NOTE: The names, dates, and places have all been changed to protect the parties involved.
Weddings are supposed to be days of happiness and unity, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. A few years ago my buddy “Clowncar” took the plunge and exchanged vows. The ceremony and reception were great. Clowncar invited our group to attend (sans my future wife as we had only been dating a few months, so invitations and seating were already locked – this is an important because…). Since I was going stag and three of the other guys were single at the time, we agreed to go together. Let’s call the three guys Grapeape, Shame, and Shirts. Like any wedding with an open bar, we got drunk. Then we went to a bar at the hotel and drank some more. During the wedding, Shame was on the prowl looking for some wedding sex which he achieved in a classic story that is not mine to tell publicly. I will share my friend’s wife kept saying “he’s not going to have sex with that girl is he? She’s so nasty!” My reply was “what do you think her family is saying about him.” Because of that sexual conquest, Shame recommended we leave so he could avoid awkward cuddling or conversation post coitus. Off we went. I should note that I had stopped drinking during the wedding because I had to drive.
We ended up going to a semi-popular bar/restaurant in South Jersey that happened to be open late for some god awful reason. This is one of those places that is really a restaurant but decides to call itself into a club after 11:00 PM for the asshole patrons that think they are doing something with their night. We walk in as a fight is being broken up. Bad Omen. Shame’s intent was to get laid again and was in full capture mode. When Shame reaches such levels of self-interest I tend to take a few paces back, way too much for me to handle drunk let alone sober. As I watched my friends get progressively drunker another fight is broken up and the participants are ejected from the building… that makes two. I strike up a conversation with the bouncers, and say something to the effect of “for such a tame bar, there seems to be a lot of fights tonight.” The bouncer agrees saying he doesn’t know what is going on. Unfortunately, it would soon be our turn.
What happens next will first be told from my perspective sitting on the bench in front of the bar next to the bouncer and then I will tell the story from other accounts of what happened:
From my view:
I noticed Shame, Grapeape, and Shirts at the main bar talking to two girls, one attractive and one that wasn’t (of course she was throwing herself at Shame – like a lamb to the slaughter). I continue my conversation with the bouncer when I hear “Fuck you ” I look up and notice Shirts start to get up and look very angry. Shirts is of a non-Caucasian ethnicity (I won’t say what) and this was a very inappropriate thing to say (it was not the N-word). Shirts goes off on this guy, telling him he is going to do terrible things…bla bla bla. The bouncers rush over and the guy and Shirts are getting tossed out. I grab Shirts and try to calm things down, he agrees to go outside to cool off. Grapeape and Shame stay in the bar with the girls.
Second Hand Account:
Shame, Grapeape, and Shirts were talking to the two girls (Shame was trying to lock down both) when a few guys came over and tried to talk to the girls. Shame immediately got pissed at this act and told the two guys to fuck off. Things escalated from there until they called Shirts the racial slur. I should have guessed Shame was at the center of it…
Once I got outside, Shirts was calming down when we noticed several guys were coming to my car from other parts of the parking lot. I quickly (and correctly) guessed that all of fights were connected and all of these assholes were together. There were initially ten guys trying to start something with Shirts outside. You know that part in Thriller when MJ and the girl are surrounded by the zombies and the camera goes around in the circle, and then comes back on MJ and he is a zombie? That’s what happened to us except Shirts didn’t turn into a zombie (or in this case a greasy European looking guy) and nobody was breaking out into spontaneous street dancing. Being the only sober one in the general area, I start talking common sense: everybody is drunk, it’s not going to end well, their group is going to get into way more trouble since we were basically being jumped; they started to back off. Then Grapeape comes out.
He burst out of the bar doors like Hulk Hogan and in my retro-memory he is waving his finger and “Hulking Up”. He immediately gets in this giant greasy kid’s face as more of their friends follow out of the bar. There is now close to twenty guys surrounding the three of us. Angry words are being exchanged and I look over at the bar for the bouncers and I see Shame talking with them. Shame comes over. One of the smaller guys manages to dart behind Grapeape and the big greasy kid pushed him down. The thugs swarms around Grapeape. He never even had a chance. It seems to me that Shame was their original target and he was quickly taken down once Grapeape was neutralized. Shame’s survival instinct is strong as he rolled into a ball and protected his pretty face. Eventually they grew tired of him and moved to join the gangbang on Grapeape.
(Example of what the offenders looked like)
Shirts and I were still on our feet. There were three guys on Shirts and he somehow made them move away from Grapeape and Shame and took them on himself in another portion of the parking lot. There was one guy left and he was gunning for me. I am completely sober and have the benefit of adrenaline clarity. This guy is staggering before he even throws one punch. I keep telling him he doesn’t want to throw that punch but I am thinking I don’t want to throw a punch. Being sober in a fight as one huge disadvantage: logic. I am thinking if I hit this guy and he gets hurt, am I going to get sued? Jail? As I am deep in thought, he punches me. This kid has no heat and his fist literally bounces off my head. I say fuck it, self-defense time. One open palm to the face and he is down and bleeding. I look back at Grapeape and the swarm around him is huge and kicking. I scream at the bouncers to call the cops and probably an ambulance. I then jump on Grapeape and try to absorb some of the kicks to his head. I noticed Shame pretending to be passed out by a car.
The cops arrived quickly leading me to believe someone else called earlier. The twenty assholes actually ran away. RAN AWAY. The cops quickly caught up with them. As the ambulance arrived, their attention was first focused on Shame. Shame was fine and kept asking/proclaiming that “It’s got to be illegal to punch someone in the face, it has to be illegal.” The EMT kept telling him he was right, it was assault, but Shame kept saying it until the EMT told Shame to shut the fuck up. Eventually they focused on Grapeape – he was in bad shape. They cleaned him up, patched up the cuts, and made sure he didn’t have a concussion. As they checked my friend, I looked at the other part of the parking lot where the cops managed to wrangle up most of the thugs. They were allowed to leave on their own accord.
They left. The ambulance left. The cops left. We left.
I dropped off Shirts and Shame. Then I went to Grapeape’s place. I stayed with him to make sure he wasn’t exhibiting any signs of a concussion – he wasn’t. He kept telling me to leave and after an hour or so, I agreed to go (which I regretted then and to this day). I found out he went to the hospital the next day to get stitches and to be treated for a minor concussion – something good came out of that trip, but that’s not my business to say, but I think it worked out for him.
Shame and I went to the police station the following week as Shame was exploring any and all options to capitalize on his beating. Nothing came of it. No surprise.
I wish I could come up with some profound way to end this story. To my knowledge, none of us have been involved in a fight since. Grapeape deplores going out and being around people and likes to stay home with his girl, Shirts and I are married and living our lives, and Shame is… still Shame.