In thinking about some of the fights I've almost been in, there was one incident that sticks out in my mind. Soon after I graduated college, I would go out in downtown Davis with my buddies, JP and Mike quite often. Both of these guys were former wrestlers, so while they were friendly most of the time, they could turn really dangerous if threatened.
We were an imposing group. I mean, three huge guys (and 2 of the 3 of us actually knew how to fight) bar hopping in downtown Davis was not the normal group. The likelihood of us starting a fight was 0%. But there was this time (and a couple others) that almost provoked us.
We were at Froggy's, which is a corner bar with many windows. Most the time, they had high tables set up for the groups that got their early, and the rest of the people would just stand around, mingle and get drunk. On this night, JP and I were drinking some beers and talking to some girls that I knew from work. Mike was missing in action, and I can't remember if he ended up coming out later, or not.
Sticking out like a sore thumb was a guy sitting by himself at a table in the center of the room, but closest to the bar. Normally tables are prime real estate, so you should either bring a group with you, or find some girls to accompany you at the table so you don't look like a loser. The other option is to mill around and strike up conversations rather than sit at the table, but this guy was apparently not into the whole being social thing. Our standing group was fairly close to this guy's table.
I finished my glass of beer and decided that a huge open table would be a great place to put an empty beer glass. I was, in fact, correct in thinking this. However, the lonely guy at the table did not believe I had the right to place anything on his table.
The Guy: Hey man! What do you think you're doing?!
Me: Uhh, putting my beer glass on the table. There are cocktail waitresses to pick up empty glasses. It'll be gone in a minute.
The Guy: My brother is in the bathroom and you just put your glass in front of his seat. You better move your glass.
(I take the glass and move it three inches to the left.)
Me: Relax, the glass will be gone in a second.
The Guy: [acting tough, he grumbles] It better be...
I looked over at JP and he knew exactly what I was thinking. Get ready, this could be our night to get in a bar fight! Since the guy was a little shrimp, and his brother genetically couldn't be all that different, we would win a fight hands down. I mean, I've put a beer glass down on a crowded table before, and no one batted an eyelash. This guy had a wide open table and he's getting his panties in a bunch about it.
Literally 15 seconds after our interaction, a waitress picked up my glass and just like that- it was gone! I couldn't resist. It was too perfect of a moment.
Me: Oh my God! What happened?! It looks like the glass is gone! I guess there really wasn't anything to be worried about, was there? And where is your brother?! It looks like he's not even back from the bathroom! How amazing is that?!
The Guy: Keep talking, just keep talking.
Me: I will keep talking, and you're going to take it because you're being a dick. Now just shut your mouth and let it go.
I could see the rage building in JP. He was ready to go. It's such a great feeling when your friend is a) a massive beast of a weapon and b) totally has your back in situation like this. He was ready to throw down, but the guy had backed off a bit, so the prospect of the fight was going south.
Soon after that, the guy's brother came out of the bathroom. He was wearing a Dodgers jersey, which only made us want to fight the two of them more. The guy pulled his brother aside and you could tell he was quietly explaining what had happened. Then he showed his brother who the two of us were, and his brother's reaction was like a cartoon. He grabbed the guy by the collar and they immediately left the bar. I suppose the two of them wanted no part of us.
Moral of the story: you can act tough if you have friends that know how to fight and will back you up. Secondary thing you should take from this story: if you call me out for any reason while I'm drinking, I may end up acting like Marty McFly when someone calls him "chicken." Or, I will at least lob a bunch of sarcasm your way that will make you angry.
For more on fights, check out G$'s blog today about high school fighting in NW Ohio. Sounds like I'm lucky I got out of the mean streets of the Northwest Signal territory in the fourth grade.