As I was reading a college comedy this a.m. that featured hijinks involving a fake ID, I had a pang of regret. I never had a fake ID. Never really needed one. I never developed a taste for beer (although Dos Equis' Buena Nocha seasonal brew is pretty damn tasty and unfortunately no longer imported to the US) and if I had a taste for the favorite cocktail of Duke undergrads (Southern Comfort and 7-Up) the ingredients were readily available in the dorm pantry. Even with a fake ID I'm not sure I could have carried "over 21" off. (The last time I was carded, I was out with my brother having Mexican food. I was 33. It was a bright moment and now a faded memory.) I wish I'd gotten a fake ID now. It feels like a rite of passage I missed out on. If I'd known I would end up writing dark fiction for fun and profit, I would definitely have bought one.
Which reminds me.
My mother was one of the most strait-laced people I've ever known. She could be a little school-marmy about it, but she was raised to be a proper Southern woman and despite some strenuous efforts at achieving escape velocity from the remnants of her upbringing, she remained ladylike to her dying day. (She would have been horrified when I chased an orderly out of her room the night before she died, telling him if he came back I would kill him. Seriously, it was two in the morning and he was there to take her vital signs, even though she was already in a coma and would die two hours later. I am not a polite Southern lady despite my mother's best efforts.)
But the point is... my mother probably never did a dishonest thing in her life, much less a criminal thing.
The last year I lived at home, my sister was in college and my brother was in his last year of law school. Our mother's best friend had been diagnosed with a really nasty, fast-moving kind of cancer. She was on heavy-duty pain meds and they weren't helping the nausea from the chemo. My mother came up with the idea of buying marijuana and sending it to her but wondered aloud at the dinner table where she might find such a product. Without hesitation we all spoke up with suggestions about where marijuana could be bought and then stopped as she gave us the evil eye.
"So I've heard," I added, which was true. I've never smoked pot in my life.
"Mailing marijuana is a felony," my brother added, which I thought was a nice bit of deflection.
My sister got up to get more iced tea.
In the end, she didn't buy the weed.
And in the end--and this is true--her friend went into remission and was ultimately declared cancer free after joining a church run by a charismatic young preacher.
My mother died two years later of lung cancer; her friend is still alive.
Life is funny and unpredictable.
Next time I'll get the fake ID.