DON’T DRIVE, CAN’T DRINK

In Features /

By Scoop W. Gerbil

Ah, the Ram in the Rye. The place where an assortment of students gather to forget about classes, down a few pitchers, chow down on nachos and watch some TV.

Where students and professors bond over a pint or two at the end of every term.

Where students are supposed to be equals.

But I’m not allowed to drink there.

I don’t know how many times I’ve pulled a small plastic card out of my wallet, showed it to the individual dispensing the wristbands and been told that my health card just doesn’t cut it; I can either not drink or leave. And I’m usually sympathetically asked whether I have a driver’s license. No. And why would I be publicizing my ability to drive when I’m asking to be allowed to consume alcohol?

As one Ram employee (who understood my plight but was powerless to do anything about it) said, “At least they don’t ask for a gun license before they let you drink.” Photo health cards, as I have doubtlessly informed everyone I’ve ever met, are not considered valid photo ID. I’m 21. I’m technically old enough to drink everywhere in Canada and the U.S. If only I was allowed to exercise that right.

It makes no sense whatsoever. The photo health card looks like a driver’s license. It feels like a driver’s license. It contains the same birthdate information as a driver’s license. But in the words of Homer Simpson, “Brother, it ain’t ketchup!”

I’m the first person to admit that Ram employees are just doing their jobs, that I don’t want the pub to lose its liquor license and that this is a government — not a pub — policy.

In other words, Ryerson isn’t what hates me here. The government hates me. The government is forcing Ryerson to hate me, by essentially saying: “We don’t like your green piece of plastic with your birthdate on it. We’d rather see a blue piece of plastic with your birthdate on it. If you don’t have one, you can apply for a white piece of plastic from the LCBO. It costs $40, takes between six and eight weeks and you more or less need to apply for a passport before you can get it.”

I once sat across a GO Train aisle from a group of teenage boys who were discussing their recently acquired fake IDs. Most people will never understand how frustrating it is to know that it may in fact be easier to use a fake ID than it is to use something that was issued to me legitimately and proves that I’m old enough to drink.

This isn’t even about drinking anymore. I can’t even get in the door of certain places. I’ve missed a number of events due to this stupid law, including what would have been my last Eyeopener Christmas party.

I’m not trying to scam anyone. If I was going to buy a fake ID, it wouldn’t be a fake health card. If a photo health card isn’t valid ID, a driver’s license shouldn’t be valid ID either.

Leave a Comment