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11:25 am: Fight Club

My brother’s wedding last weekend was absolutely beautiful, and I need to document it in another post. First, though, I want to set pen to paper about our late night adventure with the belligerent drunk.

The wedding was at my dad’s place, which is about 50 acres of farm and forest way out in the middle of nowhere, VA. We were parked maybe a 4 minute walk from the main party tent.

It was about 11:30 at night, redmed and I went to our car to head back to the hotel. She hopped in the car first while I said some final goodnights. She heard something moving at the front of the car, like an animal grubbing at the bumper. She didn’t realize what was going on until she heard me come up on the driver’s side and say “hey buddy, what’s going on?”

The owner of the shiny new porsche parked next to us was face down in the gravel between our cars. He was trying and failing to get to his feet, face completely smeared with dirt, and nearly insensible. I stepped towards him, took a grip on his arm, and got him to his feet. I said something like “let’s get you back to the house,” and started leading him that way. Immediately, he began to pull away and go – somewhere else. “No … let … let … take … let … take your hands off me.” Somewhere in there he pulled out his phone and dropped it on the ground. I picked it up and offered it to him, and he moved surprisingly quickly to slap it out of my hand. I picked it up and pocketed it.

redmed saw me having trouble guiding him to the house and took up a position supporting his other side, so we were flanking him. This redoubled the protest: “take … take … let … no … take your hands … off … me.” Jen finally rose to the bait and gently asked “or what? what are you going to do?”

“I’ll punch … I’ll punch … punch you in … the face.”

That changed the dynamic a little bit for me. I had already been pretty alert, mostly to move quickly to avoid getting puked on. With the threat, no matter how impotent, I sort of had to pay attention. redmed had his right arm around her neck and her arm around her waist. I was on his left side, leading him by the left hand. So, punching in the face – fine, noted – but with what hand, buddy?

About 10 feet from the porch, our new friend started to struggle a bit and fell down on his back. As we went down, he flailed a bit and made a pitiful attempt to kick redmed from the ground. In short order, both his hands were behind his head, gently restrained. redmed said something like “you can hold him, I’ll go get some more help,” and took off towards the party.

I looked at “buddy,” covered in dirt, struggling to get up, and thought of all the clever pins and hold downs I’ve learned at judo. Around the neck? Straddle? Side body control? In short order I settled for sitting beside him with a hand on his chest. He wasn’t going anywhere. After a couple of minutes I asked “want to sit on the porch instead?” He said yes, so I got him to his feet and then on a bench.

I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. I’ve trained in self defense and the martial arts for more than 5 years … and this what I get? On the other hand, I’m cool with this being the closest I get to an actual fight.

Anyway, redmed came back with my dad and the best man – who is built something like a tank – having told some brief urgent tale about how I was fighting a loser in the parking lot. I told ‘buddy’, “this is the doctor. he’s going to take care of you.” To my great surprise, buddy stood up and started trying to speak:

“There … there is no … problem … problem sir.”

My dad asked if he needed a place to sleep. “Yes sir.”

Are you gonna cause any more trouble? “No sir.”

Sometimes the doctor magic works. Should have thought of that earlier when redmed joined us. Of course, given his seeming desire to punch women, he might not have responded to that as well.

So in he went to a couch, with a dog bowl to catch his drool. We all had a bit of a laugh, my dad asking if I had hit him to give him that cut on his chin (no, it was the driveway that hit him), and telling me “you live for this crap.” After a quick circuit to check on the other fools in the pond, redmed and I hopped in the car and went to the hotel.

Apparently in the morning he remembered nothing and asked for ibuprofen. My brother was circumspect. “Looks like I found a place to sleep.” “Yeah, where we put you.” “Where are my keys?” “Probably in the driveway, where we found you.” “Where’s my phone?” “Here on the table, where my brother left it for you.” Buddy was pulling out of the driveway in his shiny little red porsche when we arrived for breakfast.

I wish ‘buddy’ well, and I hope he gets some treatment. Somebody needs to be pretty blunt about the fact that he threatened a woman (pathetically, but threatened nonetheless) during a drunken blackout. Even if he gets lucky and keeps falling down before getting in his car to kill himself on the road – that’s not the kind of behavior that can last long. Jail or the morgue.

Times like this make me want to carry a couple of cards for alcoholics anonymous or some similar organization. “Hey, how did this card get in my wallet?”

Originally published at chris.dwan.org. You can comment here or there.

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