All of a sudden I'm Ernest Hemingway

So I was in a bar fight Tuesday night. Initially I was referring to it as a bar tussle when describing the event to awe-struck friends, but I've been informed by those in the know that it could be considered an actual bar fight. Still, I'm shying away from calling it that because "bar fight" sounds so white trash and I don't want to give people the impression that I'm a violent person - I'm not at all, I'm a huge wimp. A more honest (and romanticized) description of what happened would be to say that I was defending the honor of a lady friend against the lecherous tongue of a dastardly scoundrel. That sounds much more chivalrous, no?

Now I'm sure you're anxious for me to plow right into the good stuff but I think it would be helpful to the narrative if I set up the events of the evening rather than just jumping straight into my tale of two-fisted heroism. Here's some quick back story to get you up to speed: I've recently been seeing this chick I met back in September. We've only been able to go out a few times because she's been busy with college (she's a dental assistant studying to become a dental hygienist) but we really hit it off the first time we went out and we talk/txt/email regularly. Currently she's on break from school so we have more time to get together. We decided that Tuesday would be a good time to get together so we made plans to meet at a bar in Dayton to get some drinks and then go to some dance club for 80s night.

So we met up and things were going swimmingly at the outset. We were just hanging out talking and making fun of the cover band playing acoustic versions of the biggest modern rock hits of the 90s. I even bought her roses from a guy who came in off the street and may or may not have been homeless. The roses wound up smelling like cheap cigarettes but that only served to add to the quirky/sweet atmosphere of the moment. It was like a scene from a Cameron Crowe film before he started only making crap - think Say Anything or Singles. Basically I was on top of my game - being witty, romantic etc - so of course her ex had to come into the bar and screw everything up.

At that point I'd never actually met the guy but she'd told me some crap he did when they were dating so I didn't have a high opinion of him. But whatever, she said they'd broken up 8 months earlier and we agreed not to worry about it and just have fun. At first everything was fine, then we noticed that he was repeatedly walking past us and giving us ye old stink-eye. Eventually she got uncomfortable and wanted to leave so we headed over to the other club for 80s night.

When we got to the dance club it wasn't that busy but it was still early. There were a few ironic hipster types on the dance floor so we got some drinks and asked the DJ top play some good 80s music. Luckily the guy had a nice selection of Echo & The Bunnymen and New Order albums. We also got him to play Get Into the Groove by Madonna because, admit it, that's a good song. So, now we had our drinks and good music was playing to dance to. Normally I'm self-conscious about dancing because I'm a white male, I'm just not that skilled in the boogieing. But the 80s music was a good remedy to my self-consciousness for two reasons: It allowed me to dance in my normal herky-jerky fashion but mask it as silly 80s dancing while simultaneously making my date think I'm funny and ironic...not just a bad dancer.

Things were going well once again and then in walks the ex-boyfriend and his stink-eye. The club we were at was much larger than the bar we had just left and people were starting to file in quickly so we just went about our business. He continued his weird leering-at-us-routine but we were able to largely ignore him since it was crowded and dark. It helped that I had hypnotized her with my good looks and whirling dervish dance style too.

Things continued like this most of the night until the dancing started to wind down. Eventually we made out way to the front of the club so we could sit and talk. This is when things started to go down hill fast. We had been sitting and talking for a while when her stupid ex and one of his douchy girl pants wearing (male scene people in Dayton still wear girl pants because they're all idiots, they still think Thursday is relevant to the music scene as well) friends came over and stood several feet away from our table. We paid them no mind at first but eventually parts of their conversation began seeping into ours. We weren't eavesdropping or anything, it was obvious that they meant for us to overhear them since they were speaking loudly and in our direction. Without going into detail what they were saying was pretty messed up - even by my standards. Just imagine the worst filth you can think of directing towards women and you'll have a good idea of what was being said.

This went on for a few minutes and my date was getting more and more upset and shaken by what they were saying. I decided it would be a good time for me to say something to them about how they needed to shut the hell up and possibly get in a car accident and die on the way home. She stopped me though and said she wanted to say something to them herself. I didn't think that was a good idea because she was really REALLY mad at that point but I agreed on the grounds that I would go up to them with her.

So she approached him and pretty much ripped into him. She was screaming at him and he started to walk towards the exit. She followed him and I her. They got into a corner by the exit door and I was standing probably 6 to 10 feet away by this point. They're both screaming at each other now and all of a sudden he flings the exit door open, grabs her, and pulls her outside. Then he pushes her up against a wall, holds her there and starts to get in her face. I snapped.

Generally I'm not an aggressive person but what he did was way over the line. At that moment I was angrier than I've ever been in my life. I ran out the door, grabbed him from behind by the shoulders, and flung him backwards as hard as I could. I'm not what you would call a strong man but I'm a good 6 inches taller than him and was hopped up on adrenaline and rage, so he went flying...into a crowd of girls I hadn't bothered to notice were standing there.

At this point I had my back to him and was making sure my date was okay when he plowed into me and pushed me up against a guard rail. I don't remember what all happened after that. I know he was screaming something at me and I was screaming something back at him about hitting girls and what not. At some point he grabbed me by the throat and tried to choke me. I know I didn't punch him or kick him but I did start choking him back. For some reason he pulled off my glasses and held them in one hand. He also cut me pretty good above my left eyebrow somehow. He wasn't very strong but it still sucks to be choked so I used one hand to grab his wrist and pushed it up as hard as I could so he couldn't get the leverage to put any pressure on my neck. In the meantime I was still choking him with one hand while he didn't have any hands left to retaliate with.

I remember repeatedly telling him to hand my glasses back and I'd let him go but, for whatever reason, he wouldn't. I had a good grip on him too - he was talking in that funny some-guy-is-choking-the-crap-out-of-me voice. At some point someone broke us up and I got my glasses back. (Now sans a right lens.) He went back inside and I stayed on the patio for a while to cool off. While I was out there I saw one of the girls I flung the choad into sitting in a chair with her shoe off. I asked her if she got hurt when the fat lump of crap landed on her and she said she twisted her ankle when he hit her. I apologized and told her I didn't mean to throw him into her, I just wanted him off my date ASAP. Her response? (Well this isn't verbatim but you get the idea.) "Oh yeah, you're that guy that was bleeding. No way that was awesome, that dude had it coming!" Ah sweet validation.

During the fracas my date had apparently gone back inside. I couldn't find her on the patio and the bartender that had come out wouldn't let me go back inside for obvious reasons. I was out there for a while and was starting to come off the adrenaline rush when it occurred to me that I had probably just chased her off. That would have really sucked because I really like her. Eventually she did come out and we decided it was a good time to hit the road. I drove her back home and apologized profusely for what happened. She said it was okay but she was really shaken up. I dropped her off and headed back to my place to sterilize my combat wound and go to bed.

I talked to her today to make sure she was okay and again apologize for how I acted but she said she was glad I was there and stood up for her. Ha, victory is mine! And you know the best part? She told me while she was inside another guy confronted the crap sandwich because he was being a little too forward with the guys girlfriend or friend or something. She said turd burger pretty much just ran away. He also got permanently banned from the place and he was trying to get a job there. As a rule I don't believe in karma but I do so love when asshole behavior catches up with people in a big way.

Just as a parting note I want to clarify that I'm not writing this to brag or to show what a hard ass I am. I'm simply relating a tale about some crazy crap that happened to me last night. Honestly I thought twice about even posting this because a part of me is embarrassed that I behaved like that, that's a very small part though. The rest of me is like, "You're superbad, dude!" In the end I think I handled the situation well, all things considered. I don't regret what happened but I do regret that it got to that point at all.

Oh yeah, I received a phone interview for a technical writing job today. It's not like I'll be writing For Whom The Bell Tolls but it sort of ties in with the whole Ernest Hemingway, two-fisted writer thing.

Lastly, here's a before pic I randomly took before I left last night and an after pic I took today:


Anonymous said…
kick in the groin - first thing to do. Right elbow. Boom. Right straight Bangiddy Bang, and maybe now the headbutt comes. You can of course kick him in the head.

~Bas Rutten
Unknown said…
Congrats on the job interview. hopefully it went well.

it's a well-known fact that sometimes men who abuse women will earn their comeuppance in a language they can understand.
Shayne Mathis said…
The interview went good I think. It was just a preliminary phone interview, they're supposed to be calling me back in a few days about the next step in the process. I really want this job. It's not my ideal career path but at least I'd be getting paid to write something and from what I've heard it's a good company to work for.

The only thing I regret about the other night is not stealing the guys wallet as compensation for my glasses. When I got the bill for replacing the lens it really made me wish I'd kicked him in the yam bag a few times.