I've decided that I'll be too tired to drive over to Seattle tomorrow, so I'm going to fly instead. Between the cost of gas to drive, along with the parking fees once I get there, it's no more expensive to fly... even at the last minute. The only danger is that my flight will be canceled but, since I don't leave the country until Sunday, I have extra time if I need it.
Other than making this Big Decision, only one other thing happened today.
I got an email from an old friend whom I used to hang out with in my post-college years. He had stumbled across Blogography, decided to read every entry within, and then write to tell me how disappointed he was that there were no stories about the crazy times we used to have. Since I am interpreting this as permission to exploit a friend for entertainment value, here we go. Brian, this one is for you:
I have been in exactly two fights in my entire life. Brian was there both times. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming him or anything.... I'm just saying... when Brian is around, "stuff" tends to happen.
But before I get to the actual story here, there is something you have to understand. I am not a "fight" kind of guy. I'm skinny. I'm weak. I did not grow up in a bad neighborhood. I've never been to prison. I have no formal kung-fu training by an ancient martial arts master that I tracked down to avenge the murder of my parents (which is obvious, because they're both still alive and I'm not Batman). When it comes to fighting, all I know comes from watching movies.
And for those of you who have never been in a fight before, it is nothing like the movies.
Fighting is not some macho exercise where somebody punches you, then you punch them back, then repeat until somebody gets knocked out. Oh no. Unless you are Rocky Balboa, it is very much different... because fighting hurts when you suck at it. When somebody hits you, it hurts. Usually quite badly. And once you've been hit, the last thing you want to do is get hit again. But that's not the worst of it... hitting somebody else hurts. And depending whether or not you strike bone, it can actually hurt worse than getting hit. Yep, no matter how you slice it, getting in a fight is not a pleasant experience. Especially if you are me.
The first time I got in a fight, Brian and I were playing electronic darts at a local bar. We had each had a couple of drinks, and were just starting to enter "The Zone" where you become one with the dart and start to get good game going on. Darts are just like bowling and pool that way... everybody seems to play a little better when they're relaxed and buzzed. Or maybe that's just me. In any event, it was good times. But then some drunk assholes decided to play next to us. They were loud, obnoxious, and really disruptive. It was annoying, but we did our best to ignore them. Until the idiots thought it would be hilarious to start throwing darts at our board. The first couple of times we were like "ha ha ha" and just let it go.
But then they did it a third time.
While Brian was lining up his shot.
Then it wasn't funny anymore. Brian ran up to the board, grabbed the safety dart, then flung it at the drunken moron's chest and told him to "keep the f#@% off our board." This did not go over really big with the moron, nor his two equally moronic friends. Now they weren't only obnoxious, they were outright hostile. Brian decided to just leave rather than mix it up, and simply said "calm down there Skippy" as we walked out.
But that wasn't the end of it. We had no designated driver, and were planning on killing another couple of hours until Brian's brother got off work to come have a beer and pick us up. Now that our plans were foiled, we decided to walk down the street to get something to eat, then wander back after a while (when hopefully the three douches have left). We had gone three blocks when a car pulled up beside us and somebody threw a McDonalds cup full of liquid at Brian (missing him by a mile). Our lovely dart-playing friends had caught up to us! And now two of them were hopping out of the car, while one of them kept repeating "What'cha gonna do? What'cha gonna do?"
He got too close to Brian with that, and so Brian shoved his shoulder just to ward the guy off, but that was all the excuse the two needed, and they both made a play for him. I went to pull the "What'cha gonna do?" guy off of Brian, but he swung around and punched the side of my neck. It landed square, and I swear I heard something snap, but it wasn't enough to knock me over, so I shoved the guy away from me as hard as I could. He stumbled back, but then came after me again. This time I decided to get all macho and punch him in the face. Little did I realize that this would hurt me much, much more than it would hurt his drunk ass. Barely phased, he jumped me as I stood there trying to figure out why my hand was suddenly on fire. But, by this time, it was Brian's turn to push him off me (after having already shoved the other guy into the street). All it took was one swift punch to his gut, and the "What'cha gonna do?" guy folded like a wet Kleenex. And just like that, it was over.
We decided to head back to the bar, since the moron triplets had left, and wait it out for Brian's brother to show up. While Brian played darts, I spent the entire time icing up my hand and getting really drunk. Though my hand did get pretty jacked up, I didn't end up breaking anything. It was a painful, yet valuable, lesson.
The second fight was months later in the middle of Winter. Brian was a friend of my then-girlfriend's roommate's boyfriend. Us three guys went to rent a video while the girls went across the street to get junk food. It was getting pretty late, but it was a Friday night, and we had nothing better to do than eat sugar and watch crappy movies. After choosing a couple of cheesy comedies (a sensible compromise between the action movies we wanted to watch, and the chick-flicks they wanted to watch), I left them to rent the videos while I went to catch up to the ladies.
When I got to them, they were standing outside the market talking to some random guy. He was 6" shorter than I was, but had at least 30 pounds on me. At first I thought that the girls knew him, but it ended up that wasn't the case at all... he was trying to chat them up. I thought that if I just stepped in, he'd realize they weren't alone and leave.
I thought wrong.
The guy immediately started verbally bashing me, my family, my genetic heritage, and all my future generations. I don't think he was drunk, but he was crazy. I finally interrupted to say something totally stupid like "yeah... well, we've got to be going now..." only to have him shove me against a concrete column. He was using his forearm to push up on my upper chest, all while saying "step off, faggot! I'm talking!" Since he was shorter, he had to reach up to hold me, leaving his belly fully exposed. His nice, soft, easily punchable belly.
I didn't have much room to pull back, so all I could do was give him a quick jab to his gut. This only made him mad, and he lunged forward with his shoulder, somehow catching my jaw with it. This was not a pleasant experience, but it did leave me in a great position to clasp my hands and punch down on his back. It didn't do much to stop him, and all it got me was thrown down on the cold ground. But, by this time, Brian and Eddie were hauling ass across the parking lot to help out, so it didn't matter. That could have been the end of it, as there was no way this guy could take on all three of us.
But I was too pissed.
While Brian tried to calm the guy down, I nursed my aching jaw and decided to palm the guy in the face. It was kind of a pussy move on my part, seeing as how he was squaring off with Brian, but I didn't care. I shoved square into his nose at a nice 3/4 angle while he was completely unaware. It must have hurt, because he let our a yelp. For all I know, I could have broken it. And now that I had back-up, I got all cool and said "THE NEXT TIME YOU TAKE A SHOT AT ME, YOU'D BETTER USE A GUN OR I'LL F#@%ING KILL YOU!!" Everybody just stood there staring at me for a minute, and then we kind of wandered back to the car.
Later that night while watching videos, we got into a "candy battle" where we were flicking M&Ms at each other because the film was boring. I slapped one into the side of Brian's head, which is when he said "THE NEXT TIME YOU TAKE A SHOT AT ME, YOU'D BETTER USE A GUN OR I'LL F#@%ING KILL YOU!!"
I never, ever lived that one down.