Monday - May 24 - 2010
"I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were awesome."
-Old School Doug, speaking to Thunder
OK, bad part first. Out of the blue a pretty woman (who wasn't all that drunk from what I could tell) got a (double?) handful of my beard and made a closed fist, pulling the hairs in tight, then she slowly pulled down. White hot pain erupted under my chin and flowed down my neck as she pulled.
The pain was more than just what you feel when the hair on your head gets pulled. The skin on a man's face is extremely sensitive underneath a beard (ask any man who's just shaved his beard off and he'll tell you his face feels super sensitive to the touch, to the point where he can fully feel air moving over it).
I held my anger in but my heart was racing because I was raging fucking mad.
It's scary when you're good and drunk, because the mind doesn't always take the step of thinking about the consequences of an action. For example, when she pulled my beard it hurt like a son of a bitch so my mind came up with A) make the pain go away and B) punish the person who hurt you. If I'd had any more to drink prior to the event, I'm afraid I might not have stopped myself by realizing the consequences (going to jail for assault) of the action I very much wanted to take (punch my abuser square in the nose to make her let go).
When I consider how close I came to actually doing that...well it's just not something I think I could live with, if I'd actually hit a woman.
As it was she let go and I focused all I could on the conversation I was engaged in with Hair Puller's friend as we were sitting on the flower planters together out front of Jack's. I could feel my heart banging away in my chest because the anger and pain was still going strong and I think at one point I actually tried to fireman's carry Hair Puller, but thankfully lost my balance so she ended up picking me up off the ground with her friend's help.
A little while later when I was walking across the street to go home I spotted Hair Puller and her friend by their car. Here once again the first urge I had was to grab Hair Puller by the hair and give her a dose of the pain I felt. It's weird because I wasn't actively angry any more, rather the urge to do it just popped into my head and drunk as I was it seemed like a perfectly justified thing to do for at least the next few strides as I crossed the street.
By the time I got to them I'd thankfully mastered that urge and instead put a hand on both their shoulders and told them both it was nice to meet each of them tonight. I'd actually had a decent conversation with Hair Puller's friend (Melanie) and wanted to get to know her better.
At one point I turned to Hair Puller and told her point blank (but not rudely or threateningly) how much she hurt me and that the closest I've ever come to hitting a woman in my life was when she yanked on my beard. She seemed surprised by my statement. Then her friend asked for my number and we talked some more about this blog. I look forward to talking with Melanie about the blog (and this post in particular) after she's had a chance to read it.
The lesson here is that it takes two to tango: the woman (Abigail?) was at least buzzed, if not drunk. I was loaded drunk. That doesn't make what she did OK, but neither does it dismiss my responsibility to accept the consequences of my choice to stay late into the night when people are drinking. If you make that choice, expect that sometimes bad things can happen, even at the most well run of establishments.
The second lesson is that I should have had the one after-work beer and gone straight home, Sharks or no Sharks.
Prior to all that, I had a whole hell of a lot of fun observing Sharks players as they drank and played beer pong. Aimee B. was behind the bar and a few other bartenders were relaxing and hanging out.
I have to say the Sharks players were pretty well behaved and everyone in the bar had a great time. They played a lot of good music on the jukebox (Kenny Chesney, Dave Mathews Band, Soggy Bottom Boys, Fleetwood Mac--Setoguchi's mom used to play Fleetwood Mac in the car when he was a kid), were very patient with JoJo when he hit on them, and a couple of them took the time to shake people's hands before they left.
It didn't look to me like the ladies minded all that much when a player took his shirt off to try on a Jack's tank top. ;)
Old School Doug noticed an older, red flannel wearing player with a trucker hat and dirty black handle bar moustache growing over a short-cut black beard who was hanging back, watching all the other guys as they had fun. That player sat where Doug normally would sit in the bar (under TV #1) and just like Doug he had his back to the wall and was sitting comfortably, as though he wasn't so much sitting in the bar as he was putting the bar on. Doug said that players was in escort/papa bear mode and it seemed to me like he was too.
It occured to me that I couldn't recognize any of the players in civilian clothes. I couldn't tell if they were all of them players, or some of them players and others friends they might have invited to come along for the night.
It's too bad the Sharks season ended short of the Stanley Cup Finals, but they seem like a solid bunch of guys and I wish them all the best for next season. I'm glad they got a chance to just be themselves, hang out at Jack's and have fun.
Before I forget: Crown Royal Special Reserve was tonight's around the world drink. It was smooth, almost sweet and made my lips and the skin underneath my moustache tingle whenever I let it sit in my whiskers after a drink. This one's best to drink dry. No need for water or ice.
And thanks to Patty M. for the Tuna Melt and fries. That hit the spot.
See you Tuesday at Jack's!