This will be a very straightforward story of how a bouncer can be pushed only so far by an imbecile before he blows his stack and wants desperately to use violence to solve the problem. A bouncer - at least a patient, fair-minded one like I try to be - will blow his stack and resort to violence only when customers forget their “place” – and their physical limitations – and push and push and push until someone ends up getting pissed off and pushes back.
That’s what I did on Saturday night. I pushed back. This customer didn’t do anything particularly bad to me, either. The pushing was the result of a combination of factors. Every time I had to deal with this guy, he didn’t react the way I thought he should. This, obviously, isn’t always a bad thing. I’m not a person who goes around thinking that everyone should do exactly what I expect them to. That’s not realistic, and I’m a guy who thrives on the realistic. The problem with this jerkoff was that even though I was taking care of relatively minor infractions in his case, he always did something significantly worse than what I was expecting.
He also repeatedly called me “Chief” and “Boss.” In this story, I’ll be calling him “Door Prick.”
It started when he came to the door with two of his friends. They all had sneakers on – a violation of our dress code – and one was already so drunk he was swaying.
“Guys, we got a dress code tonight. No sneakers, and you need a collared shirt.”
“Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blahblahblah.”
“I don’t know what to tell you,” I said. “You’re gonna have to get her on the phone and get her to come out here.”
“Blah blah blah, blahblahblah?”
A few minutes later, a female bartender came to the door, told me they were friends of hers, and asked if I could let them in.
“I gotta see everyone’s ID.”
“Come on, Boss. She just said to let us in.”
“Dude,” I said, “just gimme your ID.”
He opened his wallet – his license was behind a plastic sleeve – and held it six inches from my face.
“Take it out of there, please.”
“Why? You can’t read it through there?”
“Are you always such a dick?” I asked.
“You’re a dick, man. You’re acting like a dick and you’re talking like a dick. You can’t just hand me your fucking license like a normal fucking person? You have to be an arrogant fucking dick because your friend came out and you think you’re getting over on me?”
“Yo,” he said, “I’m twenny-five! You seen me before, Chief. Why I got to take my ID out if you seen me before?”
A half hour later...
“Can you come inside for a minute?” asked Nick the Manager. “There’s an argument at the front bar.”
“What happened?” I asked a girl who Nick the Manager told me had been involved.
“That guy,” she replied, pointing at Door Prick, “kept bumping into us and was very disrespectful. Very disrespectful. He’s gonna get knocked the fuck out…”
“Just relax,” I interrupted. “I got it.”
I walked over to the offending group.
“Listen, do me a favor, okay? You guys shouldn’t even be here in the first place, but I let you in against my better judgment even though your man here acted like an asshole. One more fucking thing and you’re gone. Don’t go over there, don’t look over there and quit acting like a fucking asshole or I’m throwing you the fuck out.”
A half hour later, he’s wrestling with his friend at the bar…
“Can you do something about that?” asked Nick the Manager.
“Guys,” I said, “you gotta knock it off.”
“We’re friends!” said Door Prick.
“You always got something to say, don’t you?” I grabbed his arm and pulled him toward the front of the bar. “Now you’re fuckin’ leaving.”
He tried to pull his arm away, but I wouldn’t let him, and he wasn’t the type to throw a punch. His friends were laughing at him. Nick the Manager opened the door for me and I shoved him out to the sidewalk. I wanted to punch him in the face.
“What the fuck you gonna do now? You wanna fuckin’ mouth off now, motherfucker?” He was backing off. I kept moving toward him. We moved, in this arrangement, down the sidewalk toward the front of the next bar.
“What’s your problem, Boss?”
“You wanna be a fuckin’ pain in the ass out here? Little harder when someone calls you the fuck out, right? C’mere, motherfucker. Where the fuck you goin’?”
He turned and walked away. Quickly. I followed.
“Rob!” yelled Nick the Manager. “Let it go!”
I kept following him. The bouncers from the bar next door were watching.
“You better turn around, motherfucker,” I called to him. “I’m gonna kick you right in your fuckin’ ass!” Nick the Manager had his hand on my arm. We were half a block down from our front door. Door Prick kept looking back at us, but he wasn’t saying anything because he was alone and wasn’t sure if I’d keep following.
“Motherfucker,” I muttered, turning back to the door. “I hate little fuckin’ dickheads like that.”
“You can’t chase him all the way out here like that,” Nick the Manager said. “I got nobody at the door now.”
“You should’ve stayed there, then.”
“And let you go beat that kid up?”
“Why?” I asked. “You think you could’ve stopped me if I wanted to?”
“No, but I can always fire you.”
“Maybe I’ll call your bluff and go back around the block. You’d be doin’ me a fuckin’ favor, anyway.”