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I Drink, Therefore I Am....Pissed Off

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We card under 40.

Did you hear about Washington governor Chris Gregoire? She and her staff went to a bar in downtown Olympia called Hannah’s, and the man checking the door said that the 61-year-old couldn’t get in without an ID. Even after Gregoire’s staff told the bouncer that she was the governor, Gregoire was still turned away. Later, the bar owner said his 23-year-old bouncer needed more training – and Governor Gregoire said she was complimented that the bouncer thought she might be under 21.

This is yet another example of why I am not meant to hold public office.

I got asked for my ID at the Cherry Cricket Wednesday night, didn’t have it – and didn’t get in. And I'm still pissed off. I understand that restaurants need to vigorously protect their liquor licenses and can’t afford to make the mistake of letting underage drinkers into bars, but if someone is clearly over 21, why should some idiot bouncer enjoy the only power he will ever have by denying that someone entrance?

On Wednesday I was traveling light, on my scooter, with only cash, a lipgloss and my business cards on me. I hadn’t been carded in a really long time – even on a good day, I look at least ten years past 21 – so when the bouncer asked for my ID and I didn’t have it, I asked, "Seriously, you think I'm twenty?” But it soon became clear that he wasn’t really concerned with my age and potential for getting the bar in trouble; he was just throwing around his considerable weight.

“Listen, I’m happy not to drink,” I told him, since all I really wanted was a Cricket burger, anyway (the Cricket won Westword's Best Burger Bar award in the Best of Denver 2008). But he still said I couldn’t come in. So I pulled out my Westword Drink of the Week business card. Bad move.

The bouncer told me that he wasn’t going to let me push him around, and was just trying to prove a point: State law doesn't spell out who should be carded, it simply says that where there may be a question of a person's right to purchase liquor, the person shall be required to present ID.

Okay, congratulations, you win. And with such devotion to duty, you might want to think about moving to Washington. I hear there’s about to be an opening at a bar called Hannah’s. -- Nancy Levine

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