the story of how i got 86ed from a bar.
So, I would like to talk about what happened yesterday morning. It all started the night before yesterday morning, so I will do my best to explain. My father called me from the bar, and asked if David (my brother) and I would please come down to the bar – which is only a few blocks away from where I live. The reason being, was that he had for some reason I don’t quite understand, decided to let a very shifty couple who manage the bar use his light show system and speakers, as well as foot pedals and microphone systems that he had lent to this bar for free use when bands came. This is kind of his hobby, buying musical equipment, hoping I think to someday be able to rent out his stuff to local bands. My father drinks too much, and he tends to make very poor choices in friends, but that is another story. He needed us to help him pack up his stuff, or at least chorale into one area so it would be easy to take home with him the next day.
This couple does not own the bar, but they do manage it. Technically, the husband was fired. He’s not in any place of authority, however after he was fired he continued to walk around barking orders and such just like he always had in the past – reason being that his wife is still running the show. As the last month or so has gone on, this guy (Josh is his name), has essentially getting really weird about my father’s musical equipment, and has started to talk like he owns it all. To make things more shady, he does a lot of methamphetamines, is nearly always plastered and has a gambling addiction. His wife is revving up to divorce him. He’s a total chaotic mess, and by my estimation, not a very good person. Of course, my father decided to try to do this with this Josh fellow anyway. He didn’t really want Josh to be involved with his ambitions on setting up these concerts, but Josh inserted himself into it anyway. Then, Josh started making strange demands of m y father regarding his equipment, which he had zero rights to, and then, in the course of a few weeks, 400$ worth of my father’s stuff went missing. For the last week, my father had wanted to get his stuff out of there, but given Josh’s increasingly erratic behavior – the fact that he was likely the one who stole my father’s stuff to begin with and was therefore acting really over the top about it, my father was afraid to go there by himself and try to pack the stuff up – fearing that this Josh guy might now claim that this thousands of dollars worth of equipment belonged to him, and essentially causing my father to lose all of this stuff he’s worked so hard to save up. It’s not fair, but if this stuff was in the keeping of the bar, the police could be called if Josh wanted to. It was getting sort of crazy.
So, I get this call around midnight, after the final band (some really predictable and lame Nu-metal Post Grunge band) had finished playing. This Josh dude freaked out when David and I arrived. He started getting in our face sort of. He was babbling like a lunatic, making weird accusations towards us all. I didn’t even know this person until that night, and he was acting very hostile. He grabbed things out of our hands, accused us of stealing, ordered us around. He kept insisting we do things in a very terrible fashion, and kept making creepy comments about how he wasn’t a thief, but my father at the same time had it coming. In short, I hated him. It’s not that I really agree or like what my dad for everything, but as far as the bar is concerned, he really did nothing but offer a service for free. It was clear that this Josh dude was really drunk and high. My father silently worked and ignored him. Josh would randomly freak out and accuse my father of trying to beat him up, as my father just kept working on moving the amps and sound system stuff, and collecting the cords and whathaveyou.
My brother David has severe anxiety disorder and BPD. Overall, he works with it the best he can. He’s quiet, but when people give him shit, he has to kind of hide because if he is messed with, he will fight – and probably get in trouble with the law. He has a history of being abused, and takes life very seriously. For this reason, he has a certain expression on his face that for some reason causes mentally unstable men and police officers to attack him (there are some stories I could tell about how police officers have almost killed him – but that’s a story for another time). He has a very short fuse. I have a bad temper as well, but I am slightly more inclined to use my words – though eventually I fight back too. I have similar issues in that I also can really lose my cool and get violent in situations where I feel stepped on or threatened, and I have panic disorder. I don’t have the kinds of mood swings as David suffers with, and I have a more jovial sense of humor and probably a more positive outlook – and also I am clearly a nerdy white girl, so police/others don’t bother me as much as they do him.
David and I did what we could to help my father move the equipment. I realized how vital it was that we get his stuff out of there before this Josh guy does something drastic. He was really getting out of control, and making me sick to my stomach. He wouldn’t stop screaming and babbling for an entire hour, and given both my own and my brother’s disposition towards people like this dude, it was all we could manage on my father’ behalf to keep our mouths shut as he continued on berating us all. We managed to get the stuff put into one place for an easy pick up the next day – the sooner the better.
My father stayed the night at our place, and we went back the next morning to check on the stuff. This Josh dude hadn’t slept. He was still completely smashed, and even more erratic and high than normal. The people who worked in the kitchen area of the bar warned us that Josh was acting like a lunatic. I guess he had gotten the cops called that night for being too loud, and he also had gotten in a fight with his wife. The bar was open, but quiet. We were going to check on everything and come back, but as soon as we looked around, we decided not to. We started grabbing the stuff we could find to haul into the pick up and this was when this Josh guy got really out of control. He started getting in my father’s face, demanding that we take our equipment and put it in places we didn’t want to. He was doing everything he had been last night, only worse. It was very clear that he was purposely trying to get someone to take a swing at him. My father – for as bad a temper as I know he has – was actually ignoring him, but even he told Josh to just go away. Josh started screaming and saying that we had all used him ; we didn’t appreciate all the good things he had done for us all. This was insane since David and I did not know who he was – and he had been a total creep to us for the entire time we had been around him.
As my father and brother were trying to move a light system – David noticed that many of my father’s speakers were packed in the back of Josh’s pick up truck. We had caught him in the act of attempting to drive off with the speakers. David and my father proceeded to get them out of the pick up bed and take them back to our area. Josh came over and sort of shoved my brother out of the way. Then he started screaming that we were the thieves, not him. He started getting his face really close to my brother’s face, and grabbing his arms. He was really vying to get his nose broke – so he could call the cops and get some satisfaction I guess from being a victim and getting back and my father – for taking his own stuff back home. It was really crazy, and really unpleasant. I felt my own resolve breaking on trying to stay classy and keep my mouth shut. And as soon as I saw him grabbing up on David, I got really defensive and told him to back off David and leave us alone. He started trying to say that David had tried to hit him, which wasn’t true. I knew that it was about to be true. If David broke, he would have crushed this Josh guy’s skull. Obviously that would have been horrible all the way around. I freaked out at Josh. I told him to get away from us. I just started slinging insults at him, that he was gross and inappropriate. That it was obvious that women rejected him and that nobody liked him. I laughed at him and told him that he was overcompensating for the fact that he was worthless, and he knew it – and that he obviously was a man with a small dick. Which I could tell stung him. He was fuming.
As I did this, my father got really frustrated at me and kept begging me to back off. I can kind of understand it, and I sort of can’t. In my father’s mind, it really was just heating the situation up further and he wanted to ignore Josh and get his stuff out. Part of this is because my father is an alcoholic and this bar was his personal favorite place to drink. He didn’t want to burn a bridge – and he didn’t want to get really Jerry Springerish with Josh – as that is exactly what he wanted. What my father hadn’t fully realized, is that David would have probably been locked up in jail had I not stepped in and Josh would be in the hospital ready to sue. It was Josh who escalated the situation to where it had been, not me. Ignoring people like this guy is always the best option – I agree. But it was already too late, and it was better that I, the female that he didn’t anticipate fighting actually be the one to step in at that moment. Most older men I have met are sexist on a sliding scale, and many of them don’t see women as equal. They don’t anticipate women getting cocky. And men have strange honor codes concerning insulting each other’s mother, talking about dick size, and the like. Women – being sort of considered lesser, weaker creatures, are not part of that honor system. We don’t count. He wanted to fight with my father and brother not me, but what he was going to get was me ultimately.
To me, Josh’s lack of boundaries and his disturbing and stress inducing behavior was triggering me. I really do not trust most men, and I have very good reason. I’ve had a lot of abusive experiences. I just don’t take to this stuff well, and in my book, when a man is harassing you, you fight as dirty as I have to. Not being truly apart of a man’s world, I don’t feel like I have to honor the codes of conduct that men have with one another. If I feel physically threatened by a man, I will kick him between the legs. I will insult him in personal demeaning ways. If a man steps on my boundaries or tries to make me feel small, I will go for the psychological jugular. I did eventually back off, but only because I realized that aside from a few things I had said, Josh was babbling like a mad man and was so high and enraged he couldn’t even hear what he was saying. There was nothing to win really, but I had made him leave my brother alone, which was good. I laughed at him, as he screamed at me from across the lot to stop laughing at him. He tried to say that he had done so much for us – and this was how we treated him. I am not going to lie, I took some satisfaction that I had slaughtered his ego.
I ended up getting left there alone, as my brother and dad were trying to pack up and move the equipment somewhere safe. In the mean time, I was sent into the bar, to untangle a bunch of cords. My father was hoping that sending me in there would cause me to be in a place where Josh would feel less comfortable attacking me, since there were customers eating and such. I sat down and started untangling cords and taping them. For awhile Josh didn’t show up because I assume he had to do more drugs and drink more. He came out, and he grabbed all the stuff I was working on out of my hands. I tried to ignore him, but he started screaming at me in front of customers saying I was 86ed, and he shoved me out the door. He then proceeded to scream at me and whine about how everyone took advantage of him and how he was such a nice guy. I told him to fuck off, and that I wasn’t his counselor, but it really didn’t register with him at all. It’s really pointless to argue with someone who is drunk and high on a stimulant, is psychotically angry and hasn’t slept. I felt myself getting shaky. If I had had my way, it would have been much better had I left him fuming about the tiny dick comment, but I was kind of trapped there for awhile.
As I was outside, I realized that my purse was still inside – and I went to go looking for it. I told him offhandedly that I was looking for my purse. He was babbling and screaming at me in front of customers – claiming that I was accusing him of stealing my purse – which wasn’t true at all – I had just been separated from it when he had chosen to dish out his vengeance on me. Customers were looking over at him as he followed me around. I eventually talked in a loud voice – that when I girl tells a strange man to leave her alone, he should probably do that. Which did very little. I hated him so much. What frustrated me was that he had the upper hand and more power than me. Obviously, if he was someone I was going to have to spend a lot of time around, I could easily have turned the tables on him. But there was no possibility, need or especially want on my end to be around him for a second more. He was so nauseating and gross. I am not going to lie. Maybe I am a bad person, but I was envisioning bludgeoning him to death. People like him are very bad for the world. There was nothing nice about him at all.
Eventually, my father and brother came back. I told them what Josh had been saying to me. Every five minutes now, he would begin ranting about how my father had stolen five hundred dollars from him – an accusation that was totally out of the blue and made no sense. Then he changed it and said that my father had been the one abusing us. He was just making up crazy things at this point, and couldn’t even keep up with himself. He obviously was freaked out that my father was outnumbered. When we had shown up with him, I guess Josh saw it as some kind of army. So, he went and called a bunch of really creepy men. They went into Josh’s drug den to do drugs. We were just packing the last of the stuff as his friends were getting out of the drug room – freshly high in order to get in our faces – really because I had called Josh’s dick small. Very pathetic. As we were driving away, they were encircling our truck and chanting something really stupid at us – but there was no further reason for us to be there, and that was a relief. We got the stuff out of there, and no cops were called. Hopefully, I will never have to go in there again. Even if I am not truly 86'ed, why on earth would I want to go to a gross bar like that. It’s extremely unprofessional that Josh is allowed to be that crazy in front of customers.
My father didn’t seem mad at me exactly, but I could tell he saw me as being the female-hysteric that had made things worse. In his mind, had the situation had only men involved, it would have been a better and more civil somehow. I think, given the fact that my father has a schema that women are weak and need to be sheltered, or are more of a gimmick when they are independent, it had bothered him to see his own daughter go after another guy’s manhood as I had. I won’t feel badly for anything I said or did. To me, I handled the situation appropriately – though I got weary at the end. He doesn’t think women should fight back and he felt embarrassed that I -his strange daughter went ahead and shamelessly did so. I don’t know. He felt weird about me being there – even though he had wanted my help initially. He also – albeit much more politely, was taking things out of my hands that weren’t too heavy for me to haul as well. Like, he was trying to prevent me from helping. He kept telling me to let my brother do things that I was in the process of, and perfectly capable of doing. My brother wasn’t so bad, but even he saw me as being intrinsically the weak one as Josh had been harassing me while they had been away. Mostly, he was being protective – and that is reasonable. In many ways, I had been protective over him – but given the way all the other guys in the situation were – I have to say there was a fair deal of sexism in the air. Men don’t like it when women stand up for themselves. I think too, my father was angry because he felt like I had sort of caused him to lose one of his favorite places to drink. I imagine he will find his way back over there. Grossly, my father will likely end up befriending this Josh guy again. Because you know, men have some kind of creepy code with each other – and both of them have drinking problems.
Anyway, that’s my story. I really need to get the hell out of this town.