Friday, August 31, 2018

ID’d at MSG - really???

I’ve been travelling to the US since the late 90s and am used to the ID rules – anyone looking under 30 gets ID’d with no exceptions. But the exceptions always prove the rule and I’d never been ID’d anywhere in NYC before. I’d been to MSG numerous times without ever having been asked for ID since my early 20s and this came completely out of the blue.

It was hockey playoff season and the Rangers were playing at home – I’d been to the 1st playoff game as well as a few regular season games that season and on each occasion I’d enjoyed at least 1 beer with no problems getting served. So it’s the 2nd playoff game in early April and the day has been hot – after a long day I’d headed down to MSG with a thirst for a beer or 2 whilst watching NYR hopefully take down the 2nd game in a row. 

Just to put things in perspective – at this stage I’m mid to late 30s and stone cold sober so certainly don’t fit the bill of being underage or being refused due to being intoxicated.

I get asked for ID at the first concession stand whilst ordering a beer and produce my driving licence – this has my DOB and a pretty recent photo – I get a bit of a blank stare then finally the server says “We can’t take foreign driving licences – we need a passport”. WTF?? I don’t have my passport with me as I’ve never needed it before in the US and it’s far safer in the hotel safe especially since as I have a UK driving licence in my wallet. So I’m 0/1 and getting thirstier so decide to HUACA – same response at the 2nd concession stand. Now I used to work in a bar whilst studying and both the servers I’d tried were pretty young (early 20s) so I work out that anyone a bit older is going to use a bit more common sense / discretion – same result at the 3rd  and I’m 0/3. I then walk round to customer relations to see what’s going on. I show him my ID and explain that I don’t have a passport on me only to be met by “We’ve had this policy for years – everyone gets ID’d and any foreign residents must show a passport not a driving licence”. Now I know this to be BS – up to this point I’ve never even been asked for ID yet alone been told it’s passport only. I obviously don’t tell him as I don’t want them to implement spot checks in future but it’s of no use to me know as I’m parching for a beer.  I eventually find a much older server and I jokingly ask if I need ID to be met by his assertion that I’m older than his 40 year old son – OK so I’m slightly offended but at least I get my fix!!

As an aside here’s a couple of funny stories on the subject of being ID’d: 

In the UK we can drink at 18. I’d been drinking in this particular pub for a couple of years and on my 18th birthday I walk into the pub in my school uniform (usually I’d put on a different jacket so it looked like I’d come from an office rather than school) and get asked for ID by a barman who I’d not seen before. As it’s my birthday I have no issues giving him my driving licence but before he’s even had a chance to look at it one of the more regular barmen walks over and says “it’s fine – this is AC….” and his voice trails off when he actually looks at my ID to realise that I’m just over the legal age by about 18 hours.

In the mid 2000s we had a family gathering in Florida and I’m in the supermarket with my brother (he’s 12 years older than me). As I’m piling our groceries up the cashier asks “Who’s paying for this the son or the dad as if it’s the son I’m going to need to see ID”. I proceed to PMSL whilst getting my licence out and laughing at my brother for looking old enough to be my dad.

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