You don't just fight the bean......
Switching The Store to The Pub has taken a toll on everyone’s sense of humor. And everyone is working for free: Brendan is pushing his vision; Adrian is doing the construction from psycho loyalty and guilt; Conall is just trying to maintain in the face of separation anxiety from the German SizeZeroLong actress.
Still, on Saturday everyone was super edgy as we prepped for a big party for a guy we genuinely love.....Peterson Conway. Then I discovered the real reason: Party in Santa Cruz.
So, I sent the lads off…..and finished the prep myself….tiny reward for their Herculean labors. Then I trundled off to sleep at midnite after only 16 hours work……A light day in CaterLand.,
At 2am the phone rings. “Dad….I am hiding under a car. There were Mexicans. I choked out three, and Adrian knocked out three…..and Conall broke his hand. I think they have guns and knives……”
Wow. What would Dr. Phil do? “OK, son…..Do you need guns? Should I drive up?”
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money…….the Shit has hit The Fan…….
“No, Dad….I am just worried about Adrian…….”
Well, they worked their way out of it, and came back with this story:
Adrian had is first weekend off as a new dad, and Conall wanted to see Sara Ruffles. You should know that Adrian and Brendan are funny, smart, very fit chick-magnets with highly developed martial arts skills. Adrian is of the School of Shock and Awe: load everything into one punch, and be first. Brendan is Brazilian Jujitsu trained….all submission holds, all indirect. (When ZenMaster Nick and Brendan traveled to fight in Brazil, they won all their matches, and the locals got bitter. There was even a rumor of some local getting tossed off a rooftop dojo in Salvador……)
So after the party the kids all repaired to the Blue Lagoon in Santa Cruz. Adrian danced with a fat chick….and her giant Mexican boyfriend took exception. It was all in good fun…..Adrian walked away and went outside to smoke a cigarette. Boyfriend kept talking shit, and Brendan played peacemaker. As Bren turned away, the big guy sucker-punched him in the jaw.
Brendan took the hit, got around the guy and let him take him down. (Brazilians fight on their backs.) In five seconds, the guy was in a triangle choke and going out. Brendan was pissed, and dealing punishment. Conall is the ultimate nice-guy, and was genuinely concerned that Brendan was going to kill the guy: “Brendan, let him up! Please!”
Brendan came back from The Edge, and let the guy up: “Are we OK? Cool?” As soon as the guy got up, he sucker-punched Brendan a second time……with the same result. This time his friends jumped in and started futilely kicking Brendan in the head while their buddy strangled. Conall tackled the first guy in and punched him in the head, breaking his own hand. He went down and the bar crowd broke up the fight. Once again Brendan was convinced to not kill the giant angry Mexican……
Everyone repaired outside……where the guy delivered the third sucker punch. Adrian snapped….some childhood PTSD kicked in and he knocked out the first three Mexicans he saw. The first was so tall he actually had to jump up in the air to break his jaw. Brendan took the same original idiot down again and choked him out, for good this time…..A dozen Latinos jumped into the fray…….Someone stomped Brendan’s eye. Conall was knocked out, as was Adrian. Brendan broke two ribs. Somehow they all got away and hid under cars……
Adrian flipped out and ran kamikaze-style through neighborhoods….pursued by demons we know not of…..By some miracle he wound up at the same gas station as Brendan and Conall….
The next morning the boys were still in a frenzy of loyalty. That is the only way to describe it……For people that will put up with any economic, social, political, whatever depredation…..when their friends were attacked, they responded like tigers…..
Next day……As Dad and Boss……I was horribly torn. It was clear that my guys were seriously injured…..but we had a party. We need the money. I just stood back and waited to see what happened, ready to work without them. And, after two hours sleep…with broken bones, concussions, ugly contusions…they rallied and went back to work. There was no more question in their minds about going to work for AMF then there was in wading in and saving their friends against huge odds……..
We did the party. The first guest who saw Brendan was a nursing instructor at MPC. She turned to me and said: “They have seen a doctor, right? He could lose his sight……That eye is bad….. Does he have a concussion?” Brendan cranked out esoteric appetizers for four hours…….Conall passed heavy trays with a broken hand……..At 3pm I finally convinced them to go down to Docs on Duty and get checked out…..
It was OK…….but what kind of wacky world is it where a father has to balance this kind of trade-off…..Economic gain vs. your sons’ physical well-being……
Oh…….this goes on everywhere in the world right now….and always has. This is normal.
I just had fooled myself into thinking we/I had somehow progressed beyond this…..
That night, when Conall called I was a basket case…..and he thought it was his fault, of course……. He was sure he had failed somehow...drive 700 miles, broken hand, concussion, sweet boy......Why is dad crying?
Politically/socially incorrect conclusions: I am so proud of Brendan, Adrian and Conall for being the kind of men that will stand for core values: friends, family, work….far beyond personal pain or suffering….
And the final word from Barney, our Company Armorer…..Barney is from Venice….CA, not IT:
“I told those motherfuckers…….you don’t ever just fight the BEAN……you gotta fight the whole fucking BURRITO…….”