Seeing as this is the 'Fights Go Here' forum, I thought i'd post this here. Thats disclaimer number one over and one with. Disclaimer number two: I'm prolific when confused.
I just got started on. Not half an hour ago. For those of you that don't know about English colloquialisms, 'I got started on' means 'someone just tried to pick a fight with me'. It was the weirdest thing.
I left the pub at about quarter to two this morning. Yes, I know its Easter Sunday and yes, I know pubs usually close at half past ten on Sundays in this country, but since these new bloody licensing laws have come in we're legally allowed to stay open til half past two and, seeing as our manager knows almost everybody in York, we usually do, to accomodate staff from other pubs coming in after their pub closes and etcetera. I can't complain, as I usually get bought lots of drinks during my shift, and I'm allowed to drink while I work (today I made myself the strongest White Russian in history after being bought copious amounts of vodka and kahula during the night).
There is one drawback though, in that the time the staff leave the pub is usually the same time the clubs kick out, and so my walk home is shared by the odd straggler from one of York's few nightclubs. Usually they hang around in groups of two or more, and so have better things to do than, for example, try and beat me up (I have long hair and I live in the north of England. Enough said). So basically, as comfortable as I am with passing the odd drunk arsehole on my way home from work on a night, I'm not too used to having them try and start fights with me.
I was the last person to leave the pub tonight. We'd got rid of the last of the customers at about twenty-past one, my boss finished his drink at roughly half-past, and my other colleague's taxi arrived at about quarter-to, leaving me to lock up, which I duly did. As I left, I noticed one slightly drunk man in a white shirt staggering on the other sid of the road. This is a normal occurance, and so I had no problem with crossing to his side of the road myself. In any case, if I hadn't have crossed the road, I'd have been walking in the opposite direction to where I live, which would have been even sillier. So I cross the road and find myself walking behind him, but not for too long as, though we were walking at roughly the same speed, he was covering more ground, staggering as he was from side to side over the pavement, allowing just enough room for my comparitively sober legs to move past him as I made my merry and oblivious way home.
With that feat accomplished, I started thinking about other things, like the plight of the six-a-side football team I play for (we played dreadfully in our first match and lost 1-0, and I'm not sure whether the low scoreline reflects the strength of our defence or the ineptitude of their attack) and whether the baked-potato van that parks on the corner of the road sells chips. These meanderings faded away however, as I noticed that, against the laws of physics, the person who was moving slower down the street than I was catching up.
I turned the corner, smartly avoiding the baked-potato van by virtue of the fact that it was a good twenty feet away (i'm dextrous like that) and made a conscious decision to pretend to look at the menu, whilst actually glimpsing behind me to see where the drunk guy was. I can't tell you whether they sell chips or not, but I can tell you that this guy had definiately worked his way a little closer than he had been five minutes ago. With every step I could see his shadow, elongated by the dull lights of the city-centre behind me and sporadically foreshortened by the street-lights above, gradually ebbing closer to mine, and so I did what any normal person would. I crossed the road. I needed to anyway (this paticular road accomodated my route on the other side), and believed that I could quell my paranoia at least a little with the knowledge that whatever potential predator my presence had aroused was at least two widths of tarmac away.
The 'cross the road' tactic has a 100% success rate in the defeat of paranoia, but ONLY when the other person does NOT cross the road almost immediately after you. This was one of those occasions. Time for tactic two.
Tactic two, when you feel that someone is following you, is to slow down. That way, you can feel completely relaxed when said person walks straight past you. I've had it done to me a couple of times, watching a frightened old lady stop and move to their left whilst walking in front of me down the narrow passage that leads to my road (I shouldn't really use the term 'narrow passage' as it sounds rather ominous. In truth, you could fit a substatially sized lorry down it and it hugs the side of a large, well-lit and expensive looking hospital). Slowing down, in my experience, is a perfectly good way to make sure the person behind you isn't following you for the sole purpose of kicking the shit out of you.
It does not, however, work if said person slows down to walk at the same speed as you, and walks next to you for a good few yards.
What to do now? I honestly had no idea, so I just walked a bit quicker. I pondered whether that paticular tactic would work until the realisation that I wasn't being paranoid at all introduced itself via an angry kick in the leg.
I moved aside quickly and watched the guy stagger a few paces forward, obviously confused by the fact that, with one leg thrown at me, he couldn't move forward in quite the same way as he had been before (i.e. diagonally). He turned round. I stopped, and did pretty much nothing, as he'd started talking about how I'd picked on his brother and I was, having spent the last six hours behind the bar of my pub, confused as to how this had happened. The conversation we had lasted for about five minutes of 'scared Liam' time, but in earth seconds probably lasted thirty of them. During this time, I tried to reason with him.
"Who's your brother?"
'Does he come into our pub?"
"...The pub I work in, i've been there for the past six hours and..."
"No I don't think I did start on him"
"Me and who?"
"No I haven't been on the street with anyone tonight"
"I don't even know who your brother is, mate..."
...are just a small selection of phrases which don't disuade drunkards with wanting to punch you, as I found out after uttering the last phrase to the accompaniment of him grabbing a tighter grip of my jacket and raising the fist of his other hand up to the side of his head. From here on, thought processes about anti-paranoia tactics and methods of disuasion were put on hold, and fenian instinct took over.
The first punch clipped the top of my rapidly ducking head. The second two hit the hands that had moved to cover it, the third one thumped rather hard into my temple.
The fourth one jarred his jaw.
What can I say? I'm an overly eloquent writer from the seed of a big angry ginger ex-boxer. I love genetics. I hate, however, the fact that I have next to no strength in my arms. If my half-cocked impression of a Roberto Duran uppercut had stunned the drunkard, it was for a yoctosecond at most. The impact of my fist on his chin was dwarfed by the impact of the audaciousness of my retaliation on his anger, and it looked like I was about to be on the recieving end of 'a fucking kicking', as they say in Paris.
Needless to say, common sense took over. Realising my jacket was momentarily free from his grip (presumably he needed that hand to further club me with), I turned and ran. Three paces and about fifty feet later (I know, I was suprised at the sheer velocity of my yellowness too) I hear a cry from behind me. It was the first fathomable thing the guy had said since we first met, five Liam-time hours ago.
"Oh... SHIT! Fuck! I'm such an IDIOT!" he wailed. Common sense left me. Inexplainable empathy replaced it. I slowed, turned, and carefully walked back towards him. He looked at me with a kind of sorrowful scowl, and walked on towards me. We met beside a lampost, and he apologised, and sat down, and we chatted.
His name is Darren, he's unemployed but doesn't want to be, he smokes (I gave him a cigarette), he doesn't really like hitting people unless he's actually met them before (which I suppose is commendable), has a bit of a problem with drugs and alcohol (no shit...), is very apologetic when drunk and he has a brother whom, supposedly, had put him up to the task of following me and fighting me as they saw me leave work. He's really quite an amiable chap, when you get beyond his somewhat aggressive interpretation of a hand-shake.
It was around then, upon his mentioning of a brother, that I'd realised that his face looked familiar. He looked an awful lot like (i.e. like he could be a brother of) a lad of about my age who occasionally comes to our pub on an afternoon and drinks (get ready to knowingly raise those eyebrows) Stella Artois. This brother, if my deductions are correct, is the same person as the first guy I barred from this paticular pub, nine months and about three different owners later.
I'd barred him for picking a fight.
Now, this guy knew my old boss (the second one) and so he got himself un-barred late last year, but I've always treated him with a bit of caution since although not, I'd thought, with any degree of obviousness. It would appear that I'm wrong.
With tommorow being a week-day, as well as the day after I was due to get a kicking off of 'Big Darren', he may well be coming in for a drink or two. Possibly with some friends.
Any ideas what I should do to his guy? I've thought about straight-barring him, but I'm sure I can do something even eviller...