I never was a skilled fighter. I’m small and have a big mouth, especially when primed by strong drink. So, I did get in fights, but I fought dirty and usually ran at the first chance. As a result, I don’t have good fight stories. Except one. Well, it may not be a good story, but it’s a story, and it’s more or less true.
I fought a girl. There, I said it. It wasn’t the only opportunity I had for such a fight, but it was the only one that turned into a real brawl. Oh, I’d been hit two or three times before, had a couple of drinks thrown on me and been cursed at often. I was quite the charmer in my youth. But, there was only one fight.
It was Oktoberfest 1986. I had a friend who was working in the beer garden. She told me that if I came by and helped her, I could have free beer. Since she was also a fetching lass, I agreed to help. I helped for a while and sold a bunch of these buckets of beer. I had a few buckets myself (Note: If you measure your drinking in “buckets,” you may have a problem). After a short time in the beer garden, I wasn’t really much help, but I kept working.
Toward the end of the night, a good friend of mine happened by, and I generously served him several buckets. The evening wound down, and I was having no luck with any lasses, fetching or otherwise. My friend (I shall call him “Stu” to protect his identity. He is a respectable citizen now) offered to give me a ride home. I closed up the beer garden and we left.
On the way home, Stu suggested we stop at Jerry’s Restaurant. Jerry’s was notable for two things. One, it was open 24 hours a day; and, two, it served breakfast all day and all night. It was a favorite for late night dining. We sat down and ordered. I ordered the Big Breakfast.
While we waited for our food, two young couples came in. Without any provocation on our part, one of the young ladies pointed at me and shrieked: “What are you looking at?!?!” Now, these are well-known fighting words, right up there with “What’s your problem?!?!” My food had been served, and I wasn’t in the mood for any conflict. So, I tried to defuse the situation by asking: “WHAT THE —— DID YOU SAY?” The young lady then fairly screamed: “Don’t make fun of our dates!!!” This struck me as odd, since we hadn’t paid any notice to this girl or the “dates.” Stu, being the peacemaker, said: “Hey, shut the —- up. We’re eating.” You would think this would have ended the potential conflict, but no. It seemed to enrage her further.
She repeated her earlier demand stating: “STOP LAUGHING AT US! DON’T MAKE FUN OF OUR DATES!” Stu stood up. He was a big dude, 6′ 3″ and about 230. I was a much less impressive 5′ 8″ 140. Stu’s witty rejoinder was: “We weren’t making fun of those two —holes, but we will now.” Well, that didn’t go over well with the girls or their dates. The dates attacked Stu, who proceeded to beat the crap out of both of them–quickly. He hit one guy in the chest with a forearm, and he just collapsed. Stu grabbed the other guy and threw him into the coat rack.
Like I said, I’m not a fighter. I was watching. I had a mouthful of food when the big-mouthed girl somehow sneaked up behind me. Quite unexpectedly, I was being strangled. Not just strangled, but strangled while swallowing a big forkful of pancakes. Oh, and the fingernails. They were digging into my jugular vein. Now what? She had come over the back of the booth and was literally choking the life out of me. If I had my wits about me, I would have stabbed her in the neck with my fork, but I was disoriented. As the life was draining from me, I reached behind me and managed to grabbed her hair. With Herculean strength I pulled her over the booth and was prepared to beat the stuffing out her. Here was the problem: If a drunk chick is strangling you in a public place and you rip big chunks of her hair out, it is a mistake to pull her on to you. It was like someone tossing me a wolverine.
Needless to say, Big Mouth and I spilled into the floor where she was wild-eyed and clawing at me like one of the Walking Dead on a meth bender. For a split second, I realized I was fighting a girl and in real danger of an ass whipping. This was all I needed to regain my composure. She came at me once more. Mistake. As she flew toward me, I grabbed her hair again. This time, I slammed her face-first into the floor. She didn’t look so tough after that, what with all the crying and carrying on.
That was it. The fight was over. The manager of the restaurant apologized to us and gave us free meals. The scratches on my neck weren’t that bad. Oh, the whole fight lasted maybe 30 seconds. Seemed like a lifetime. Stu said it was one of the funniest things he’d ever seen. Guess you had to be there.