Friday, 26 September 2008

On ill-advised bravado

After a month's long hiatus I returned to work at the pub last night. Winter's here and these days it's fucking busy. I was working in the bar downstairs in the dungeon nightclub - pulling pints from 6pm-3am amidst a drunken crowd of students, young travellers, and lonely guys desperate to score with whoever will take them. The night passed, and not without incident, though I'll spare you the entire evening's details.

I made a decision to stay in Vienna for a couple of months - my pub is like a more hedonistic Cheers - everybody knows my name and I figured I'd miss it if I left. So for a while I was in higher spirits than I've been used to of late. Then I discovered that in my absence, half of my shifts have been given to the new barmen - not sure if that's a permanent thing or not, but it kind of put a downer on what had thus far been a pleasant return.

3am arrived along with the most tedious part of the shift - getting the drunken idiots to move upstairs and out so I could clean up the carnage they've left behind. I left the barmaid to finish up behind the bar and set to working the floor. Trouble arrived with the first table. I hadn't even had chance to show the wood my cloth (fnar fnar!) when a fight broke out. Some gargantuous beast of a man had picked a fight with a table of six fellas whom he was accusing of something or other and putting forward those accusations in the most eloquent way possible - by sweeping their drinks off the table and throwing a stool in their direction.

In my current mood, I wasn't ready to tolerate any more cleaning than I already had to do, so I stepped forward and tried to diffuse the situation, giving the signal to the barmaid to call for backup from upstairs in the form of 4 other barmen. After an arm in the face from the giant he seemed ready to leave peacefully and began to walk away, escorted by a couple of his friends. But then he snapped and turned, ready to pile into the guys again. His friends restrained him and seeing that my reinforcements were arriving I put a hand on his mile wide chest and said in my firmest of voices, "No. You're leaving. Now," and pointed upstairs. With this his attention switched from his original quarry to me, and with a confident smirk and a look of pure evil and murderous intent, he calmly replied, "Oh is that right? I'm leaving now?" He began to swagger towards me, although his mates still held him firmly - a fact which I made thoroughly sure of before responding with, "Yep. Now." I held my ground, although by this point I was terrified he'd be let off the leash and I'd be added to the debris to be swept up afterwards, but I guess he must have clocked my waiting army, as he turned and walked away, still held by his friends. I breathed a sigh of relief, made a few jokes with the guys he'd originally had beef with and went to finish my job, only for my boss to stop me and say, "I'd stay right there for a while if I was you - he wants to fucking kill you, you dumb bastard."

I wonder though, if I had been pummelled, I'd at least have been able to stay rent-free in the hospital for a while.


Ninoslav said...

and your name is :DD:D: --yep...we might miss u :D

II - that has to be darren that night ...familiar words hehe

Rock Deputy said...

I got coldcocked once at a bar I used to work at. The funny thing was, I wasn't on shift and I did nothing to provoke the guy. He was of the same build as the gorilla that you described.

So, I'm chatting with this friend-of-a-friend, who turned out to be a moron, and this beefy guy in a jersey bumps into him and says "Watch where you're going." The aforementioned moron I was talking too (a small guy by any standards) tells him to "Watch where the fuck you're going!". Seeing as it's my place of work, I (perhaps, ill-advised) try to diffuse the situation. "It's a packed bar, we're all drunk, people are going to bump into people. No offense was intended."

Well, this gorilla starts waving a finger in my face, asking if I "have a problem" (whether it was a problem with him bumping into people, or a problem with him being upset about having been bumped into – I'll never know). I calmly reiterate my "packed bar, impaired motor skills" story and he, perhaps realizing the logic, starts to move away... then.......

(the next bit was communicated to me after I woke up on my back, staring at the ceiling)

Earlier that evening, the gorilla had said some unsavory things to a girl, in a poor attempt to entice her into inter-species sexual relations. When the girl refused his advances he said some even nastier things, to upset her.

Well... unknown to me (since I didn't know her), she was standing near me when the gorilla departed from our conversation. And the moment he turned his giant head, she took a swing at it.

His reflexes proved to be lightning quick because I didn't see her swing, and I certainly didn't see him swing. Upon awakening, the gorilla was gone. I was told that several large coworkers of mine escorted him outside, opening the doors with his head.

In the end, I can't really blame the guy. It was retaliation for a punch that he could only assumed had come from me. I did have a few choice words for the girl, and her amazing timing.

– Rock Deputy