Monday, September 25, 2006
BAR FIGHTS AND REDSKINS
I remember one time I witnessed the start of a bar-fight in St Albans when I was a Police Officer. I was parked in a dark corner of Municipal Parking Lot #1 with my headlights off watching patrons make their way between the bars on the surrounding streets. It was a cold night, and I mean cold! Subzero winds were whistling between the buildings catching the wraith-like exhaust from parked cars and sending them off into the dark. Over near Kingman Street, on the far side of the parking lot, I observed a young man 'round the corner and make his way into the parking lot. He looked to be in his early twenties and skinny. All he was wearing was a t-shirt. He didn't look cold though, and he wasn't making for any building or parked car (a sure sign he was intoxicated). He was just pacing back and forth in the parking lot, running his fingers through his hair, then jamming his hands in his pockets, then running them through his hair again, and all the while pacing back and forth and muttering to himself.
After a minute or so a girl walked around the corner. Pretty, hair dyed blond with darkish roots showing, and high-heels. She seemed a littly wobbly. "Could be she's drunk or maybe it's the high-heels'" I reasoned. She made her way up to the aforementioned male who grew more agitated. He started yelling and gesturing wildly. I started asking myself "are they gonna work this out themselves or should I offer my assistance?"
Just as I'm about to turn on my headlights and drive across the parking lot, the girl turns and walks back inside. The male follows for a few yards, speaking after her in a more conciliatory tone. She keeps walking and doesn't look back. "Good for her," I said out loud (I talked a lot to myself in my cruiser).
The male, seeing that he had overplayed the angry card, turned on his heel, yells "f**k" and starts walking through the parking lot to another bar on Lake Street. I watched him as he walked through the alleyway by the moose lodge and disappeared around the corner. A few minutes later he walked back into the alley followed by 3 or 4 scurfy lookin dudes. His demeanor had changed. He looked confident not dejected. He was still agitated and angry looking but now it looked like a proactive anger- an anger with a plan. Do you know what I mean? His buddies seemed to be feeding off his enthusiasm and righteous indignation too. I could see they were working themselves up.
I glanced abck across the parking lot and saw the girl walking into the parking lot on the arm of another guy. He was bald, but only shiny on top- like he had started going bald, and then just shaved off what hair was left. It was a good look for him. It made him look tough. So did the tattoos on his bare arms. He was wearing one of those flannel plaid shirts with the sleeves cut off. He was definately fat, but he carried it well, and succeeded in looking more substantial than fat.
despite the cold, I rolled down the window of my cruiser to hear better. It was clear there was going to be a confrontation of some sort, but would it be the legal kind or the illegal? Just as I rolled down the window I heard the first guy, speaking to his friends, say "That's him. That's the f*****r right there!" I looked back at the girl who was climbing up into the cab of the big guy's pickup truck. As the big guy made his way around the back of the truck towards the driver's side he was confronted by the first guys friends who were preventing him from getting into his truck. Meanwhile the first guy was pounding on the passenger side window and screaming unrepeatable things at the girl.
I decided this was definately becoming illegal, turned on the lights, and put my cruiser in drive. As I was pulling out of my parking space. I saw that the first guy had joined his friends and they had pushed the big guy to the ground. I gave my siren a little woop-woop to get their attention. The first guy and his friends turned their back on the big guy to give me their attention. I watched as the big guy regained his feet and started to charge his assailants from behind. They weren't paying attention to him. then the big guy's legs went out from under him as he slipped on some ice, and then, in a flash (far quicker than it seemed his girth would allow), he was back on his feet and running. It reminded me of a rhino or a locomotive in motion. Even if he had wanted to stop I don't think inertia would have allowed him too.
He crashed into the gaggle of would-be tough guys like a bowling ball into so many pins. His target was clearly the first guy who he landed on with all of his force and proceeded to pummel . I grabbed for my radio and yelled "10-10 in Parking lot #1," then jumped from my cruiser and successfully broke up the fight. Nobody wanted to give statements for assault so I issued them all citations for disorderly conduct.
Anyway, the moral of the story is that the Skins are like that big guy. So far this season they have been pushed around, and they slipped a little on the ice, but I'm telling you they are back on their feet and they are charging forward, and every team in the league has written them off and turned their back on a threat.
... and yeah, I know their win last week was against the Texans, and yes, the Texans suck, but I feel better about this team for some reason. My doubts have been removed. I'm angry but not dejected. It's a proactive anger. Do you know what I mean?