One Thousand Words on Clubs and IDs

We had an event at work tonight and when I got done about 9:30 I decided that since I hadn’t had a chance to have dinner I would order a pizza. Pizza at 9:30 isn’t healthy, I know, but it had been a long day and I needed some sustenance! I didn’t realize that the pizza place turns into a club on Saturday night. There was loud, pounding dance music; a dance floor (with only two girls dancing on it) and lots of people standing around drinking. When I walked in a guy in a tight black t-shirt with “SECURITY” written on it said, “ID?” He had those florescent, paper-like but stronger than paper, adhesive wrist bands in his hand. I told him I was just picking up a pizza and he let me through. It got me thinking about two things (and pardon my fractured thoughts here): First, how I’ve never understood the pleasure of a club like that and second, how strange the whole getting carded thing is.

Ok, so clubs… One of the few clubs I’ve been to is a gay bar in Baltimore with some grad school friends. Just like tonight, there was loud music and lots of drinking. At this bar people were dancing too. There was this one guy that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. The club was set up kind of like a roller rink (is that dating myself?) with the dance floor in the middle and places to stand to watch the dancers all the way around the outside of the floor. The spectator space was higher than the dance floor and there was a railing all around it. I think that’s what gave it the roller rink vibe. Placed around the edge of the floor, up against the railings, were these big boxes. They looked like the kind of tool box that gets installed in the back of a pickup truck. (Hick alert!) People got up on the boxes and danced, I guess if they wanted more attention. The music was very dance-clubby. Fast, great beat, loud. Right in front of us a guy was standing on one of the boxes. He was hard to describe, but think of the biker from The Village People and replace his pants with black leather short shorts. But it wasn’t his outfit (costume?) that makes him stand out in my memory. He was dancing, I guess, but very, very slowly. And continually. He didn’t stop moving. Ever. It almost looked like a mime doing a very long routine. I don’t know if he was drunk, or on something, or if that’s just how he enjoyed himself, but was strange. Why would someone go to a club to stand on a box and move slowly, all alone? What is the pleasure in that? Was he hoping to get someone’s attention and hook up? I’m no expert, but that’s one strange way to do it!

I have to admit that I haven’t been to many other clubs in my life, but I don’t understand why people find standing around with a drink in your hand and not being able to talk over the music fun. Are they just there to look at one another? Is it all about the sex? Probably. At least at the gay bar people were dancing, really dancing not that strange slow motion thing. Dancing I get. Tonight in the pizza place / club, there were only two girls dancing. If I’m out with friends, sharing a drink and I’m not into dancing, I want to be somewhere I can sit down and actually have a conversation without shouting. Guess I’m just getting old.

And that brings me to my second topic: getting carded. Have you noticed that the dynamic of that situation changes as you age? When I turned twenty-one, I went out to dinner and ordered a drink. I don’t really drink that much, but I could order a drink so I did. I was so disappointed when I didn’t get carded. I had the ID and I wanted to show it. When you’re a little older, you get pissed off when you get carded. You’re over the thrill of being legal and just want the alcohol. Then you get to an age where it’s a compliment to get carded. “Oh, he asked for my ID. I must look young!”

Isn’t it kind of strange that we leave it up to the person selling the alcohol or standing at the door to decide whether or not a customer looks old enough or needs to show ID? I mean, really people. You don’t ask the kid at the cash register to decide. When you’re eighteen everyone looks old. You should just have to show ID whenever you buy alcohol. No questions. Like the guy tonight. I’m obviously over twenty-one by many years, but he was carding everyone.

My all time favorite “being carded” story happened when I was shopping with a friend. We were buying groceries and some wine. She was turned to get something out of her cart when the clerk said, “Could I please see some ID.” Kind of surprised, my friend turned around. The clerk looked at her for a second and said, “Oh, never mind.” I burst out laughing. Once the girl asked to see the ID, she would have been much better off just following through on it and looking at the ID. Taking it back was the worst thing she could have done. I told my friend to look on the bright side. She obviously has a young looking ass! (I have to admit, I still laugh about that sometimes. “Oh, never mind.” Ha!)

Well, that’s me waxing eloquent on IDs and clubs. I’m hoping tomorrow to get back to the fiction writing. I keep thinking about the characters from a couple of previous posts and I have a feeling they’ll pop up again soon. At least I hope they do. I’ve enjoyed getting to know them.

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