Monday, May 19, 2014
I’m surely not the only one who had a Fake ID in college but I am probably the only one (besides the handful of SHU alumni who were with me) who got busted during a bar raid…Who Else But Erin?! I think I was a Sophomore when I drove to New York City with my friends to buy my first Fake ID- and let me tell you, I was scared shitless! We went to some seedy tobacco store on Bleecker Street where we went into the back room to get our photos taken, paid $40 and left with a Pennsylvania ID that stated we were 21 years of age. It was the most exciting moment ever and one of those situations that you could never tell your parents until about a decade after it occurred, right Mom? Sacred Heart University was a dry campus which meant there were no frat houses on the premises and alcohol was not permitted in any residence halls. We usually hid all the booze behind closed doors in our dorm rooms and scrambled to hide it when the RA knocked on the door (but who didn’t do that in college?) or left the campus to go to the off site Frat parties. But there were those lucky Freshmen and Sophomores who had older siblings who let them have their IDs or already were prepared since the first day of college with their Fake IDs. They should really add those to the Freshman Year checklist- extra-long sheets, cork board, laundry basket, Fake IDs…..Those lucky Freshman and Sophomores were privileged enough to gain admittance to the best Sacred Heart bar- The Page!
Let me give you a little background on The Page. It was a tiny, dump of a bar in the ghetto of Bridgeport, CT that was packed with Sacred Heart kids every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. You could order these grain alcohol slushy drinks for like $5 that were so strong you would only need one all night (you would regret having two the morning after, trust me!) and then dance your butt off on the dance floor. The best part about The Page experience was actually getting in. Since our college was in Connecticut, it was snowy and cold for about five months out of the year meaning we had to hop out of the cab in our skirts and tube tops, run to the entrance of the bar and wait in line in the freezing cold until the bouncer let us in. I would get so nervous every single time I handed him that Pennsylvania ID with my picture on it (just a different address and birthday) but had memorized every detail on that thing that so I was good to go every time. Well almost every time…
One Thursday night (the most popular of the three nights at The Page) we were all partying like normal when the lights suddenly turned on and the place was swarming with the Bridgeport Police Department. Uh-oh! The details of the night are a bit hazy since I think I had two slushy drinks that evening but the next thing I knew, we were all sitting on the floor, waiting to be individually ‘interviewed’ by the cops. I remember they asked for our IDs and we had to give them our fake ones along with our real driver’s licenses. They took our Fake IDs away, wrote us up a court summons and led us out of the bar one-by-one. Now that I look back and can actually laugh about this, I remember how terrified I was to tell my parents…I can’t recall for the life of me what they said but I made sure to emphasize the fact that there was about 50 of us who were busted. I think we even made the local paper! Not that my parents would pat me on the back for that or anything….
About two weeks later, we all had to go down to the Bridgeport Court and sit in the courtroom all day among the hard-core criminals (Bridgeport wasn't the safest place back then) until the judge called each one of our names to approach the bench. One-by-one we stood up, walked to the bench and plead guilty to our petty offenses (don’t worry, it never went on any sort of record) and agreed to pay the $140 fine for possessing a Fake ID. I think at that time I was about 3 months shy of my 21st birthday so I just waited it out and didn't return to The Page until I was legit.