Do I get to fuck your Girlfriend?
In my life, I’d observed on occasion, a witless or uncouth man come on to my date, but never with the frequency or astonishing level of disrespect I experienced when in public with Tina.
We’d gone to our frequent watering hole, the Buffalo Bar and Grill and as was our routine, we were shooting pool and drinking whiskey. We struck up a doubles game with a couple men. One older, one younger. It was a typically good time, but Tina was disappearing for extended periods, ostensibly to the restroom. I assumed she was having some digestive trouble. She and the younger shooter had been gone for quite a while, so the older guy and I shot a game one on one while waiting for them to return. The game and conversation was going pleasantly enough when the older man turned to me and said, “so if I win this game, do I get to fuck your girlfriend?”
“Excuse me?” Words had vibrated my eardrums, but that could not possibly have been a string of cohesive English.
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“If I win this game, does that mean I get to fuck your girlfriend?” Unabashed, he restated his proposition.
I was overwhelmed – not initially with anger, but astonishment. I felt like I’d slipped into the Twilight Zone and though I now heard, registered and comprehended his words, I couldn’t fathom the situation. It was so completely alien. I had to clarify what exactly he expected to accomplish by speaking to me about the love of my life like this. “What the hell is wrong with you? Are you trying to pick a fight with me?” Up until this point, everything had been friendly and nothing seemed amiss.
He grinned a gray-bearded, drunken grin and shrugged. “Yeah, he said. Then do I get to fuck her?”
“That’s it, fucker!” I snatched up my pool cue and gripped it like a bat, tip down, fully intent on cracking it over his head and then jamming whatever was left in my hand right through his eye, but when I drew my arm back, it did not strike. The younger man we’d been playing with had returned, unnoticed (by me, anyhow). From behind he’d caught my wrist in his meaty grip. He was taller than I and probably about double my weight. He grappled. I struggled, but he quickly had both my arms pinned. I felt impotent. I could not break free of him and he disarmed me of the pool cue. “I’m going to need that,” I said, suddenly calm and no longer struggling, but still intent on carrying out my initial plan to jam that cue into the old man’s eye.
“I can’t let you hurt him.” he said.
“Did you hear what this mother fucker said?” I was righteously indignant.
The young man seemed embarrassed. “Yeah, but he’s my dad.”
I understood his dilemma.
“Look, he’s trashed. I’m going to take him home.”
I was mollified – I didn’t have much choice but to be quelled. The son released me and urged his drunken father away.
All this went on while Tina was away. I refilled our drinks while I waited alone by the pool tables. Some time later, the vulgar old man – now in a Vikings jacket – approached me again with his son. I sprang to my feet.
“I thought you were getting him the fuck out of here,” I demanded.
“He wanted to come over and apologize.”
“Yeah,” said the old man. “I’m sorry. I’m pretty drunk.” I nodded, prepared to accept his apology and move on with my night, but then he added, “but I still want to fuck your girlfriend.”
That time, I leapt straight to rage. I yelled “Mother fucker!” or something appropriate to the situation as the son lunged to interpose himself between his dad and I.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know he was going to say that,” the son said as he pulled his dad away, towards the exit.
“Get him out of here,” I said. “If I see him again, somebody’s going to have to call the cops.”
“C’mon, Dad. Let’s find Mom and I’ll get you home.”
His wife was at the bar with him! I shook my head in amazement. Tina finally returned, having missed all of the excitement and I related the highlights.
“I would have handled that old man, myself,” Tina said. “You don’t have to get yourself arrested defending my honor.”
I explained “fighting words.” A man talking about another man’s lady like she’s trash is a provocation that can’t go ignored. To me, crazy talk like that is the same as a direct threat. Someone who’d say things like that is dangerous and capable of anything. Even taking the insult to honor out of the equation, self-defense becomes an immediate probability.
We went out into the cold to get our nicotine fix. Sitting at a table on the patio, we watched the man in the vikings jacket being guided to a car by his son. A woman a step behind was repeatedly hitting the man with her purse, all the way across the parking lot.
It was one for the book.
Looking back through the lens of experience with Tina, I can’t help but guess there was more to the story than I was aware of. The old man probably knew about something going on that I didn’t. That both his son and Tina had been absent for quite some time was worth considering. These kind of things that were pretty much new to my experience just tended to happen with Tina around and things usually happen for reasons.