Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ok break it up, there's nothing to see here

I wasn't going to share the following story for a couple reasons:
1. I'm not proud of it.
2. I'm really not all that proud of it.

But I've shared it in person a few times, and each time it has received one of the following reactions:
1. That's freaking awesome.
2. Dude, you're an idiot.
3. You're lucky you didn't get arrested.
4. Or killed.

All of those reactions tell me it's worthy to post here. So here goes.

Last Wednesday night, my brother-in-law (Tom) and I were hanging out at a local bar in northern Wisconsin. We were visiting Jill's Grandpa for Thanksgiving, and he lives in a very small town where the main street is littered with dive bars. Basically, it's the perfect town if you're an alcoholic who likes to go boating, fishing, hunting, and you don't have a job. Okay so anyway, Tom and I were sitting there at one of the bars minding our own business (of course we were), shootin' the sh## with the bartender, listening to some music, etc. It had to have been around 2 in the morning or so when the trouble started. I got up to use the bathroom, and when I came back, I saw my drink spilled out all over the floor. I asked what happened. Tom told me that one of the locals at the other end of the bar (whom we'll call Punchy) came over and dumped it on the ground and then walked away.

Here's the part of the story where I should tell you a little bit about Tom. He's got to be around 6'4" or so and strong as an ox. Picking a fight with him is considered bad policy. However, he's still only 20 years old. Meaning he shouldn't be in the bar in the first place. Getting into a fight while drinking in a bar could result in numerous days in jail. Okay, back to the story.

The two of us were now shouting from across the bar at Punchy and things were getting a little heated. To defuse the situation, Punchy's girlfriend ordered a drink and brought it to me. I reluctantly accepted it and thanked her. She asked if everything was cool now, I said it was, but I also requested that she please keep Punchy on the other side of the bar. She agreed. Punchy did not. Perhaps the fact that his girlfriend bought me a drink made him angrier, or perhaps he was just a moron (of course he was), but it didn't end there. I remember telling Tom that there was probably no way we'd be able to leave that place without Punchy getting punchy. I was right.

As Tom and I got up to leave, Punchy took a plastic cup or something and threw it right at Tom's chest. To Tom's credit, he kept walking and continued out the door while I was a step behind him. Punchy followed me. As I got to the door, Punchy grabbed my shoulder and turned me around, then made that sound you make as you're trying to hock up some flem, like he was about to spit on me. So I punched him in the jaw. Yup. I threw the first punch. And my name isn't even Punchy. I hadn't been in a fight since the 7th grade (Brian Brumbaugh). Now I was about to find out on the fly if I remembered how to do it.

Before we knew it, we were all on the sidewalk swinging away. Tom grabbed Punchy and slammed him into the bumper of a pickup truck face-first. Punchy's friend was out there now and he was swinging away. Then all of a sudden, everything just stopped. The bartender was outside, Punchy's friends and girlfriend were outside, some other locals were outside, all trying to break it up. The whole thing couldn't have lasted more than 15 or 20 seconds. Before the cops could show up, Tom and I hopped in our car and took off. Even now, we have no idea what happened to poor Punchy's face. It landed face-first into a steel bumper, so there's no way he wasn't hurting. But we didn't stick around to find out; we were out of there.

So the next morning, I got up and had 2 welts on my head, one of which was still bleeding through my hair. Tom had a cut above his eye. Jill was asking what happened.

Nothing. I'm fine. We're cool.

But then I noticed that my wedding ring was gone. Oh crap. It's 8am on Thanksgiving morning and Jill's whole family (mom, dad, aunt, grandpa) was staring at me in the kitchen, wondering why I'm bleeding from the head and why my ring is gone. Tom came into the room and said 'I think I saw a ring on the ground as we were leaving the bar'. Thanks Man. You couldn't have mentioned that last night?

So we made the drive back to the bar (remember, it's friggin 8am on Thanksgiving morning and about 20 degrees outside) and sure enough, right on the curb where we had fought the night before was my ring just lying there in the snow.


When we got back to the house, everyone was waiting for us so that we could explain what happened.

That was my Thanksgiving.

How was yours?


  1. Molly Says:

    I thought you were supposed to ring in the New Year, not ring in Thanksgiving!! Great story! How come none of that happened when you were visiting here a couple of weeks ago? :)

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Perhaps if we had substituted the coffee for Jack Daniels, I'd have two stories to share.

  3. Erin Says:

    Bad. Ass.

  4. Jane Says:

    It's a little ironic that the guy that threw the first punch calls the OTHER guy Punchy. :)

    And yes, you are quite lucky you didn't get arrested. Or killed.