The problem with carding everyone -- 100 percent screening, if you will -- is that it not only wastes valuable time the bartender could be using to serve and, thus, increase his or her tips, but it puts the very un-American burden on me, the citizen, to carry around a government-issued identification with me at all times (because there's a good chance I may need to get a drink at any given time on any given day).
Carrying an ID on my person at all times is a lot of pressure. What if I lose it? What if someone steals it? Then when I need it for a legitimate purpose, like getting on a plane and getting the hell out of this sick bitch of a city, I might not have it. Why? Because I had to bring it to a bar in a country in which I've been legally able to drink for almost eight years. OUTRAGED!
OK, I'm not really that outraged. In fact, I recognize that last night when I was unable to get my sauce or check out all the bands at DC9, it was my own damn fault for having forgotten to conduct the all-important bag-to-bag ID transfer before I left. Dammit.
However, despite that I clearly sabotaged myself in this particular incident, I'm convinced that had I been anywhere else in America -- Boston, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, or Grinnell, Iowa -- a state- or government-issued ID would not have been so strictly required. After all, everyone I was there with was well over 21, I am well over 21 (as much as I'd like to think I look 19, I'm pretty sure the youngest I can pass for at this point in time is maybe 24 on a good day), and I effing had one of the people playing that night vouch for me. Alas, however -- DENIED.
And while this is the first time I've experienced a technical face control in DC because I'm a disorganized jackass, this isn't the first time I've noticed the unusual amount of law-abiding carding that goes on here compared to other U.S. cities. I've seen people well into their thirties get carded in DC. Hell, I think my 61-year-old mother got carded once (although, in all fairness, she is aging extremely well, thank you genes). Bottom line -- it's a bit ridiculous.
Why is this? Does some horror story exist in DC's past where one person let one 19-year-old in one time and was sentenced to death or something? Is it an irrational fear of cops cracking down? That can't be it. Cops don't really like doing their jobs here. So what is it? I get carding bitches when it's not perfectly clear they're over 21, but when carding old folks like myself? Is it really all that necessary? Or is this The Man keeping me