When I picture a bar fight, I picture Patrick Swayze. Not Ghost Patty or Dirty Dancing Patty and most certainly not Point Break Patty. I'm talking about Road House Patty.
I may have already lost some audience members with that list of cinematic allusions. Damnit. Watch your movies, kiddos. Drink milk. Don't do drugs. And watch your movies.
According to Hollywood, bar fights are supposed to be glamorous. And fun. And hey! No one really gets hurt. Or at the least the guy who does get hurt is never seen again for the rest of the film. So we forget about him, and all is well.
This is all a lie.
Yes, I know, I'm naive. Thank you for pointing it out. What? Movies aren't like real life? WHAT? Yeah yeah I get it. Leave me alone.
It just so happens that I was once on the mast of a giant ship holding my arms out like I was flying. Yeah. But I had to end it with that guy because he froze to death in the ocean when the ship struck an iceberg and ---
OKAY OKAY you caught me. That's didn't really happen to me.
But I did build a baseball field and then the ghost of my father ---
OKAY OKAY so my father is still alive.
However, there was this one time when I was at band camp ---
Yeah. Definitely never went to band camp. You know what, fuck it. I do have movie-like moments but I'm saving those for a day when I have nothing to write about...except that one time when I was a banana...in pajamas...
Sorry. I'll stop.
Gather round kiddies, Aunt Jegina's got some pancakes and a story fer yer lil' ears!
(The pancakes aren't for your ears, they're for...yeah, you got it.)
I'm sitting at a table with two of my friends. We order a mini-pitcher to split. That's one beer each. (Woah...that just shot me back to Algebra II word problems.) We had been granted the pleasure of finding the only table open, which was luckily right next to a group of twelve people who had obviously been drinking for hours. The place was packed to the point of the noise being a dull roar; I could barely hear the juke box overhead.A random girl saunters by with a full-sized pitcher in her hand.
"Hey!" shouts Male Friend. "Right here...right here." He motions his head from her pitcher to his own glass, raising it up and nodding toward it. The universal sign for: put some beer in here.
"No," she says through her half-plugged nostrils. I wanted to tell her that breathing through her mouth is always an option, but I didn't want to seem rude.
"I'm looking to get wasted tonight," she slurs.
My male friend nods and lets it go. My female friend rises from her seat to excuse herself to the restroom, and it was in that short absence that everything begins to escalate.
A man seated next to us rises from his seat, walks over to our table, picks up my friend’s beer, chugs it, and slams it on the table.
“That’s for touching my girlfriend,” he says. Then he walks away.
Dumbfounded, my friend and I sit there in silence, staring at the Easter-egg-blue-clad frat boy who towered well above six feet. If I were Jack, he wouldn't even be the giant. He'd be the beanstalk. In fact, I wouldn't even be Jack. I'd be the little magic bean. That was the size differentiation, and this guy fucking knew it. I try to whisper to my friend to say something back, but he is too shocked to speak.
“Just let it go,” he tells me.
It made no sense. My friend had not touched anyone’s girlfriend. I start to yell at The InToxicated Avenger, but three of his companions immediately rush over to me the minute I open my mouth. They look panicked, begging me not to egg him on. They inform me that he had not only been drinking whiskey, but had been mixing it with “god knows what drug,” a drug I had never heard of before, and so I close my lips, clench my teeth, and hold my tongue. If only I had been the one drinking whiskey all night. Damn this Natty Light! Git me liquored up and a hootin' and a hollerin' gawd damnit!
I keep my eyes on him as he returns to his table and his girlfriend immediately rewards him for his manly behavior with seductive glances and drunken licks to his earlobes. She obviously knows how lucky she is to have a boyfriend who is capable of chugging a stranger’s beer. She keeps looking over at us and smirking, as if she had just gotten some sweet revenge, when neither my friend nor I even knew what the hell was going on. My third companion emerges from the bathroom and takes a seat next to me as I begin telling her what she had just missed in the three minutes she was absent.
As I was telling her, we both could not help but sporadically glance over at the twig-like figure covered in sequins. She reminded me of Gumby in drag. After we notice that she notices that we noticed her noticing, she rises from her boyfriend’s lap, since chairs just don’t do the job like they used to, and struts over to us.
“You got a fucking problem, bitch? You mean-mugging me?”
I want to tell her that she shouldn’t use such big words, for the word "got" seems a bit advanced for her taste, but I keep my mouth shut. I don’t go out with friends to fight with strangers.
“You’re the one looking at us,” says my female friend. “Your boyfriend is the one who came over here and chugged our friend’s beer.”
“You got a problem, bitch?”
I want to inform her that she has already asked this question, but I don't want to make fun of people with short-term memory loss.
“We do have a fucking problem,” my friend says.
“Oh yeah?” Gumby-Girl is yelling now, since sometimes it can be so difficult to hear someone that is an inch from your face.
What I expected to be a casual exchange of “fightin’ words” soon turns into much more, for then the girl’s boyfriend rises from his chair and stands behind her. As soon as he places his hand on her back, her fist clenches and her arm projects straight toward my friend’s jaw. In a wild blur of a second, everyone from the girl’s table is standing and throwing punches at us. It is twelve to three, and we have no choice but to try and defend ourselves. By “defend” I mean “duck and cover,” for we all know that we stand no chance against the whiskey-downin’ bitch brigade and their nine male companions who have something to over-compensate for.
“I’m going to kick your fucking ass!” The 6’4” InToxicated Avenger says as he looks directly at me and starts swinging, backing me into the edge of a pool table, pushing me into it repeatedly in hopes to, I don't know, crush my ribs against the corner maybe. He is successful. Who knew it could be so easy for a grown man to shove a 5’3” girl?
In a matter of seconds, a table has been turned upside down, glasses have been thrown and shattered into the wooden floors, some girl manages to project the contents of her pint glass right into my face, and I lose sight of my two other friends. I have three men surrounding me, all throwing fists, and my mission is to cover my head to protect my eyes and teeth and try to escape their perimeter to find my friends. That’s when I catch sight of one of them.
She has one man holding her right arm back, and another man holding her left arm back, as two girls take their turns punching her in the stomach and in the head. The boys are cheering the girls on after each direct hit, and that’s when I know I have to get to her to help.
“DON’T HIT THE GIRLS! JUST DON’T HIT THE GIRLS!” I hear my male friend screaming, but he is nowhere in sight. I bolt to the right and am immediately grabbed and yanked back into the pool table, before another man punches me right in the arm. I dodge left and am propelled back into the wood of the table. I want to cry, I want to scream, I want the muscles of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but none of these things come to me. I catch a glimpse of my friend getting punched in the head four times, and then once in the ear, and I can see her screaming for them to get off of her. I break away from the three guys and manage to run to her side, but then one of the girls sees me and starts my way, kicking at me and yelling profanities. A random stranger steps in and holds her back, and that’s when I give up all hope and grab a chair. Thankfully, that’s when the bouncer steps in.
He breaks up the fight and turns to the three of us. This is the first time I get a clear view of my friends. One has a black eye and a broken pinkie, and the other is crying and shaking and rubbing her head and her stomach. My hands can not stop shaking. Never have I been cornered by a grown man and told that I was about to have my ass kicked. I think the fear will subside, but it lingers as we wait to see what the bouncer will do.
“You three,” he says as he points at us. “Pay your tab and get out.”
What? WHAT? We were not planning on staying, anyway, for our night had been ruined and we were all bruised and beaten, but where is the logic in kicking us out? There were at least twelve people on the three of us, which put us at a ratio of 4:1, which mainly consisted of grown men against two petite women. The bouncer had taken ten minutes to arrive at the fight, and the people who had blindly stepped in to help had all been trying to protect the three of us against the belligerent mob.
As we exited the bar, my friend kept asking why they had kicked us out, and not them. We had not started the fight, and once the brawl ensued, none of us were trying to fight back. All we were doing was trying to protect ourselves. But when he asked this aloud for the fifth time, it struck me. There was no fairness factor in the bouncer’s decision; he had chosen who to kick out based on an economical gain. There were only three of us, who had only ordered a pitcher of Natty Light, whereas the twelve of them, dressed to the nines nonetheless, had been there longer, ordering pitcher after pitcher and an array of liquored-up mixed drinks. The bar would make a greater profit from them in an hour than they would from the three of us all night. The bartenders and waitresses would be tipped heavily and if they were going to lose a customer, they’d rather sacrifice three people than twelve.
Upon visiting the bar's main website, the first thing I noticed was their slogan at the top of the page: The Best Kept Secret in Chattanooga! I found this extremely ironic, and assumed that this “best kept secret” of theirs was the fact that they allowed grown men to beat up women, and after the women have gotten smacked around for ten minutes, they cut in to ask the females to leave.
Their website also has a History tab, where I learned that the bar looks, "to improve the club’s overall image through elimination of the more unsavory customer base and the improvement of club appearance." Do my friends and I qualify as an “unsavory customer base?” Would you then call those men who informed us that they would kick our ass as they shoved us around “savory?”
I GOT BEAT UP BY AN EASTER EGG.
I GOT SHIT-TALKED BY GUMBY.
WHERE IS PATRICK SWAYZE WHEN YOU NEED HIM.
That group learned nothing from their actions, paid no remorse, and suffered from no consequences, whereas the three of us left with our heads bowed, arms bruised, and fingers broken. How unsavory of us.