One of the most amusing (and sometimes the most frustrating) occurrences a doorman can experience is the rationale of the drunken mind.
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that the majority of the people reading this have probably been drunk at one time or another (you naughty, naughty monkeys) and have experienced that moment in your drunkenness when you are absolutely sure that you are right, your adversary is wrong, and he WILL see the error of his ways, come what may. Speaking for myself, I’ve certainly fallen victim to this.
I remember one night on the Oregon coast, after ingesting certain substances, I found myself rolling in and out of a bonfire and occasionally passing out. I would awake and sit up suddenly, screaming, “Why the hell haven’t we cooked the hot dogs yet?!!?”
My more sober cohorts would calmly say, “Lenny, we all ate hot dogs about 20 minutes ago. Maybe you should go for a swim…” at which point I would jump up, declare them all liars, and go crashing into the frigid salt water.
Eventually I would slink back, sit by the fire, and pass out. Then the entire process would repeat itself, and I would insist that the hot dogs were still in the coolor, and everyone was conspiring against me.
My friends are truly patient people, and I love them for it. But wait, what were we talking about?
Ah yes, the rationale of the intoxicated mind – that vacuous void of visions that speak to you and say, “you are right, and everyone else is wrong. Deny all proof to the contrary, and stick with your guts, dear boy.”
This voice is wrong approximately 97.2 percent of the time.
I encountered a demented young fellow on Saturday who was hearing that voice loud and clear. He insisted that he and his girlfriend had been upstairs, having already paid the cover and been stamped. And yet, he did not possess said stamp, and I knew that he hadn’t been in the bar all night, because there is a special area in my memory bank reserved for dickheads with hot girlfriends that are just as drunk and pissy as their men.
So, after explaining that he didn’t have the correct stamp (“No, sir, that stamp is NOT from this bar”) the young gentleman became irate. He said he was going upstairs and asked me if I intended to stop him, his girlfriend egging him on with the worst of nails-on-a-chalkboard voices.
I said, why yes, I would be stopping him and throwing his sorry ass on the street for even attempting such a foolish endeavor. He didn’t believe me.
He made a drunken lunge for the stairs, flailing his arms wide and emitting some sort of gutteral, atavistic “AAIIYYYEEEEE!” that caught everyone’s attention, inside the bar and out.
This was ideal, since everyone got to see me make an example of the stupid son of a bitch. I spun him around and tore the sleeve off his shirt while throwing his sorry ass down on the cigarette-butt-and-spit-covered sidewalk.
In the midst of his fall, my friend Will jumped in and made sure our drunken friend knew that he should, in fact, stay on the ground, but he wasn’t smart enough to get the hint. So, I clocked him upside his thick skull while trying to tear his girlfriend off Will’s back.
After realizing his defeat, his girlfriend picked him up and they stumbled off in the direction of Louie’s, volleying numerous slanderous obscenities my way.
The night wore on, and about an hour later he showed up again. He proceeded to stand directly next to me, offering his apologies and asking if he and his young lady could now pay and go inside. I gently replied, “Are you fucking kidding me?” He kept apologizing, and I told him that all was forgotten, but he would not be entering the bar tonight, then I turned to help the others waiting in line to enter.
He didn’t like my turning away from him. He grabbed my shoulder and spun me, saying that he was speaking to me. I calmly clenched his wrist, twisted his arm behind his back, and gave him a quick lesson on manners.
“You see,” I said, “you were just fine apologizing, then you had to go and grab me. I don’t really know what I can do to teach your pathetic ass a lesson, but I’m guessing it has to do with a member of Ashland’s finest and the back seat of a patrol car.” At this point he acquiesced, and politely said he would be on his way. He showed up again later, only to quickly apologize then walk away.
Only toward the end of the night, as I was counting the cash box, did I find out that he had called the cops on me. The officer came to visit me, saying that dispatch had received a call from a slurring patron of our bar, claiming that he had been “roughed up” by the bouncer. I explained the situation to the officer, who laughed it off and told me to have a good night.
If there is a point to this rambling missive, I would say that it is this: if at all possible, try to tell that persistant little voice in the back of your mind to shut the hell up, and let reason step to the forefront and guide your actions a little.
But, this is coming from a guy who set himself on fire while demanding more hot dogs.