This is a true story from my bouncer days. I had just purchased a whistle a few hours before this happened, and showed it to a friend in the club. She asked me why I bought it, and I told her about the concept of fighting without fighting. I thought the whistle could make a good distraction, or at least get attention if I ever needed help.
If you carry anything with you, carry a whistle. If you want to support a most noble idea and organization, buy one of these “Falling Whistles.” 100% of the proceeds go to the company’s mission which advocates for women and children affected by civil war in the Congo, demonstrating peaceful action. I have one, and it’s stylish, loud, and always a conversation starter.
The Art of Fighting Without Fighting (or Whistle While You Work)
After 2 a.m., most of the crowd consists of people that have come from other clubs. These people have already been drinking. If they’re smart, they sober up enough to drive and head to the next club. After 2, we’re the only club. If they’re really smart, they have a designated driver. And if they’re pros, they know that they’d better not try to get into a club if they’re already drunk.
Some of them are just plain stupid.
The stumbling woman got to the front of the line and my co-worker, Armand asked her for her ID. She couldn’t even stand still long enough to dig it out of her purse. Armand unhooked the chain that separated the line from the rest of the sidewalk and said,
“I’m sorry, miss, but we can’t let you in. You’ll have to come back when you’re sober. Please step out of the line.”
“Wait, what? What are you talking about? Why?” she slurred.
“Because you’re already inebriated, and we can’t let you in,” he said, without emotion.
“But I’m just going inside to drink! Who cares if I’m already ineeebriated?” she emphasized.
“I’m sorry, it’s against the law. Please step out of the line,” he repeated.
“But that’s so fucking stupid!! There are drunk people in there, too!!” she was slurring and yelling now.
Her partner remained quiet. Probably too drunk to fathom what was going on. “Please step out of the line, miss,” Armand repeated, no longer amused. “I wanna talk to the manager!!” she yelled. “She’s right there,” he said, pointing to me. She stumbled up to me, oblivious to the other customers who were laughing at her. I spent the next three minutes trying calmly to tell her the same things Armand had just told her. Having discussed the art of fighting without fighting just ten minutes earlier with my favorite ex-Navy SEAL-male-now-turned-female friend, Viv, the concept was still fresh in my thoughts. I didn’t want to engage in anything that could be detrimental to me, the club, or the patron, no matter how annoying she was. My calm must’ve fueled her anger. Her temper, despite her intoxication (or maybe fanned by it), was flaring even hotter.
Not having anything left to argue, she resorted to good old name-calling.
“Who the fuck are you, anyway? You’re just a fucking rent-a-cop!” she yelled as I continued to do pat downs. “You only make like five dollars an hour!” Yeah, I’ve never heard that one before.
Having watched this for the last ten minutes, the other patrons in line were sympathetic to my plight.
“Hit the bitch!!” they were yelling.
Viv had come out of the back door and was about to get something out of her Harley saddlebags, but noticed the ruckus on the corner. She watched intently. She was always ready to lend a deadly hand, should I need one.
I’d like to think the spirits of both Tsukahara Bokuden and Bruce Lee (the progenitor and perpetuator of the concept) whispered in my ear at that moment, but it was probably just the presence of Viv that reminded me of the whistle in my pocket.
Still yelling obscenities at the top of her lungs, the drunken patron didn’t notice as I brought the whistle up to my lips, shot a warning look to the other patrons and Armand, and as they covered their ears, I blew as hard as I could for about five long seconds. The sound was deafening.
Doe in headlights, I thought, she looks like a doe in headlights.
The woman had her hands over her ears and a startled, lost look on her face. She and her companion stood still for about three seconds and then walked away in a daze, almost getting hit by a car as they stumbled onto the street. The patrons in line laughed their asses off and gave a few hoots. My co-worker Armand giggled as only he can, and over at her bike, my favorite ex-Navy SEAL gave me the thumbs up.
The Art of Fighting without Fighting, 101. Class is in session.