Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Career as a Forger

When I was younger I dabbled in the ideals of communism. In particular I was taken by Marx' and Engels' dialectical analysis of the class struggle inherent in 19th century Europe, that and the fact that a certain girl I was interested in was a rabid Marxist.

About that time, the legal drinking age in the province of Quebec was 20, and falling short by a good three years I was frequently turned away from the doors of clubs for lack of identification showing I was of an age to imbibe legally. Not only could I not see the local bands all of the older kids were seeing, but that girl somehow always managed to get in even though she was only a few months older than me.

I was not alone in my misery - all of my friends except John Delancy, who at the age of 14 had a 5 o'clock shadow by noon each day, were similarly barred from bars due to the ID situation.

Now about that time the first coin-operated Xerox machines were being installed in public libraries, and my friends and I hit upon a scheme to doctor a driver's license so that it showed that we were indeed over 20 years of age. But we weren't going to risk buggering up our legitimate licenses in case we were pulled over by the local constabulary for pulling Chinese fire drills and the like.

Jean Robidoux had the solution. After having sunk his father's Austin Mini Cooper into an open grave about 200 yards deep into the local cemetary, it was unlikely he was going to ever get to get behind the wheel again until he was 30. So he offered up his license as a blank.

Using an exacto knife, we painstakingly eradicated his name and year of birth. But printing a false name and different DOB proved to be problematic. The font used by the manual typewriters in the school was just plain wrong, and none of us had the dexterity or artistry to do it by hand. Then I hit on it: "borrow" some Letraset from the art room.

Unfortunately, almost all the Letraset was either the wrong size or different font. Except for one used sheet which had most of the letters missing except for the uncommon ones like "k" and "x" and all the vowels except for the letter "a". We could not, therefore, use a common alias like "John Smith" or such - we were stuck with the letters we had.

Then it hit me - Karl Marx. All the letters were there, but we had to be very careful since there was only one capital "M" left - no room for error. Using some masking tape, we made a baseline on the blank driver's license, and painstakingly began to rub on the letters. Some of them showed cracking which we had to fill in with black ink, but in the end we had a reasonable facsimile of a driver's license, one good enough to pass in the smokey haze of a nightclub, but would certainly not fool a police officer.

After purloining some heavier cardboard in the appropriate colour and putting it in the photocopier, we made a half dozen or so copies, although the first two had the verso side upside down. We were so pleased with our deceit we named ourselves the Marx brothers, and being somewhat nondescript I was given the sobriquet Gummo, but that had probably more to do with my ever-present Bazooka Joe than anything else, I told myself.

Obviously, we could not follow each other on the same night into the same club, so we took a vow to either frequent different establishments on the same night or at least wait a good hour after one of us had entered before we had a go at it.

And it worked. Our Karl Marx IDs were accepted without challenge in all the dives where they were produced. So successful was this we toyed with the idea of forging enough IDs to keep us in beer throughout the balance of our high school careers.

But all good things had to come to an end. Al Little's mother went through his wallet, apparently looking for condoms, and found our forgery. She browbeat Al into divulging that another five IDs were in circulation, and told her husband who worked at city hall, who in turn informed the police of our conspiracy.

That very night, when we produced the driver's licenses at the local strip club, the doorman just shook his head and pointed to a sign freshly tacked to the wall behind his station:

"Beware the IDs of Marx".

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Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Al's mom was such a backstabber!!

7:30 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Mwa! The IDs of Marx! *snork!* Ha! *snicker*

1:43 AM  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

OMG *snorking more than Dawn* IDs of Marx!!!!! Mwbwhahahaha! You invented all of it didn't you? :)))

10:10 AM  
Blogger Eternally Curious said...

LOL! What an adventure (while it lasted!)

9:16 AM  

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