Wednesday, March 22, 2006

...been thrown out of MUCH nicer places than THIS!

This is the story of my first and ONLY bar brawl.

When I was in my 20's I lived in a student ghetto west of Boston, called Allston. These were my hard-drinking days (much as I joke about drinking now, my current habits are nowhere NEAR the levels I consumed then), just out of college, working shite jobs in retail, not really making enough money to own...oh, you know, extras, like furniture for instance. But at that stage in a person's life, towns like Allston are perfect. More bars per block than is really necessary, plenty of shops, public transportation, a few decent restaurants, diners, greasy breakfast joints. Not a pretty place, or particularly clean, and DEFINITELY not quiet, but okay for a dipsomaniac in her mid-20's, who didn't really care about getting her beauty sleep.

At this time, I used to do much of my boozing at an absolute DIVE called Gerlando's. The place no longer exists, but if it did, I would make the trip into Allston on a weekly basis, it was that amazing for people watching and hiding out from the big bad sun. I used to joke that it was the type of place that Starsky & Hutch would go in, looking for Huggy Bear. No windows, dark brown paneled walls, carpet...well, it wasn't a carpet, really. More of layer of "nicotine on a sinew base.*" A jukebox, pool table, darts, and a fascinating bunch of regulars. Some townies, some students, a few ex-cons...just about everybody had that gawdawful Massachusetts accent. You know the one I mean, "Don't listen to fucken Chaaahhhhlie, he's retaaaahhhhded.**"

One Sunday afternoon, I think it was St. Patrick's Day, I was there with my drunken pals, eating corned beef & cabbage, drinking copious amounts of cheap beer, playing pool, throwing darts, avoiding sunlight. Pretty much your normal Sunday for us started at noon (when the place opened) and ran until at least after dark, sometimes till last call. (I wasn't joking about avoiding the sun. Perhaps that's why I still look so young.) So by this time, we'd been at it for a good 5 hours when this shrew came in with her posse. I won't use her real name, let's call her... Roseanne. Yeah, Roseanne, because she was white trash and advertised it.

Anyway, to cut to the chase: She starts fucking with the pool line-up board, insulting my friends, insulting the bartender, stealing people's bar stools, and making a general nuisance of herself. Then, when I said something like, "Come on now, no one's having any fun with this..." she called me "a fucking ugly bitch."

I slammed my beer down on the bar, and the place went silent, like in an old western film.

"Pardon me?" says I. Even pissed out of my head, I'm polite. Let no fucker say otherwise.


So I punched her.

That was it. One punch. She went flying into the jukebox, her boyfriend grabbed me and said, "don't hit her." I said, "Bit late, don't you think?"

And then we went to another bar for a while.

For months after that, the bouncers would joke that I was after their job, the bartenders called me "Golden Gloves" and I drank pretty much for free.

The irony is that I'm NOT a fucking ugly bitch. I'm actually okay on the eyes. But I have to say, Roseanne may have been cheap piece of trailer trash, but she really knew which buttons to push. She took one look at me and knew where my sensitive spots were. Wherever she is now, and I hope it's not prison, I would like to think she's using this power for good, and not evil.

*Thanks to the film "Withnail and I" for that very apt description.

**Adapted from something my friend Sara once heard in a Somerville baaahhh. Sorry I had to use your kid's name, it worked better with the accent, in print, than "my wife."


Blogger fatmammycat said...

Sigh, I'm so proud of you right this minute. What a silly bitch. Some people really need a smack up side the head to put manners om them.

22 March, 2006 13:46  
Anonymous mfv said...

Good story.
Happy belated foahdeeyeth', chieftain.

22 March, 2006 18:59  
Blogger Andraste said...

Cheers, FMC. IT's one of those things that I have mixed feelings about. Ladies do not brawl, and so on one hand I'm not proud. But on the other was a very good punch. Not girly, just a clean, direct right to the jaw. So in that sense, it broke a stereotype about 'chick fights,' which needed to be done.

Thanks, mfv. It's an oldie, but I thought it worth retelling, even if only to preserve a memory of Gerlando's for the young 'uns.

22 March, 2006 22:15  
Blogger Brewski said...

A-girl I salute you. Hardnut.

23 March, 2006 05:16  
Anonymous Andrew said...

"Even pissed out of my head, I'm polite. Let no fucker say otherwise."
(1) Great line. (2) I wouldn't dare. (3) Hope you had a fun 40th.

23 March, 2006 09:32  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

You know- since it is so easy to break one's hand- a neat elbow to the jaw is much better. Elbows are nature's knuckles dusters.
Just in case, you know, you er...ever need to do anything like that again.

23 March, 2006 10:28  
Blogger Andraste said...

Thanks, Andrew. Welcome to the pub.

FMC - I truly hope I never have to do anything like that again. Bar brawling is really undignified. But thanks for the tip! Elbow to the jaw...funnier than a punch, less funny than the head-butt.

23 March, 2006 11:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i used to hang out at gerlando's. i am what you reffered to as a "townie". how could i be a townie living in a city? you are the "townie" that has come to my city with a funny accent. i also grew up in the "student ghetto" allston.YOU made it a ghetto. stop pissing me off.go back to albany.

23 March, 2006 14:19  
Blogger Andraste said...

Oh, anonymous, I loved Gerlando's and I loved Allston. You missed the point of the story.

Now learn to spell.

23 March, 2006 14:34  

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