A while back – I am thinking 2003 – I was out at a bar with a few friends of mine including Kevin Cragg and a college friend Mindy Magyar. I was up getting a round of drinks for everyone in our booth (this sounds more generous then it was, I think I was the third or fourth person to buy drinks) and I overheard a guy drunkenly hitting on a young girl.
“Where are you from?”
“No, I mean where are you from – originally?”
“I was born in New York.”
“NO, no, no – like where are you from….your family?”
I went back to the booth and told my friends about the exchange that was going at the bar. We all had a little laugh and went on talking about whatever it was we were talking about. Possibly just Mindy making fun of me for not remembering anyone from our classes. While we talked I noticed the girl walk away from the bar and over to a booth where her 3 friends were sitting. Following behind her was the drunken lothario who proceeded to force himself into the booth with the 4 young girls.
I watched for a bit as the girls gestured for him to leave and he simply ignored them. Then I stood up and walked across the bar and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Why don’t you leave these girls alone?”
He turned around and looked up at me and shook his head. “This is none of your business”
“You are clearly intruding on these girls” and a moment of doubt struck me “Unless you want him here?” and the response was a chorus of “No’s” and I continued “Ok, so why don’t you let them be. They clearly just want to be left alone”
“Ok, you’ve done your job. You’re the big hero. You can go.”
“I’m not going anywhere until you leave.”
“You’ve done your good deed already”
“I can’t go back and sit over there and watch you. Its embarrassing. I’m embarrassed for you.”
“This isn’t your business.”
“Go back to the bar.”
This sort of mindless banter continued for a few minutes until he decided to stand up. He stood right up in front of me, chest to chest. He was about a head taller them me and just looked right down into my eyes. And I said the coolest thing I could say in this situation.
“Is this supposed to intimidate me?”
Even while I said this I couldn’t imagine a scenario where this guy didn’t beat the living crap out of me. He was much taller and bigger then me – and even as drunk as he seemed I doubted I could fend him off.
I lucked out. He looked around as if expecting to see a huge crowd of people in this empty bar and then looked back at me. “I don’t want to go to jail today.” and he left the bar. I didn’t say anything to the booth of the girls as I was worried they would think I was using my actions to hit on them myself.
I sat down at my booth and Kevin Cragg turned to me and said, “I thought you were going to get me into a fight.” Kevin Cragg had my back the whole time! I didn’t need to worry about this guy beating me up after all (well I would have been hurt bad, but two on one I liked our odds).
Later that night when I left the bar my jacket (with a book I was reading in the pocket) had been stolen.