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A Capital Mistake

| Working | May 23, 2013

(I’m visiting my family in Ohio. I have lived in Washington, DC for years, so I therefore have a DC driver’s license. Note: I am WELL over 21.)

Cashier: “I need to see your ID for this beer.”

Me: “Sure, no problem.”

(I hand the cashier my DC driver’s license.)

Cashier: “This is fake. No one lives in Washington, DC. It’s all government buildings and monuments.”

Me: “I assure you, over 600,000 people live in Washington, DC, and that license is real.”

Cashier: “Yeah, you think you’re smart, but I know no one lives in Washington, DC. I’ve been there several times. You need to leave.”

Me: “Seriously? If I were going to get a fake ID, why would I get one that says I’m in my mid-30’s? I know I look kind of young, but could someone under 21 even come close to passing for my age?”

Cashier: “Get out or I’ll call the police.”

Me: “Okay… I still assure you that lots of people live in DC, but I have my passport here.

(Unfortunately, this is my “official” government employee passport, and looks slightly different than regular passports.)

Cashier: “Now you’re just being stupid. This isn’t a real passport.”

Me: “You think I faked a PASSPORT, as well as all the visas and entry stamps in it?  I know it looks a little different, but flip through; it’s well-used.”

(The cashier flips through passport and sighs.)

Cashier: “I’m just going to keep this and your other fake and let you go. I should call the police, but I don’t want the hassle. Now get out.”

Me: “Alright, no. I don’t even want the beer at this point, but both of those ARE MY REAL IDs!  My boss would KILL me if I had to get a new passport because of an ignorant cashier. I need those back. I have a whole wallet full of credit cards with the name on those IDs on them.”

(I attempt to show her my credit cards, but she’s not responding.)

Cashier: “No way, this is for your own good. You’re going to get arrested using these.  You’re better off if I shred them for you.”

Me: “Please give them back. I have to fly home in two days and I need ID to get on the plane. Keep the license if you want; at least that’s easier to replace than the passport!”

Cashier: “No, get out. You’ll thank me when you grow up.”

Me: “Give them back or I will call the police!”

Cashier: “Go ahead, you’ll just get arrested. I’m keeping these and shredding them. You’ll thank me when you grow up and realize how bad your childish ways are.”

(I proceed to dial 911 RIGHT IN FRONT OF the cashier, who just watches me smugly and says, “You’ll be sorry!” as I explain to the 911 operator what is going on. The police eventually show up.)

Police Officer: *to the cashier* “Let me see the IDs, ma’am.”

Cashier: “See, officer? They’re fake. No one lives in Washington, and that passport is all wrong. I told her she’d get arrested but she just wouldn’t listen.”

Police Officer: “As far as I can tell, this driver’s license is real. It has holograms and other security features, and only an idiot would get a fake that says they’re this old…” *looks at me* “…and it looks like her. I’ll admit that I’ve never seen a Washington driver’s license before, but nothing seems wrong with this one.”

(The police officer hands my driver’s license back to me.)

Cashier: “BUT NO ONE LIVES IN WASHINGTON, DC!  It’s just government buildings and monuments!”

Police Officer: “Uh, yes, people do live in Washington. Where do you think all the people who work in those buildings in Washington live?”


Police Officer: “We’ll agree to disagree.”

(The police officer looks at the passport, and turns to me.)

Police Officer: “I’ve never seen a passport like this before.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that you probably don’t run across a lot of these here, but it has all the security features, many visas and entry stamps in it, and there’s an explanation that it’s a passport for government employees in the back. May I show you?”

(He hands me the passport and I show him the message, visas, and entry stamps).

Police Officer: “Well, this has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever been called for. A third-grader could figure out that these are real. Here’s your passport, ma’am. Sorry for the inconvenience. The grocery store up the street is still open. You’ll probably find a more intelligent staff member there to sell you your beer.Your job seems cool, by the way! I’d love to travel like that!”

(I went to the grocery store and bought my beer with my license without comment or hassle. And, yes, my job is cool. :) )

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