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May 18, 2005

My Fight At The Pub

(All names have been changed in this story, FYI)

Back in 2001, I was a regular & a card checker at a local bar.

When it first opened in the bar was empty. It took a solid year of promotions, free drinks and festivals to get the word out that it was a fun pub. I have many stories of what happened at that bar over the last number of years, but my favorite is The Fight.

I'm not a fighter. Sure, I had my days of being a bully growing up, but that mostly ended by the time I entered 6th grade and the rest of the kids hit puberty. Since i'm nearly 6'4 (techincally i'm 6'3 and a HALF!), I have found that most people leave me alone simply because i'm taller than them. I may not be stronger, but my height alone has gotten me out of a lot of fights.

Except for this one night.

I was at the watering hole, and during that time it was month before I got mugged. Seems like my bad luck just comes in waves.

This bar was around for 3 years now, and I knew all the bartenders, the owners, and the regulars. They had me, from time to time, work the door checking ID's and every once in a blue moon (like during festivals) they would let me work the back room at a beer station. I had my normal job in the city, but did this to work my way up to bartending. In town, a lot of people want to bartend. Most guys won't put in the grunt work to get to being a bartender - they just want to bartend right away.

One Saturday night at the bar, I wasn't working the door, but I was there with a whole bunch of regulars. I was talking to two of them, one was "Brian" who is a short and stocky Irish ex-college baseball player and "John", a stout and heavyset local fireman.

You know when you are in a bar and you start to see something "happening"? You notice that people are acting a bit odd and its the start of a fight or arguement? Well, I noticed that at the end of the bar, at the opening, two typical NJ guidos were trying to get the attention of "Jacob" and "Kiran", the two weekend bartenders.

The two guidos went so far as to cross the bar opening, and got behind the bar shouting at them to serve them a drink. The rest of the bar wasn't really paying attention to all this, and Jacob and Kiran were at the opposite end of the bar serving people and shaking their heads "no".

Now, I didn't know who these guidos were - and if I didn't know who they were, they weren't regulars. I did know that no one is allowed behind the bar unless they worked at the bar or, the very few regulars who have special rights to stand there - to maybe work the radio or just have a special place to stand away from the crowd.

I turned to Brian and John and said, "I think we are going to have a problem."

Brian said, "What's up?"

"Something is wrong - those two guys", I gestured towards the end of the bar, "shouldn't be there. You two just come with me to the end of the bar, in case there is a problem."

Brian, John and I walk calmly to the end of the bar, and they waited for me. I walk behind the bar, past the two guidos and get in the middle of things.

I said to Kiran, "Hey, what's up?"

Kiran turns to me and says, "I want those two out of here!"

I turn to the guidos, and notice two things:

1) They are much stronger than me, thanks to their abuse of steroids.
2) They both are obviously on something - probably coke.


"You two have to leave.", I simply say to them.

The bigger Alpha Guido says, "We ain't leavin'! We want a drink!"

I turn around, look at Kiran and say, "They don't want to leave."

Kiran says to me, "Tell them if they don't leave, we are calling the cops."

I turned around again, and said, "If you two don't leave they are calling the cops."

The Alpha Guido said, "Then call the cops!"

I turn around, with my backs to the Alpha Guido, and tell Kiran, "He said, 'Call the cops'."

Kiran shrugs and says happily, "No problem!", and walks towards the phone at the far end of the bar, away from me.

I then hear from behind me, "What the fuck is the fucking problem!!"

I turn around and Alpha Guido has already thrown a sucker punch, at me. He clocks me in my forehead just as I turn around and my reaction is to put my arms up, like a boxer and crouch. He counters with a left upper cut to my mouth, and snaps my head up.

He got in two good punches on me and then grabs my shirt with his left hand trying to pull me towards his cocked right arm, to get in punch #3. I lean back, and Brian and John spring into action. John was a burly fireman, and tossed the smaller guido like a ragdoll against the wall - holding him against it with his forearm to the guido's throat.

Brian grabbed the Alpha Guido around the chest and picked him up and started to drag him away from me. Jacob runs from behind me, with what was called later, "A running punch". He got about 4 good steps in and clocked the Alpha Guido right in the face. Kiran did what was called later, "His whirlwind punches" - he ran after Jacob and punched the Alpha Guido with a series of right and left punches like he was beating on a punching bag. On the way out of the bar, Brian cracks the guido into the edge of the bar, which got right under the guido's ribcage and it knocked the fight out of him.

Suffice to say, this was an extremely bad idea for someone to start a fight with me in this bar. The Alpha Guido got the worst of it, we laid a few more punches on him because he was struggling to fight us and literally sat on him until the cops arrived. The little guido was shouting, "LET MY FRIEND GO!" while we had him up on the wall. He was more bark than bite.

The Hoboken police show up, and take one look at the situation and get out the flashlights. They look at us basically holding down the Alpha Guido and say, "Get up, jackass."

Alpha Guido gets cuffed and led outside the bar. They question the bartenders, and me. I had my bar card on me, and I tell them that I wasn't working that night, but was at the bar as a patron. They ask if I want to press charges, and I was more than happy to oblige.

If you didn't know this - don't get into a bar fight in Hoboken, especially on a Saturday night. Hoboken takes their prisioners and transfers them to the Jersey City county jail on Saturday nights. So Alpha Guido got to spend the night at county jail. Plus - the bail bond office isn't open on Sundays - so he got to spend Sunday in jail, too.

I saw the Alpha Guido in court two weeks later, in Hoboken, and he pled guilty to disturbing the peace and paid a $300 fine (I reduced the charges because I didn't have time or interest to put the idiot in jail). The funny thing is - I found out that the Alpha Guido wasn't from Jersey, he was from outside Philly - Norristown!

To this day he never returned.

Posted by Furey at May 18, 2005 10:00 AM


Ahhh...misty water-colored memories...

Posted by: Manhattan Charlie at May 23, 2005 4:09 PM

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