Friday, April 5, 2013

Doorman Punches a Guy at Chipotle

I'm not a violent person. Nor am I a tough guy. Sure, I've grown a brass set of balls out here, but it doesn't always translate to the outside world. When I'm in my uniform, I feel like I'm somewhat protected by it, like the hat and overcoat are my silent bouncer standing 6'5 with his arms crossed in the corner. People think twice before taking a swing at someone in a uniform, no matter how goofy and demoralizing said uniform can be. I've had many situations where I've said things to a civilian or taxi driver or street scammer that, had I just been some weak-chinned passerby in street clothes, would have gotten me punched in the mouth.

Having said that, I'm usually pretty confident about getting into these little altercations without it becoming physical. Though once I step away from my post and out into public, things change. As I've mentioned in some blog way back when, I haven't been in a fistfight since high school. Even that wasn't much of a fight on my end - I grabbed some kid by the collar of his shirt and his twelve guido friends pinned me down and punched me in the face for about thirty seconds (that's how Staten Island teenagers fight).

I never seek trouble or go out looking for a fight. I'm almost thirty, and the thought of having to remember how to use my fists to defend myself gives me heartburn. Though sometimes an incident happens so quickly that you forget about all of that and simply react:

It was a bad day. You've read about at least fifty of my bad days. I don't need to go into too much detail there. The last straw on that particular day was a guy at work that I can't stand using his seniority to bump me for a day off that I really needed. About twenty minutes after that, we got into a heated argument over money. The amount? Three dollars. He skimmed three dollars from a cash-out that all of the bell staff were supposed to divide evenly, and I called him out. I was disgusted for two reasons: 1- The principal that he thinks I'm too dumb to know how much I have coming to me. 2 - I'm actually getting upset and fighting over three fucking dollars.

So when my break came around at 9:15pm, I was like a rabid animal being released into the wild. The last thing I said to my buddy who relieved my post was "I'd give anything to catch him in the locker room and knock his fucking block off!" He shouldn't have let me go anywhere.

Feeling down in the dumps, I decided that it was time to stuff my face. I thought of one thing that would make me feel better:


I love Chipotle. Seriously, there's no reason NOT to love Chipotle. If Chipotle were a vagina, it would belong to the most beautiful woman on earth, and she would be saving herself for immaculate conception.

My anger was beginning to slowly fizzle out of me. The image of an eager Mexican woman dumping globs of guacamole and sour cream onto a chicken burrito bowl was dancing in my head, and my average walking speed had turned to about a four and a half on the treadmill. When I got there, of course, there was a line to the fucking door.

This little act of impatience would prove costly - a couple had hesitated to debate whether to lock down seats or wait in the line. I didn't have time for this shit, so I moved ahead of them. I could feel their tension behind me, like they were pissed of about being cut but didn't want to start something, so they put their jackets on some seats and got in line behind me. In front of me, a taller man in his late-thirties thumbed though his blackberry.

The line moved pretty swiftly until just before I got to where they take your order. Then, as if they were sent from the demons of tourist hell, were some fucking cunty Europeans, who clearly had never had the Chipotle experience.

"Ehhhh.... what is this?"


"Ehhhh.... what is this?"

"Also beans."

"Ehhhh.... what is this?"


"Ehhhh.... what is this?"


"Ehhhh.... what is this?"


"Ehhhh.... what is this?"

"A different colored rice."

This went on for at least three minutes, which in fast-food-line-waiting-time translates to a seven hour bus ride sitting between two obese people. The man in front of me and the hoards of hungry consumers behind me were getting really fucking impatient. It set a bad vibe through the whole joint.

The fuckhead tourist eventually gets two tacos with chicken and a pinch of mild salsa. Nothing else. In a tizzy, the man in front of me speed-orders exactly what I'm getting - chicken bowl with everything except for the hot salsa. Perfect. I instruct the portly server to make exactly what she just made him to expedite the process, handed the cashier my debit card and make a bee-line for the drink stand to get my napkins and fork to go.

The guy in front of me had opted to stay, and just filled his drink and placed it on the tray. I took a glance at his food, and was excited that after a quick sprint back to the hotel, I would be greedily shoveling this into my piehole like I had just been recused from a three-year hostage situation in a third-world country.

In my overeagerness, I reached over the guy's cup that he had just filled. It was one of those situations where I could have waited a second, but I thought I had enough room to reach where it wouldn't be rude. I misread how much space I actually had, and in turn the buttons on my sleeve got caught on the lid of his soda.

I didn't notice it right away, but when I did, it was too late. The lid flew off, and soda spilled all over his food and onto the counter.


I immediately felt like a horses-ass. My first impulse to grab a napkin and put it on his food, which I hesitated to do. I looked at his face for a brief second, and he was fucking pissed. No napkin wiping would reverse the damage, so I immediately offered to do the right thing:

Doorman - "Sir, I'm so sorry. Let me-"

And before I could offer to buy him a new one, no questions asked, he cut me off.

Guy - "Just get the fuck away from me."

After six hours of being dismissed by people like I'm some sort of peon servant, this made my blood boil. On any other day, I would have just said "Alright, was gonna buy you a new one" and walked away. This time I didn't. I stood there for a split-second, and waited for the next thing to happen.

He took a napkin and placed it on the lake of Sprite that sat on the counter and hadn't flowed to the edge yet. With that, he splashed some soda onto my jacket. For that ever-so-brief moment, my brain and body went into a complete disconnect. Before I could even process that he had splashed his drink onto me, my right fist had already gone into motion.

I threw clean shot, just between his hip and rib cage.

He was in good shape. His stomach was hard as a rock. If he had done the same to me, it would have felt like he was trying to put his fist through a ziplock bag full of mayonnaise. Still, I blasted him hard enough to where he dropped the napkin and hunched over. My mind and body quickly synched back up and, I have no fucking idea why, the voice of Dave Chappelle entered my head:

Oh, fuck!!! Nigga, you just hit a guy!!!

I had no idea what to do. The last time I threw the first punch in a fight, I was twelve and the kid was bigger than me. This resulted in him pulling my jacket over my head and pummeling me till a teacher broke it up.


He looked at me, stunned. I took a step back.




God damnit! How the hell do people do this shit??? He's gonna hit you!!! 

At this point, everyone is Chipotle was focused on us. I knew it, and the guy knew it. He had fire in his eyes. He wanted to hit me. It was only a matter of seconds before people started pressing record on their smartphones. While praying that he didn't have any interest in a rumble with some doorman in the middle of a Chipotle, I kept yelling:


Still with my fists up like I'm an extra in Gangs of New York, I saw the moment of hitting me back pass in him.

Guy - "Just get the fuck away from me, fat ass!"

"Fat ass?" OK, that stung a bit.

Doorman - "Fuck you!"

And I walked out. As I turned the corner of the glass window, he went to sit down at the booth and we made eye contact. Then, like some homo-erotic rough-sex fantasy, he smiled at me like he wanted to fuck me. I wasn't sure if it were just a mind-fuck, because I blow kisses as screaming taxi drivers to antagonize them all the time, but it made me wildly uncomfortable. I opted to give him the finger.

On the walk back, a thousand thoughts raced through my head. My adrenaline was pumping so fast that I felt like I could have ran to Long Island and back before my lunch break was over. All I could think of were those times where I would listen to my Old Man and brothers talk about bar fights over dinner like triumphant war stories while I twirled my spaghetti and waited for them to move on so I could finally start talking again. Now, I understood it. The feeling of remorse for assaulting someone was being significantly trumped by the fact that I stuck up for myself and used my fist to prove a point, like a fucking man would.

I got back to work all riled up, telling all the guys that happened. They thought it was hysterical, because all of my stories usually end with me being humiliated and coming out the loser.

I went into the break room and ate every last savory crumb of my burrito bowl, because I wanted to prove to myself that I wouldn't let his "fat ass" comment get to me, even though the incident had completely ruined my appetite. (If that isn't dysfunctional eating, I don't know what is.)

For the rest of the night, all I could think of was going home to write about it. Though as the night went on, I calmed down, processed it, and eventually decided to hold off.

This was a few weeks ago. I've had enough time to digest what had happened, and I'd like to bring up a few bullet points:

- I'm not in the right for hitting him. No one should resort to punching someone else. I understand that. It was stupid of me to do, and being that I hit him while in my uniform, I could have gotten in a lot of trouble.

- If I hadn't cut that couple when I walked in, none of this would have happened. Karma is a saucy little minx.

- I think that if I were wearing a suit (or any other clothing), he wouldn't have spoken to me like that. Like I was beneath him. I think that's the core of why I reacted the way I did. I could have forgiven the verbal comment, but the soda is a completely different story. He treated me like I was piece of shit, unworthy of making an honest mistake in his presence, but came out of the incident having soggy food and being punched by a doorman.

- He probably talks to people like that all the time. Next time, he'll be a little more careful.

- I have absolutely no regrets about hitting him. With all of the shit that I deal with every day, which I've shared only a fraction of on this blog, someone was bound to get the brunt of my frustration. I'm just glad it was some smug yuppie that doesn't know how to talk to people. And I'm even more glad that I didn't go to jail.

Or actually have to fight.

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