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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fight Night, Siciliano's style

"You want a piece of me?"
Sometimes the best way to relieve a little stress is to pick a little fight, a bar fight that is.

By Steve Siciliano

Last Saturday after six hours at the store followed by a little yard work and a nap, I suggested to Barb that we go out for a few beers. When I took a left out of the driveway she looked at me quizzically.

“Founders will probably be busy,” I said. “Besides, I’m in the mood for a bar fight.” When I glanced over at my wife I caught her rolling her eyes.

While I drove I carefully described exactly what was expected of her. She had to watch my back. If I was fighting more than one opponent she had to grab a pool cue and even the odds. If I was getting the best of some dude and his woman jumped on my back and was choking me Barb would have to dispose of her.

As we were walking up to the first bar I showed her how to form a tight fist and explained why it was important to keep a straight wrist when punching. I held out my flattened palm to her.

“Punch my hand,” I said.

Standing on the sidewalk in front of a bar on Leonard Street my petite wife made a fist and punched my hand.

“Not great,” I said, “but it’ll have to do.”

I was disappointed that the first bar was closed. From the outside it looked like it had tremendous potential.

I drove west on Leonard then south on Diamond to Michigan imagining possible scenarios. Maybe I would crack a long neck bottle against a table and motion with its jagged edges toward my adversary. Perhaps I would break a chair over some schmuck’s back or lift a chiseled, two-hundred-fifty pounder over my head, twirl him around, then toss him out a window. On Michigan Street I spied Bob’s Bar and pulled over.

Inside I ordered two bottles of PBR and surveyed the room. For the second time that day I was disappointed. There were no wife-beater wearing apes playing pool. There were no obnoxious louts yelling obscenities at the barmaid. There was nothing but a bunch of well-behaved folks quietly enjoying their drinks and having a good time. “Let’s blow this joint,” I said after gulping down the last of the PBR. While we were walking across the street to Farah’s I hoped that the dude outside having a smoke on the sidewalk would remark snidely on my varicose veins. Instead he smiled and opened the door for us.

Farah’s was another disappointment. We sat at the nice bar, ordered another PBR, and chatted with the friendly bartender. They have a good selection of craft beers on tap. I was tempted to order a Founders IPA but didn’t want to dull my reflexes. “This is a really cool place,” Barb said, looking around. “Yeah, it is,” I sneered.

After Farah’s we walked a half block east to Duke’s. We had another PBR while sitting at the bar. We munched on fresh-salted in-the-shell peanuts and listened to the music. “See anyone you’d like to fight?” Barb asked. “No,” I replied.

On the way home we stopped at the Tip Top Deluxe for a Dark Horse IPA. “What have you guys been up to?” Jackie, the bartender asked.

“Nothing much,” Barb said. “We hit a few Michigan Street taverns. Steve wanted to get in a bar fight.”

Jackie placed our pints of Crooked Tree on the bar and rolled her eyes.

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