah, I kept my fake (purportedly from California) in my wallet: why risk losing it to an overzealous doorman? Without looking up, the bouncer inside announced that the (real) ID I had just handed him was a fake, and showed me the door without hearing an appeal.

    On the other hand, the only person who ever even suspected that my fake ID might be a fake ID was a supermarket checkout boy in Utah, and that’s because I had told him that I was from Maryland. It sucks to be from Maryland.