I haven't been in a bar fight in 16 years. And back then, it always involved pulling a fraternity mate out of a fracas with a guy from the fraternity across the street (those Fiji's were always asking for a beating).
Through my 20s one of my personal beliefs was that there was no good that could come from a bar fight. Drunks like to break bottles, throw chairs and sometimes someone has a knife.
Once, when an old west saloon-style brawl broke out at a local pub, I stood in one corner, drinking my beer and gnawing on popcorn, while my best friend positioned himself behind a couple of young ladies in the opposite corner. We cheared as furniture flew, ducked under flying bottles, and waved goodbye to the brawlers as the cops cleared the place out.
That said, if I or my friends are in peril, I won't hide.
So this weekend, I was with five friends, two men and three women at an upscale bar/restaurant. Let's just call it S&W.
A man walked in off the street and he looked a litle bedraggled. Wearing an old army jacket, his eyes were glassy, he was scary looking.
As he walked by my group, he rubbed up against two of the women and lingered, just a second too long. My friend Mike positioned himself between the ladies and the weirdo and the guy reluctantly walked away, looking back over his shoulder.
It seems Mike's steely glare wasn't appreciated and the crazy man spun around and came back. He got into Mike's face and said "You giving me looks?"
Our friend Bruce wasn't paying any attention, but I will say this about him, when the shit goes down, I want him on my side. I calmly said his name and gave him the non-verbal "check this out."
Next thing I knew, all three of us were up, chests puffed out, fists clenched, telling the eerie stranger to keep on walking.
It turns out we all agreed that this man had a weapon, a knife probably, and the last thing we wanted was to see it. So we put up a strong unified front, but spoke in peaceful terms: "No trouble here... keep on walking... we're all friends..." But, if I do say so myself, I think we were a pretty intimidating trio.
The guy sauntered off and left the bar, and the three of us felt very macho. We'd stood tall and protected our women-folk.
We were also very relieved, it had been a long time since any of our creeky bones had been involved in a brouhaha.
Apparently, I made an extra special impression on the place. A short time later, another man walked over and asked me if I wanted to get a bottle of champagne with him.
I was a little confused by the proposition, until I realized it was a proposition. He wasn't my type, because he was a he, but it was still nice to know that my powerful muscles got someone's attention.