Friday, March 17, 2017

Bouncer Story - Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick’s Day Memories:

It was a while ago, 2005 or 2006. I was single and dating a lot. I met a woman on Craigslist and we decided to meet for a few drinks and get to know each other. She said she liked dive bars so I suggested we meet at The ‘Vern for a few beers on a Thursday or something.

Little did either of us know that we agreed to meet at The ‘Vern on Saint Patrick’s Day night.

First, for the non-native Portlanders, The ‘Vern is a classic dive bar. More the real kind and “Old Portland” than what you see today. It was a punk rock hang out, whatever that means, for a while. It’s not actually called The ‘Vern, it’s real name is “Dave’s Tavern” or something but the TA of TAVERN burned out decades ago and it never got fixed so it’s just called the ‘Vern now. I think it became “punk rock” because the jukebox was decidedly punk over anything else. The place was kept up just enough to keep it legal and even then…

Secondly, I’m not a St. Patty’s day guy. Thought I was but I’m not even a lick of Irish, nor Christian, nor do I care for that stuff. If anything my white side is Scandi/Norman, and if any of my line comes from some Celtic lands it’s as a conqueror and not a native. On top of that I see St. Patty’s as an excuse for people to be drunk dickheads. I will assume responsibility for that though as I am the one hanging around drunk dickheads. I’ve solved the problem by not being a drunk anymore, nor being a dickhead tough guy, or even going out to invite such shit into my life.

So there I am sitting at a table on a first date with some woman I had never met before at the Vern listening to some Dropkick Murphy’s on St. Patty’s day over some PBRs. Her name was Angie and she was pretty and new to Portland and getting out and meeting people. I liked her but I knew right off she was not into me and my kind and I called it right off to make things more comfortable for us. She wanted to hang though and we were being friendly towards each other and I was answering her questions about Portland.

The bartender is a buddy of mine and he’s doing his duty (on top of serving on St. Patty’s day) of making me look cool in front of a lady and spotting me PBRs and saying cool shit about me.

Everyone is being friendly when a group of “St. Patty Day revelers” loudly walks in and is disruptive. They are lead by a “I’m from fuggin New Yowk!” guy who can’t stop spitting. Those guys and Texans are the same. Texans spit on the floor less though.

Some other regulars are at the Vern and the bartender buddy gives me and some of the other regulars The Look. The, “I’ve hooked you up and it’s payback time.” Look. Apparently we’re going to get in a fight with the rowdies. The New York rowdies get louder and tougher. The bartender asks them to tone it down some and this is taken as a great offense and they get more asshole-ish. I’m keyed up and am sure I’m on the floor soon. I do my shot and tell Angie, “Hey, this is going to get stupid. Stay out of the way OK? Actually, you might want to leave.”

“Oh shit!” she says, “are you going to kick those guys out?” Angie asks.

“I’m not sure… I’m waiting…” then New Yawk Spit Dude throws a punch at one of the regulars that was too close and squared off.

Bartender jumps in and so do some of the other regulars and it goes south right off. I wait for an opportunity to grab a dude and throw them out and it comes and I do. Others follow. I end up squared off with New Yawk Spit Guy and we tussle and head outside.

“I’m from fuggin New Yawk Bro!” was his battle cry. We get outside and are locked together like 2 fat bears fighting over mating rights. Somehow I trip him up and he falls down and I back off to make sure none of his buddies are closing on me. New Yawk Spit Guy tries to get up but some other Vern regular runs up and kicks his head and knocks him the fuck out. He then takes off because New Yawk Spit is now convulsing on the sidewalk doing the “I have no idea I’m KOed” thing that freaks some people out. His buddies gather around him and are now calling 911 on cell phones. I back off as I know it’s cops time. Angie is walking down the street on her phone, that was the last time I saw her.

I thought I’d get busted for this one but plenty of people saw the one guy that kicked New Yawk Spit in the head and KOed him. I did not know him. I was scrutinized by cops and told to go home. New Yawk Spit got hauled off in an ambulance and threats of suing everyone were made. Sympathy and empathy aside – fuck that guy.


  1. Wow I had no idea. I thought you were going to say something along the lines of that Irish girl going on & on about "St. Patrick vs Paddy" or something. The wrestling over mating rights thing cracked me up lol I missed you. I'm glad you are okay.

    1. Naw, I just spell it Patty and think anyone getting pissed at me for it should take a step back and start not getting offended over it. There is no "proper" way to spell it and it's foolish to fight about it.

      We spend enough time looking for things to get offended about.

  2. Wow! Impressive stuff again, Gabe! You certainly have someone looking out for you - could've gone bad not only in the fight itself, but with the cops!