Friday, January 30, 2009

I Got My Ass Kicked by a Woman

After a bit less than five years of service, I left the Army in 1979, and began my career as a civilian offshore helicopter pilot. For the first three years of my new civilian life, I lived in Texas.

I discovered a local watering hole with a great country-rock band. The place became my second home--in those days, I wasn't much into sitting in a living room reading a book. I became friends with the bouncer, a huge bear of a man by the name of Curty. There were a few times that I, along with a couple of other of the larger regulars, would back Curty up when he had to throw someone out. Not that he needed help. Curty had studied Aikido while living in Japan, and he moved his 280 pounds around like a gymnast. Most of the time, though, Curty simply talked people down before the situations turned volcanic.

After a couple of months, Curty started asking me to fill in for him at the door. He wanted to spend more time with his girlfriend. I'd become friends with the owner, too, and I refused to take money, instead working for a beer tab. To this day, I feel guilty about taking advantage of him that way.

I didn't think of myself as Billy Bob Bad Ass. That's never been one of my problems. But, when I left the Army, I also left a relationship with a woman who'd tired of the fact that I'd been a poster boy for fear of commitment. I'd become mildly self-destructive. I didn't care, and belligerent bar patrons would usually read that as, "he's a bad ass."

One night the owner told me to eject a woman tucked back in the corner. She was on a "I hate men" rant, and had just thrown her drink on a guy sitting at the next table. I couldn't see her from my station, and when I rounded the corner, I stopped dead in my tracks: hate just poured from the woman. She couldn't have weighed more than 110 pounds, but I was afraid.

I took a deep breath, and walked to the woman's table. "Ma'am, I'm afraid you'll have to leave." She gave me a look, a look I half-expected her to follow with the spewing of pea soup. "Go f*ck yourself, asshole." "That's not physically possible, ma'am, at least not for me." Another look that could melt stone. "GET THE F*CK AWAY FROM ME!" Oh boy. "Ma'am, I'm not going anywhere. You have to leave, now." She stood up, and I felt momentarily relieved. Until, that is, she grabbed a drink at the next table and threw it in my face. I think it was a bourbon and coke. I don't even like bourbon and coke. I grabbed her by the upper arm, and that's when things really went to hell.

In a flash, she kneed me in the family jewels, raked her fingernails across my face, and punched me in the nose. Oh man, was I ever in trouble. She started throwing punches, and not just wild roundhouse type stuff: no, she was throwing combinations. A straight right connected with my Adam's apple. Great. Not only were my nuts screaming at me, and not only could I not see because of the punch to the nose: now, I couldn't breathe either.

I was in serious danger of falling to the floor. The little 110 pound woman was thrashing my ass. I still couldn't hit her, though. If my dad had found out I'd hit a woman, no matter the circumstances, he would have driven from California to kick my ass again.

I could feel blood dribbling down my face from my right eyelid--thank God I'd managed to close that eye before her fingernail ripped across it--but as her punches started to slow, I could see somewhat out of my left eye. I lunged and grabbed her by the the hair, and twirled her around. With her back to me, I could have choked her out, but that would also mean my dad driving from California to kick my ass. Instead, I got her in a full-nelson hold. That didn't work. She started back-kicking the shit out of my shins. I placed her feet on the floor, and transitioned to an old-fashioned bear hug. I squeezed for all I was worth, and started hobbling toward the exit. "OPEN THE F*CKING DOOR," I bellowed to a customer. I half-shoved, half-threw her out the door, slamed it shut, and locked it. She stood outside, pounding on the door, screaming stuff like "LET ME BACK IN, YOU F*CKING BASTARDS!" The owner called the police, but by the time they got there, the she-devil had departed. After the owner and I gave our accounts to the officer, I started laughing. I was laughing so hard that I sank to the floor on my butt. A 110 pound woman had just kicked my ass.

The owner walked up, stuck out his hand, and helped me to my feet. "Sit at the bar for a while," he said. He went back behind the bar and up to me. "She got you in the nuts, didn't she?" "Oh yeah," I answered. He poured me a double shot of tequila. "That'll help," he said. Sure enough, a few minutes after downing that double shot, the boys below quit complaining so much.

I never saw her in that bar again, thank God. But, one day I was in the produce section, when I felt a tap on my elbow.

When I turned around, it was her. I jumped back. I was looking at zucchinis when she approached, and I held one on front of me. I can't recall what I was thinking, holding up that zucchini. I can only presume that I thought something with a phallic appearance would ward her off, akin to the way a cross keeps a vampire at bay.

She laughed. The bitch had kicked my ass with a retired cop, an ex-NFL player, and a former Golden Gloves boxer in the audience, and the the evil wench was laughing.

"Could I buy you a cup of coffee?" WHAT? If Jeffery Dahmer invited you to a freakin' barbecue, would you go? The woman had come damn near blinding me, while assaulting Mr. Happy's twin cousins, and she was asking me out for coffee.

Well, curiosity trumped fear, and I met her for coffee. (I already mentioned that I was mildly self-destructive in those days.) "I'm sorry about that night," she began. She told me the rest of the story. She'd gone home early from work, feeling sick. She walked in on her husband and her best friend, in bed. They were making so much noise that they didn't even hear her until she started screaming at them. She'd called in sick for the rest of the week, and embarked upon a drinking binge. Thus, our little encounter.

"Have you had martial arts training?" I asked, thinking about those combinations she'd thrown. "My dad was an amateur boxer," she answered, "and I was a tomboy." Thanks a lot, Dad.

We ended up stretching coffee into lunch, and we had a great time. The Evil Wench who'd kicked my ass was nowhere in evidence. Instead, a charming, funny, attractive woman sat before me.

We exchanged phone numbers, and touched bases a couple of times. A few months went by, and she called. "I have some news for you," she began. A guy she'd had a crush on through junior high and the beginning of high school had moved back into town. His family had moved away during their freshman year, leaving her heartbroken. He was divorced, and they started dating. After two months, they decided to get married. He had a young daughter from his marriage, and the Formerly Evil Wench loved her.

I've always kind of sucked at keeping in touch. (I've found that if I avoid getting attached to people, I don't miss them as much. Lame, but effective.) I only talked to her one more time, and they'd set a date. She told me that her soon-to-be stepdaughter was ecstatic about having a new mom. She invited me to the wedding, but I was to be away at work in the Gulf of Mexico. Being me, I never called her again.

I still think about her, though. So do the family jewels, and not in a good way.

22 comments:

Debby said...

Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry, Hal, but I laughed myself stupid. You're the only one I know that could take this story and make it funny.

Pam said...

I'm in tears! The visuals are amazing! I almost spit soup all over the keyboard! Thanks! :)

You do have a way with a story. Deb's right!

Bob said...

What a story, Hal. Just shows that anyone can redeem himself/herself under the right circumstances. I would have probably passed on that coffee invite!

Mary Paddock said...

I still couldn't hit her, though. If my dad had found out I'd hit a woman, no matter the circumstances, he would have driven from California to kick my ass again.

ROFL.
At forty-seven years old, my husband still shudders at what his father would do to him if he hit a girl.

Hal, that was a great story. (Loved the reference to Jeffry Dahmer)

Kelly said...

What a great story!! I'm with Bob... not sure I could have accepted that coffee invitation.

MarionL said...

Bob, and here I thought you were a smart man! Every guy knows not to mess with a drunk/mean woman. Or visey/versey either! When I was a kid, Mama was a bartender and once beat the hell out of a big ole boy with her PURSE! Course, in those days, women had really big purses and Mama kept a fifth of whiskey in hers....

Great story and I'm glad you two got to make up later and become friends...(but I'll the 'twins' were in hiding at that first meeting)....LMAO!

Annie said...

Now that is one great story! I'm sorry you got hurt, but it sure gave me a laugh to read about it!

Bob Barbanes said...

Well I read the title and went, "But of course!" figuring it was something that happened just this past break, you know, by Rhonda. But no - even better! Heh-heh, and I'll bet that as you were standing there getting beat-up, your inner, disembodied voice was saying, "Hey, they didn't tell me that as a bouncer I might actually have to fight someone, much less a WOMAN!" But you have to admit, it went with the territory. Good thing that chick didn't push you back into a brick wall. Might've been lights-out and *she* would've taken over as bouncer, ending your little beer-tab freebie. Oh, the ignominy...

Great stuff, man. Hilarious. And so typically "Hal." (How come all the cool stuff happens to *you*?)

quid said...

Hal... there are not many guys who would even tell this story. Hat's off to a great storyteller with a clear sense of self-deprecation.

quid

Scotty said...

Loved the story too, Hal.

Redlefty said...

Ha!

I've never gotten my ass kicked by a woman. Because I'm a damn fast runner!

Mike said...

Not just any man would walk into a buzzing bitch-saw for a free beer. My hat's off.

Bush Babe said...

Laughed til I cried. So funny. I felt your pain though. No. Really.
:-)
BB

Debby said...

I had to come back to get Mike's comment...buzzing bitch saw. Anyways, the consensus here is that really, no free beer is worth taking a chance like that. Lucky for you that you're married. Your wife now stands between you and your faulty decision making processes. :^D You better grab that woman up and say thank you once again.

Hal Johnson said...

"You better grab that woman up and say thank you once again." We're three months from our fifteenth anniversary, Debby, and I still feel lucky as heck.

Hal Johnson said...

Bob B. wrote, "How come all the cool stuff happens to you?"

Like getting a knee to the nuts?

Dean said...

What a great story! Even the toughest of guys get bested by women! I look forward to reading the rest of the blog.

20th Century Woman said...

I was browsing blogs and happened on yours. Being a 76 year old woman, I thought, I'm not going to bother with helicopters and fitness and terminators, but I got caught by curiosity and started to read. I had to read to the end. You are a wonderful story-teller. I probably will stop by again.

Nazz Nomad said...

Great story. I'm a fan.

Helidad said...

only thing missing from this priceless story is a picture.. A face to the beat down....

Stacey Roberts said...

Well, well, well. And here I was thinking you ARE a badass. I have often opined that there are many men in the world who would benefit from having their asses kicked by a woman. You were never on that list, but I couldn't stop laughing as I read. Your pain has benefitted us all.

Wayne Johnson said...

I can see Uncle Ken (my dads older brother) Bouncing your head all the way back to Oxnard, CA. Then kickin your ass. Then week long toung lashin IF YOU HIT THAT GAL. Talk about bad asses our dads, we are lucky we can walk, sit or talk some of the crap we did. Good story cuz. Just glad they didn't find out about the volkswagen on school grounds.