Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Guido Whisperer

Let's quote Roadhouse, shall we?

"If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to walk. Be nice. If he won't walk, walk him. But be nice. If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you, and you'll both be nice. I want you to remember that it's a job. It's nothing personal."

Swayze said that, and Swayze knows his shit. You can't argue with Swayze. If you try, you'll be hearing from me, because nobody fucks around with Swayze on this website. Why would you want to, anyway? Fuck around with Swayze, and the next thing you know, you've got a set of hyperextended knees and he's got his shirt off, and the entire thing's a monumental embarrassment to you and your entire family. So don't. Dalton holds a special place in my heart -- and especially on this site -- and I won't have anyone disparaging the biggest name in the business in order to curry favor with the likes of me.

The man does have a point, though. You do have to be nice, at least sometimes. Conventional wisdom states that bouncers can always stop more trouble with their mouths than with their hands. Even people who've never worked as bouncers will tell you this, because it's a Roadhouse first principle. Of course, it's also one of those things that people will tell you to make you think they're "in the know." It's counterintuitive, so they think they're telling you a secret when they fill you in on this little tidbit. It's not as simple as all that, though.

I'm a tremendously good talker, but only at certain points within a "situation." You want me around at the very beginning, when punches have yet to be thrown, because I'm highly skilled at defusing that sort of thing. I can whisper the Guido off the ledge. I am the Guido Whisperer. I've done this a thousand times, and I can do it a thousand more if you'd like. Show me two or more guys who are about to fight, and I can insert myself into the middle of the problem and make at least one of the parties see the light. This is one of my strengths as a bouncer.

Dalton occasionally wasn't so nice, and the same holds true for me. I'm not always nice. The physical part of bouncing is something I've always been able to handle, because I can hold my own in most fighting situations and I've been in enough of them to know I'm not going to freeze. I've relegated myself to more of a support role lately -- I'm not looking to make a career out of this, you know -- but I'm still around when they need me.

The one thing I can't do is "talk shit" once hostilities get started. I don't know why it happens, but once it's time to lay hands on somebody, I clam the fuck up until it's done. When I'm goaded into saying something to someone, it usually comes out as a stuttered melange of nonsensical profanities adding up to nothing that even comes close to coherence.

"Yo, go FUCK yourself!" is about the best I'm likely to do once I've had to touch someone. "I'll fuckin' KILL you, y-y-you m-m-motherfucker, you!"

Once I start fighting, don't listen to me. Go listen to someone else if you're looking for anything memorable. All I want to do once things reach this point is to get my job done, and that job usually entails getting the best of someone physically. As rank-and-file, that's all they want me to do. I'm lucky on this count, because I'm sure as hell not going to win a battle of wits once my adrenaline's flowing. Others are much better at this. I don't mind. It's not something I've spent much time thinking about until just now.

"Yo," said the Guido, who'd just been wrestled out the door. "Fuck you, muthafucka! You a fat bitch! I'll beat all yo' muthafuckin' asses!"

"Put your shirt on, asshole," said Big John, the bouncer who had ejected him. "You're not big."

"Come on, muthafuckas! What? It takes ten of you muthafuckas?"

"You look like a hundred pounds of chewed bubblegum. Shut the fuck up."

The Guido, considering this, paced back and forth. He offered no reply.

"Hey," said Big John, smiling now. "How 'bout I whip my cock out and choke you with that?"

"Yo, you w-w-whip...yo' cock..." The Guido was struggling.

"Go home, you fuckin' pussy. I take shits bigger than you."

John then went inside and left us to deal with the Guido, who quickly ran out of steam after being so badly overmatched. Verbal judo is hardly the province of the Guido populace, try as they might to convince us it is. He still claimed he wanted to fight, but with a half dozen bouncers between our Guido and the door, and nobody rising to his bait, nothing was going to happen.

This happens every night, and it's almost as if it's all scripted. Trouble is, nobody ever gives me the script to read beforehand. My problem is that I can never do what John did. I don't have a giant repertoire of one-liners at my disposal. I can only prey on the obvious -- appearance, size and lack of intelligence -- and most of my cracks are too straightforward to elicit laughter in the retelling. Nobody notices this, usually, because I tend to keep my mouth shut once things get started, but I notice, and it concerns me. This is something I need to practice.

As we said in "da 'hood," back in "the day," I need to start "droppin' science" on you motherfuckers.