Yesterday was St Patrick’s Day! Hooray! I hope that everyone had a wonderful time drinking cheap green beer and making bad sexual decisions with redheaded strangers. But then again, that could just be a normal Thursday, AMIRITE?
I avoid going out on St Patty’s day, because the streets are filled with drunk lunatics wearing dumb hats and demanding that you KISS ME, I’M IRISH.
This is the story of one such lunatic.
(Puppy from Cute Overload)
It was St Patrick’s day, 2010. It was a simpler time, a more innocent time, and because spring was still like two months away, a much colder time. Three of my friends called to see if I wanted to meet them at a bar near my house for a holiday drink. This was a tough call: On one hand, I hadn’t seen these three friends for like a year because they have Adult Lives and too busy to hang out. On the other, the bar’s usual clientele toes the line of douchey frat brah territory, and on St Patrick’s day? Pre-emptive eugh. Eventually I decided to suck it up and go, because seriously, what was the worst that could happen?
If you take nothing else away from this, remember to never say those words.
After a lot of finessing, we finally managed to wrangle a spot at the bar. It took fifteen minutes to get our slightly warm, way overpriced but thankfully normally coloured beers. My friends decide to go outside for a cigarette, and since I don’t smoke I stayed inside to guard our place. What they didn’t realise was that they had just broken the cardinal rule of going out with Alle: You NEVER leave her alone, ever, because she is a weirdo magnet and crazy shit is sure to happen.
(Char let me in on this rule at the end of last summer, but apparently it’s been in effect for quite a long time now. I’d be offended, but I can’t say she’s wrong. Moving on.)
I had taken about three sips of my beer when I feel someone’s meaty hands on my shoulders. I barely had time to register this when I am spun around two hundred and seventy degrees so that I am facing a group of about ten popped collar bros and bleach blonde girls in ugg boots. The next thing I know, my body is crushed up against another body, one hand on the back of my head and another on the side of my face which is being forced into someone else’s face and THERE IS A STRANGER JAMMING HIS TONGUE DOWN MY THROAT.
When I get really angry, things slow down. So this entire event, which probably lasted five extremely violating seconds total, felt like it lasted ten years. When he let go of my head and I pushed him off, I saw with horror that his band of merry dickheads–I should make the point again that there were girls among them–were cheering like he’d just done something truly amazing. He faced them, proud, fists in the air. And I’d always thought it was just a figure of speech, but at that moment I actually felt my blood boiling.
All of that took place in two seconds. In that time, I had a full conversation in my head and decided that a well-mannered discussion about boundaries and rape culture wasn’t exactly what the situation called for.
I balled up my fist and smacked him in the shoulderblade with my knuckles. It was not a gentle tap. And when he turned around, I slapped him across the face as hard as I could. The crisp smack was clear as a bell. I saw his friend’s faces change into identical wide-eyed, open-mouthed expressions of shock.
I go out of my way to make sure that I am never violent. I don’t even yell when I’m mad. But violating my personal space like that pushed me too far, and I was about to be pushed further.
As I was wiping his saliva off my face, three gigantic security guards appeared out of nowhere and told me that since they had a zero tolerance policy for fighting on this most holiest of drinking holidays, I had to GTFO tout suite. Fair enough, I said, but did you see what happened? Yeah, they said. But we also saw that you were the one who threw the punch. Slap, I corrected them. I slapped him with an open palm, but fine, I’ll leave. Is he being kicked out too? I think that’s pretty fair, considering. No, they told me. Because he was drunk, and you should have known better.
So. If you’re keeping count, I was molested by a total stranger in full view of security and retaliated with force appropriate to the situation, then I was kicked out while the dude, the instigator, got a free pass. Brilliant. As I was escorted out, I let them know that I wasn’t being treated fairly, that the guy in question should be removed too. The bouncers told me that I’d be welcome back any other night and that I could take it up with management if I still thought that I had a problem.
I did take it up with management, and they told me that the bouncers were additional security hired from a private firm for the day, agreed that I was treated unfairly, and offered about a million apologies. A week later I was told that they would not be working with that firm again. While I’ve never gone back, I felt like my issue with the bar had been handled. This is the reason I’m not calling it out by name.
So, is it ever right to hit people? Probably not. Does it make me wrong? Nope, and even if it does, I can live with that amount of wrong. I’m much happier being the girl who slapped the shit out of a dude who took liberties than being the girl who slunk away to write a strongly worded letter about it.
And that is the story of the time I was kicked out of a bar for fighting. My Irish convict ancestors would be so proud!