Part 4: A Bad Break from the Crowd
Joe got tired and took a breather. His intent was to apply one more flurry of cultural treatment and leave it at that if left unchallenged. Before he could do that, many hands grabbed Joe from behind. Not hitting him but pulling him away from Herb. Joe turned around defiantly, intending to hit and challenge anyone who was not deferential. A crowd of people just finished forming a solid wall at a distance of about three feet just as Joe turned around. He looked them over and was not challenged. No bouncer challenged him. There likely was one among the crowd, but Joe can’t be sure. He could sense that time was of the essence.
Joe turned back to his business with Herb still on the floor. Broadway, muttering something about unfairness for Herb having stopped or whatever, was hitting and shoving Joe in the girly way, but to the point that Joe was unable to apply his final therapy. Joe is not a doctor, but he plays one on closed-circuit TV with bad luck. Joe attempted to apply an attitude adjustment to this creature who presumed she could enter the fray with physical immunity. It turned out that she could. The wall of hands grabbed Joe from behind, enough to keep Broadway in the clear. Just then Herb got his feet under himself and drove forward into Joe.
Joe was launched onto his backside. This was when Joe began to get hurt. Breaks in fighting forced by outsiders are dangerous for the guy who does not simultaneously attempt an opportunistic cheap shot. Joe had won cleanly up to the point Herb gathered his feet. Joe landed on his elbow. Herb was reinvigorated and swung repeatedly for broke with his right. Herb connected on the lower outside edge of Joe’s orbital opening and apparently careened into the recessed surface under the brow. Joe is pretty sure that is what happened, but the contusion by Joe’s eye could less likely be explained by the challenge opening punch. Herb also landed two strikes on Joe’s forehead. Those are the three punches that landed. The contest would remain to the end a battle of fists only, except for the strike to Joe’s chest, probably with a forearm, perhaps heavy on the elbow, but perhaps rather a palm heal or shoulder.
At some point in this second phase of the fight, Joe, as my imagination would have it, was being grabbed by his left forearm. Joe immediately began hitting the offending arm around the forearm and also on the hand at the small risk of hitting himself. Joe was largely defenseless against Herb with only one free arm, and would be entirely so with none. Joe may have heard a voice say don’t grab the arm. He is not sure. The experience was very intense as I can imagine.
Joe was unable to get his feet under himself until the crowd had barely won and was about to consolidate their separation of Joe and Herb. They rushed in like ocean water and swept Joe away, lifting him up and angling him into a wall, not hard and just over one of the stools.
Joe wonders if the first bouncer he saw once he was sitting on the stool could have been the person mainly responsible for his gliding retreat. If that was the case, well done. Joe likes to present himself to the bouncers as a formidable, fun, cool guy. Certainly, the first bouncer must have held back. I don’t think they are covered for workman’s comp. It is hard to believe no bouncers were on the scene until the crowd ended the ‘action’. No police walked in either. Sometimes they do for less.
A solitary man, one of the patrons, remained to pin Joe against the wall on top of the stool. The stool had a comfortable pad and felt great on Joe’s ass, I must say, and ain’t no homo. If only I, I mean Joe, could sit up and breathe freely. Joe did not realize how winded he was until he sat down. The smaller man holding Joe back was well rested, and surprisingly of formidable strength. We can deduce Herb’s strength had waned too. Great exercise in so many ways.
This guy leaning back into Joe in a ‘protective manner’ said over his shoulder, “You did good. I saw the whole thing.”
The crowd arranged itself in circular fashion around and pressing upon Herb. It seems that the first bouncer went over to Herb, who was being attended to by Broadway. Joe was not in the spotlight, and he enjoyed breathing freely and sitting upright.
The second of two bouncers walked in and scanned for the other guy. It may be that the protector guy gave a subtle finger indication that Joe was the other guy. In any event, the second bouncer realized it was Joe. Joe smiled with pride and walked out untouched, as he would have insisted, successfully or not, likely not.
Joe and the second bouncer have some sort of bond, with a difference of opinion regarding the nature and treatment of women. Let’s call the second bouncer Lancelot. Lancelot is a white knight, a very tall and reasonably large one.
Joe was going to walk down the sidewalk past the cops. Lance motioned for Joe to follow him in the other direction to the sidewalk close to the front door of the club, his regular post. Joe followed, likely to his benefit. He would exit by continuing in that direction and around the corner, where there were no cops. Joe felt fine and simply wanted a clean departure. He would have to work for it.
—‘Reality’ Doug, 17 May 2016