Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And now for a flashback

Several years ago I was at a softball party and when I tried to leave and give an intoxicated friend a ride home, he insisted on stopping at a bar on the way. I finally decided it would be easier to indulge him than argue with him, and we ended up at the bar. On the way in I pass a full suspension freeride/downhill bike, and it’s a nice one. Ten seconds later as I am choking on the smoke floating in the air I am still wondering about a three grand sled sitting unlocked in a very public area in a not so great area of town in the armpit bar of the neighborhood. We get in line at the bar to get my friend a drink and sure enough I see the beginnings of a scuffle working up to my side. As the situation snaps into a full brawl, I back away from the bar and retreat to the safety of the pool tables. My friend wades into the fight to try to break it up, although I am not sure that actually worked out so well for him. He ended up getting attacked by some guy’s girlfriend as he was trying to drag the guy out of the ruckus. She jumped on his back and clawed at his face.

I am watching all this from the relative safety of the pool area and look over to see a very bored looking guy doing basically the same thing, except that he was holding a cue and I am assuming had just been actually playing billiards of some sort. I gave him a nod and he nods back in the customary “what’s up” manner that we hip young old people use. I think possible we were going to start some sort of conversation when out of the corner of my eye I catch some sort of projectile moving at fairly high speed. The object stuck pool cue guy in the wrist squarely and exploded into several small pieces of glass. It took me half a second to realize I had just seen someone’s overpriced cheap bar beer bottle go grenade on cue guy’s wrist. As inquired as to whether he was alright and he stared at his wrist and in a very calm voice stated, “That really hurt.” That was enough for me, so I ventured just close enough to the fray to grab my friend and start for the door. The rest of my night was uneventful.

The next day was Sunday, which is our normal shuttle run day for the summer. We were at the top of the hill and I was relating the previous night’s event to Zombie Jeff when suddenly one of the many random and unknown to me guys riding with us exclaims, “That was me!” And sure enough, there was cue guy, resplendent in his full face and armor. He showed me his wrist, which although bruised, was unbroken and uncut. This story is great because there are three morals, which I list in order of importance. Mountain bikers are tough, Fairbanks is small, and the bar scene in Fairbanks is generally to be avoided.

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