Win The PeaceA bouncer had to turn late debate watchers away from Stetson’s on Friday night. I felt for the guy, particularly when four people tried to lie and say that they should be let in because they weren’t there to watch the debates at all, just to attend a birthday party. Like debate watchers would be able to violate the laws of physics and pass through birthday party people like dancing ghosts in a phantom ballroom.
We joined a crowd on the sidewalk, watching the debates through the opened windows of another bar. Everyone huddled tight, suspending the code of personal space among strangers.
A waiter from a Latin place down the street ushered us all inside, where the debate was playing on a bleary big-screen with the sound up, closed-captioning crawling across the bottom for maximum effect.
And in case you are so misguided as to use And I Am Not Lying For Real as a main source for news: Kerry whipped Bush’s ass. I was kind of looking forward to the debate’s end, to tell you the truth. It just got old.
It’s every American’s civic responsibility to pay close attention to the political process. This particular election is our one chance to arrest our country’s long slide into the toilet bowl and redeem ourselves in the eyes of the world.
On the other hand, all that health care talk gave me a crippling case of the yawns. Kerry is so much the lesser of two evils that he could campaign in nothing but an Avril Lavigne t-shirt and a pair of Manolo Blahniks, look straight into the camera and declare war on Narnia and he’d still have my vote.
Things perked right up when a drunken Republican tried to fight me.
He was drunkenly spouting right-wing invective at the top of his tiny lungs. The denim shirt tucked into jeans, topped with a boxy black blazer has been fashion shorthand for “dipshit” since sometime in the late 80’s, but apparently this guy felt the need to advertise his personality’s shortcomings verbally. Five foot nothing, waving a big cigar and heckling the screen with repartee that would embarrass Carrot Top, this little guy chapped the chops of everyone within earshot. After about an hour of this guy’s high-decibel balloon juice, a girl politely asked him to keep it down.
“There’s like, words on the screen. You can read them, that’s what they’re for…bitch.”
She blushed and stared while he returned to his braying commentary.
This behavior is perfect synecdoche for the current administration: A bunch of people are in a common situation, and one loudmouthed jerkoff is ruining it for everyone else. Someone asks him to tone himself down, and he mockingly refuses, then tells them to make use of alternate, shittier options.
I strolled straight over and asked the little clown to be quiet as well, and got the same line. I tried to explain that he couldn’t hear anyone else’s opinions, and we were all pretty tired of his, and then the whole thing just got stupid.
He jumped right off his stool and would have been all up in my grill if his grill were not positioned 14 inches below mine. Then he started giving me the shoulder-lean, a move popular amongst eight-graders that are spoiling for a fight, saying over and over, “You telling me to shut up, motherfucker, is that what you’re doin’, huh? Huh?”
I dropped a hand on his shoulder, saying “Look, man, there’s some kind of misunderstanding here. I’m not telling you to shut up. I’m just asking you politely to please shut your fucking mouth.”
Then I got scared. I haven’t been in a fight since high school, and I lost that one. When you’re bigger than most people, fights go one of two ways, neither of them good:
1) I lose, in which case a 6’2” 220 pound guy catches a public beatdown from a little dude. Nobody ever cheered for Goliath.
2) I win, and am therefore big bully that needs to pick on someone his own size.
My friend Deirdre grabbed the guy and cooled him out right quick, thank God. I kind of wanted to kick that guy’s ass, but had no plan to win the peace. The problem with being big and talking bigger is that eventually, someone’s going to call you on it, and everyone likes seeing an underdog win.