Sunday, August 19, 2007

Change of Pace

I think I wrote the last post a little too soon. I'm still in Flagstaff and I don't know when I'll be in Korea. Hopefully it will be before the 27th as that is the first day of school. It's kind of bad when the teacher misses the first day of school. The problem is with the Korean immigration office. They lost my paperwork or burned my paperwork or something. I'm supposed to get a visa issuance #, where I then mail my passport to the Korean consulate in Los Angles, where they then stamp the passport. They then send the passport back to me and I then click my heels together three times and I'll instantaneously be transported to Korea or so the story goes.

On a different note, Kat was giving me crap (Kat crap?) about playing tennis and golfing, so I decided to go in a different direction. A few days ago I witnessed a bar fight, operated heavy construction equipment and then went gambling. Shooting guns and fighting fires is next on my list.

I have never seen a bar fight in my life, at least not a decent one. Sure I've seen those ones where two drunks start swinging at each other and hit everything besides each other, but I've never seen one where chairs are in the air and glasses are thrown. Now I will say this, I don't necessarily want a bar fight to happen, but if it is going to happen then I want to be there to see it.

So, my friend Dave and I went to Sportsmans, a rather laid back bar, with the rest of his softball team. We were sitting at a table, there were about nine of us, when a skinny white guy, about 6'2", came into the bar from the smoking patio and clocked one of the softball players, a guy named Ralph, in the face. Ralph was sitting down and had been taking a sip of his drink when he got nailed which cut his nose and lip.

You're probably waiting to hear what Ralph had done to antagonize the skinny white guy, but the answer is nothing. I've heard that before, where a guy is talking about how his friends got in a fight and he swears that they didn't do anything to start it; but this time it's the truth. Ralph and this guy had never seen each other before let alone talked to each other. The other thing is Ralph is not a small guy. He's about 6'2" as well and about 240 lbs. The drunken antagonist (DA as he shall now be called) could have done a lot better to hit someone smaller (maybe me, although I'm glad he didn't). Ralph jumped up, as well as everyone else at the table, and somehow we all ended up outside on the smoking patio. The DA's friends and father were holding the guy back and Ralph was yelling at them to let the DA go so he could kick the crap out of him. The DA's father was saying that it was all his fault, probably trying to protect his son, to which Ralph responded, "Then I'll kick your ass instead." It seemed like a fair trade.

The DA was then taken back into the bar, to protect him from the enraged softball team. By this time the cops had been called and I was afraid the DA's friends were going to try and sneak him out the back before the cops showed up, so I walked around the building to make sure that didn't happen. That's when the fight blew up. I heard the DA had made taunting gestures through the window and that's all it took. I think the DA's friends were tired of defending him and figured that a fight was going to happen anyhow so everyone jumped in. Chairs flew, glasses were flung and the DA got the shit beat out of him. And where was I during this whole thing? At the window at the side of building watching this thing like you might watch a bunch of drunk fish fight in an aquarium.

Shortly thereafter the first police showed up separated the groups and took reports. I heard the police talk to the DA and he said "Yeah, I have this post traumatic stress and sometimes someone looks at me the wrong way or I don't like how they look and I snap." Cool, I thought, at least this guy is admitting fault, but here's the deal; the police never arrested him. The cops just told us that he had his day in court. So this guy who punches people in front of at least a dozen witnesses and instigates and major bar brawl is never arrested, but if I drink three beers and attempt to ride my bike home the cuffs are put on me immediately. How about it Flagstaff police? Can you explain this in terms I can understand?

Luckily no one was really hurt but it was strange the next day. Dave and I felt that everyone looked menacing, like they were about to start a fight. That may be because the biker gang, The Banditos, had just rolled into town, but now I think we have our own post traumatic stress to deal with. I'm half-way kidding. These things are like car accidents or wars, very interesting while they are going on, but nothing good can come of it by the end.

So the next day Dave and I rented a Bobcat to do some heavy duty yard work at a friends house. If the bar fight was exciting, the Bobcat was downright terrifying. I could never get the hang of the thing and was scarred silly I was going to tip it. Still I hung in there and got slightly proficient at driving laps around the yard and dumping half full buckets of pea gravel. I can cross that one off the list.

And this weekend I went to Vegas to see Kat and her friends. I gambled a bit and ended up losing about twenty bucks so I could have done worse. When I was getting ready to drive back to AZ I realized I had a $5 voucher I hadn't cashed in at one of the casinos so I decided to stop back by before I left town. I realized that gambling by yourself during the day is depressing. I also learned that gambling by yourself during the day and losing is really depressing. I don't think I'll ever be addicted.

So here's to bar fights, addiction and terrifying machinery; may I never see you again.


theorris said...

Sounds like a regular weekend to me!

Just kidding. I've never seen an escalated bar fight--just ones that seem to suddenly start and then suddenly stop with a great deal of shouting.

Scott said...

That's too bad the Korean immigration messed up. I guess it's kind of like when you buy a new car and you immediately run up and kick a dent in the door because it's sure to happen anyway. Maybe you should have done the same with the immigration worker.

Also, your last weekend in the US is reminiscent of my last weekend in Canada. The difference is I think my friends were grab-assing instigators on the dance-floor.

Anyway, hopefully you make it back soon! Are you living in Gangnam, or in the Gangnam-gu area?

Nathan said...

I am yeoksan-nam gangnam-gu. That's Korean secret code.