How I Imagine My Last Bar Fight Will Go Down

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I’ll start this off by saying I’ve been in exactly two-and-a-half bar fights in my entire life. The first two were between myself and rival fraternity members over college bar turf disputes. Both ended with minimal injuries to both parties and in the immortal words of Dalton from “Road House,” “Nobody ever wins a fight.” I played peacemaker in both instances. The “half-fight” happened after a particularly bad Missouri Tigers basketball loss to UCLA, in which I threw a cup of ice at a heckling Kansas fan. Why that Kansas fan was at a Missouri bar, I’ll never know. What can I say? The guy was asking for it. We were separated before any hands were thrown and I got him kicked out of the bar. Score one for the Show-Me State.

Since then, I’m much more mild mannered when I drink. Not that I was the guy who went out every night looking for a fight, but I was a quick-tempered, shit talking son-of-a-bitch when provoked in my younger years. Now, I am very casual when I drink, with the exception of a few rowdy nights a year sprinkled in on occasion. However, I still think I’ve got one good bar fight left in me. In my head, it goes down something like this.

I enter the bar, beat down after a long week at work. It’s Friday and my friends dragged me out on the town against my will. I sit at the bar, flashing my debit card at the bartender who still thinks it’s cool to rock a fauxhawk in 2014. I think about tossing a 20 dollar bill down his way-too-deep black v-neck tee and just grab a bottle of Budweiser out of the trough. He finally comes over to me and I make it a double vodka-water with a twist of lime, to cut calories, while maximizing the drunk. I turn around to find my friends and they’re nowhere to be found. I wander aimlessly around the bar for 10 minutes before finding them on the patio, talking with a few girls. Deterred by my current two-month dry spell, I decide to light up a cigarette and blankly stare at the nearest TV, which is showing a West Coast ballgame. It’s 11pm and it’s still hot. Too hot to be out on the patio. I begin sweating through my wrinkle-free buttondown I bought at Marshalls last week. I ask my friends to go back inside. It’s too crowded here. The heat has gotten to me and the ice has melted in my drink, which has turned into a lukewarm mixture of vodka, water and lime pulp.

I return to the bar. My friends want to take shots. I oblige. I begrudgingly take a shot of Fireball. It’s almost midnight and I’m nowhere near drunk enough to be at this bar. All I want is to be in a booth, with $20 in the jukebox, drinking a Dewar’s and enjoying the company of friends. That’s all I want. Instead, I’m currently bellied up to the bar, being squished by the dude making out with a six and the drunk guy trying to close out his tab. I’m about ready to snap. I’ve lost all will to tolerate anyone in this bar. I remember when I used to be fun. This isn’t fun anymore. That’s when it happens.

Some drunk ass bumps into me from behind. I ignore the first time. He does it again, seemingly on purpose this time. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Third time’s the charm. He does it again. I whip around.

“Come on, dude,” I’ll say to him.

“Oh, my bad, bro,” he’ll retort.

I’ll go on my way. I’ll tell myself to move on and forget about it, but not only was this dude annoying, he had the most punchable face. Just a face that looks like it needs the business end of someone’s fist. Not my fist, I’m past that part of my life. I’m done with drink number four and need a refill. Drunk asshole is back and bumping into me yet again. Except this time, he stepped on my shoes. That’s where I draw the line. I confront him and he makes some remark about how he makes more money than me. It’s on.

I grab an ashtray off the bar (Remember, I’m in my fantasy world and my fantasy world is circa 1991, where smoking in bars is still legal) and smash it over his face. He recovers and puts up his hands, ready to throw down. Good thing I’m ready with a barstool and use it to parry away his drunken jabs, then smash it over his head. He’s still standing at this point and I somehow find the time to light up a cigarette. His friends now surround me and I quickly dispose of them with a vicious jab-cross-uppercut combination that I learned from a P90x cardio DVD that I did three times. After his friends are scattered across the floor, he rises for one last attempt at saving his dignity.

In a twist of fate, instead of knocking him out, I offer him life advice – a la Steven Seagal in “On Deadly Ground.”

I confidently stroll out of the bar and go watch DVR’d episodes of “Justified” for three hours.

In reality, I let the drunk asshole bump into me several times before leaving the bar in favor of a less crowded dive bar where the average age is 52 and don’t offer evidence in a future aggravated assault charge.

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Brian McGannon

What do I love? I love happy hour, a good golf tan, and getting moderately drunk during dinner.

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