Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Was a Bad Ass for a Week

         Growing up a short, funny, redhead dude, in desegregated schools, I now and then got my butt kicked. It taught me how not to treat people. It molded me into a mild mannered adult who is a bit cautious. So, for two weeks, being known as a bad ass was a very cool feeling.

          I was working in a night club as an MC/Entertainer, when the owner, and one of the bouncers who everyone said was a “real bad-ass,” came into the office. When they entered, I was standing by the desk, filling out winner's sheets for a Hawaiian Tropic Beauty Contest. (Steve is the owner, Joe is the bad ass, and it’s not their real names.)

          “Look, Joe. I don’t care. It’s no one’s fault.”

          “But, Steve, I didn’t hit the customer. It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. I was just trying to help.”

          “It doesn’t matter, Joe. Things like that happen, but your job is fine."

          “But, Steve, I didn’t do anything. I was trying to help.”

          “It’s, okay, Joe. Just leave it alone.”

          Things were getting heated and making me uncomfortable. I pretended to ignore the commotion, looking down at the desk and writing.

          Joe went on, “Steve, I didn’t do it!”

          “It’s, okay Joe. I have too much to do right now and it doesn’t really matter!”

          “Well, I didn’t do anything! That’s bullshit, Steve!”

          “Damn it, Joe!”

          The next thing I know, Steve and Joe have each other by the throat, pushing each other around the room and into walls. Things in the office are being knocked around and falling to the floor, so I drop my pen and tried to calm the situation.  
          Before I could, Steve punches the tough guy Joe in the face, and Joe storms out with a big whelp on his eye. Steve and I, who are very good friends, started to wonder, “How the hell did that just happen?”

          I finish the winner’s sheets, announce the winners, and a lovely lady in a bikini got a trip to Hawaii to be a beauty queen.

          When I left the stage, this is the story that got back to me.

          Joe, after being punched in the face, went toward the front door and ran into another bouncer. He said, “Steve and Larry are assholes, they just jumped me in the office.”


          “Yeah, Steve and Larry.”

          “Larry Hyatt?”

          “Yeah, Steve and Larry.”

          “No shit? Really, Larry Hyatt?"


          Joe then went further on to the doorman and told him, “Steve and Larry just jumped me in the office.”

          “No shit, Larry?”


          “Larry Hyatt?”


          “Wow, Larry Hyatt.”

          Joe then went to the parking lot and told the head valet, with a slight twist in the story. “Steve, just jumped me in the office,” that, the valet believed.

          I was now a bad ass in the eyes of my peers, but wait there’s more. The next weekend I was off of work and a bunch of the employees went to another club in the next town. It was the first time I didn’t have a show in months, so I was having a great time watching other people on stage.

          I was standing in the audience, listening to the live music, when Steve leans over and asks if I have a problem with the Thibodaux Police. Screaming over the music I say, “Not in Thibodaux, but I am wanted in ten states for unnatural sex acts.” Steve laughs and says, “I figured that, but there’s a cop staring at you.” I turn around and the police officer leans into me and says. “Excuse, me, can you please step outside a moment?” I was confused.

          I followed the cop toward the door and with all of my friends following, wondered, “What the hell did I do now.”

          Outside, the cop says, “I’m really sorry, but we’ve been told you people from “Illusions” are known to carry guns. Do you have a weapon on you?” My jaw drops and the group cracks up laughing. The cop, thinks me, the actor/entertainer, who couldn’t beat himself out of a wet paper bag, carries a gun. I said, “No man, I don’t have a gun,” and I went back inside, a few inches taller, being one bad ass mother.

          For two weeks after that, I brandished a banana that I carried in my sport coat. For the first time I had a “rep” and it felt good.

          Until, you’ve been beaten really bad for the color of your skin, or the way you talk, or maybe you cooked dinner with too much salt, or you found yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, or you’re a defenseless child, or any number of reasons people get hit, you might not understand the allure of being a bad ass. For the real bad asses in the world, be careful, you may run into a guy who’ll brandish his banana.

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