No Gum, No Gun

When it comes to concert going, there is one big moment of truth for the midlife fan: the ID check. I dread it now as much as I did when I was 20 and a half. “What if they ask me? What if they ask me?”

Only now, I also think, “What if they don’t?”

I’ve had the patronizing: “Why, THAT can’t be your birth year! You look at least 10 years younger!” delivered in the same tone I use when I tell my 93 year old neighbor across the street that I love her new wig. I’ve had the nonsensical: the time a bouncer harassed my friend Andrea and I to show him our IDs, only to have Andrea point at the fine lines around her eyes and say, “Really, dude? CAW! CAW!” I’ve had the futile: the time I tried in vain to attract the bouncer’s attention with my California license as my younger cute blonde friend pulled out a battered passport filled with interesting stamps. Mine might as well have been a Costco membership card.

Just when I think I’ve had every bouncer-patron encounter that’s possible while maintaining a PG rating, there’s a new variation. Last week at St. Vincent/tUnE-yArDs it was the silent raised eyebrow, as in, “Seriously, lady, you’re extending your driver’s license to me? We both know that’s a farce.”

But my favorite ID-check experiences, hands-down, are when I am going to a show with my friend Maria and one of us has secreted baked goods onto our person. I decided to bring it to life for you with this short video, inspired by true events. I call it, “No Gum, No Gun.”

Related Posts:


  1. Catriona Galloway Keller says

    My most humbling age related concert experience was attending the 2007 Police tour when I realized that in the low light of the stadium, I could not actually read the seat number on the ticket!! that’s when I knew I had been doing this for a long time…. :)
    Love the column, Nancy.

    • says

      Dude. I now just hand the whole ticket over the usher and wait expectantly, like a sheep with a sheepdog, for them to prod me in the right direction. I figure I’ll get there eventually, and it saves me from squinting.

  2. says

    Ok, that video was hilarious! You cookie smuggler!

    THe worst id assault for me was a few years ago at Fenway Park….I know they have to ID everyone who seriously looks under 70, but when I feigned excitement about being carded, the snarky bartender gave me the eyebrow, like, “Come on sister, you know I HAVE to card you.”

    Beatch! She’ll be old someday, too!

  3. says

    I’m always surprised when I get carded. Because I am 1,000 years old.

    And those bastards better stay away from my cookies. I WILL NOT BOW DOWN TO THE ESTABLISHMENT.

    • says

      Ok, only because I met you at #ebww last week I’m going to have to call bullshit on this one. They card you BECAUSE YOU LOOK YOUNG. Hell, I would card you. And I mean it in the most affectionate way.

      With that attitude about the cookies, you are welcome to come to a show with me anytime.

  4. says

    That cartoon is hilarious! Very clever. We had a senior moment at The Gin Blossoms concert last year. We were feeling soooo old – especially as I was “jamming” while wearing my Clark’s.

  5. Mary A Brown says

    I’m sorry I can’t afford to go back to Illinois this year to see my family. Sure, I’ll miss them but what I’ll really miss is being carded in O’Hare! First time, I was wearing a shirt that said “Future Rich Girl”. Why? Because Delta had really screwed me over with their flights (costing me about $250) and the only clean shirt I had was from my sister who used to work for the Illinois State Lottery. I think the flight attendant only asked because she knew I was furious and was trying to pacify me. Second time, I was wearing a 360 photo view Tim Lincecum shirt. I think people look at my clothes when they ask, not my face.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *