Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Night That Guy Thought He Would Mug Me

I could not have picked a worse year to spend studying International Corporate Law and the European Union in London. There, I was relegated to listening to Yahoo.com's webcast of Bob "Hey, If You Were A Hotdog, Would You Eat Yourself?" Barry, Sr. for the overwhelming majority of OU's magical 2003 regular season.

(Please note the conspicuous use of the modifier "regular"... this of course alludes to the heart-breaking end to the 2003 season with "Games of Which We Shall Not Speak" Numbers 1 and 2 respectively.)

This circumstance reached it's boiling point in early October after I recognized the North American Sports Network was not going to carry Bedlam. This was unacceptable after I was required to miss the Red River Shootout and this was my last decent chance to catch a televised game.

I contacted NASN and asked if they were bound contractually to carry the SEC game that was shown on the listing. I was told that NASN was free to air whichever game had the most "international interest".

As such, I contacted my friends, family and the alumni organizations of both OU and OSU. I asked my friends and family to provide me with copies of their email address books. I asked the alumni organizations for contact information of groups in western Europe. I then drafted an email introducing myself, explaining my situation, attached a canned request for the game and asked for their help in pasting the response into an email to NASN after they added their name and location to those sections of the request.

3 weeks later I got a response from NASN stating they had received over 2,700 requests for the OU/Oklahoma State game, that they were now airing that game on November 1st and requesting that I end the campaign. Beaming, I obliged.

As this was my first televised college football game of the season, I decided to make a day of it. I arrived at the Sports Cafe in the late morning for Rugby and Beer. Morning with Rugby and Beer turned into Afternoon with Soccer and Gin. Afternoon with Soccer and Gin turned into Evening with College Football and Whiskey.

This ended up being in the top 3 drunkest drunks of my life… along side my evening with "Desenchantee: the French Moroccan Stripper Who Smelled Funny" and "The Night I almost Ruined My Best Friend's Wedding and Honeymoon"

(I love my best friend and his wife dearly... each rank (individually and on their own accord) in the top 5 non-familial people for whom I would take a bullet. Therefor the tale "The Night I almost Ruined My Best Friend's Wedding and Honeymoon" will never be put forth for public consumption. Certainly, nothing untoward happened between any of the 3 of us but suffice it to say the episode's end only began at approximately 5 a.m. with them finding me shoeless, in the fetal position and soaked to the waist with Caribbean salt water.)

I am not proud of this. Blind drunkenness is not a badge of honor. If it was I would be prominently positioned between Audie Murphy and David Hackworth. I simply say this to give background to my own idiotic thought process.

I do not remember anything from the game. Zero. But I do remember leaving the Sports Cafe late… and by "late", I mean "early". I also remember being adamantly opposed to taking a cab for the 2 miles from the Sports Cafe to my apartment. London's public transit shuts down late at night leaving cabs and walking as the only options for those without a car or drunks. I thought to myself the following:

"Self, London is safe. You are not a small person. Limey's are, on average, smaller than you. You can also protect yourself and have been known to do so in the past. You need to go from one nice area of London (Piccadilly) to another nice area of London (Holborn… London's "Wall Street"). Just walk."

This of course did not take into account the confounding variables known as "time of day" and "other drunks".

I was 2 blocks from the end of my walk when a man appeared from the shadows, bumping into my chest, saying in a thick cockney accent…

Guy: "Ey mayt, goh aney mooneh?"

Me: "Gets the hells aways from me… you smells liiiiiiiiike falafels… heheheheheheheheh"

Guy: "Oi!!!!! I say, you goh aney fookin mooneh!?!?!?!?!?"

Me: [In what alcoholics refer to as "A moment of clarity"] "I have 50 pounds in my front pocket but you're gonna bleed for it."

Disregarding the first rule of sound thievery ("pick victims more drunk than you"), Guy decides to mug me and swings.

I dodge his swing and step behind him, pushing him over my right leg. He falls and I jump him with my knees on each shoulder and proceed to Bruce Lee
his ass.

But, my aim was a bit off.

As it turns out, Guy's unconciousness was more a function of his head bouncing off the concrete rather then my fists beating him mercilessly. This was clear because my fists were, in fact, not beating him mercilessly. Rather, they were mercilessly beating my friend and ally "Concrete".

After what was, conservatively, a dozen errant haymakers into the sidewalk, I got up and sprinted the remaining two blocks to my apartment complex where schoolmates were enjoying an after party. They were shocked and horrified at the sight of my hands and immediately concerned for my well-being.

(3 years later I still have light red discoloration and slight scaring over the proximal knuckles of my index, middle and ring fingers on both hands.)

They were acting oddly the next day (well, more oddly than their usual condescension)... like I was some kind of horrible, wretched person. This confused me because I thought surely even the Ivy-League educated liberals from Penn and UC Berkley lawschools would think somebody was entitled to defend themselves in such a situation.

I then recalled the night before and remembered a growing uneasiness in the group as I gave my account. This genuinely concerned me and led me to investigate. I asked my roommates Jensen and Cirelli why I was being made to feel like I was Satan Incarnate.

As Jensen described it, my drunken explanation of the evening's events made several of them (who were of Jewish decent) think I, their red-necked yokel of a classmate who had no business reading from the same books as them, beat a man unconscious because I thought he was carrying falafels and presumed him a Jew. My fraternally supportive roommates saw much greater entertainment in the ensuing ethnic tension than in anything else that could potentially happen the rest of the evening so they allowed Josephus and his hags to persist in their horror of the mistaken lynching.


Predictably, this marked the last time I drank in Europe... unless of course you count the Irish Whiskey tasting contest I lost to a woman closely resembling Chewbacca's sister... but, for obvious reasons, we seldom discuss that and certainly do not count it in any measure.