Thursday, 7 February 2013
At the far reaches of the lounge bar in the Wayside Tavern the manager was cornered, by three angry men, total strangers all and oozing menace.
Their intention was to "get" him as retaliation for the eviction a few minutes earlier of the 4th member of their party.
With superior numbers, apparent superior physical condition, psychological preparation, and with youth on their side, the ambush was sprung. They announced their intention in coarse language, positioned themselves with one on each side (the wall being the 4th side) and made their move.
The manager was no slouch, as would be indicated by the fact after a 20 year career in the cabaret (nightclub) industry he still wore a fully tied (not a clip-on) necktie to work every shift.
Effortlessly, but with no holding back, he got stuck into the trio, twisting thumbs brutally, using catapault force to kick crotches, poking eyes, using elbows to drive the wind from lungs & so on.
The entire incident took only a few seconds, the tie remained immaculate and he wasn't breathing heavily.
Seeing the (brief) melee Mine Host & two other staff whizzed across the room, just as the manager completed establishing his supremacy.
However something seemed odd. While two were prone on the floor, conscious but unable to move, the third of the assailants was upright but hunched over in extreme agitation.
In a mind numbing flash, we all saw at once that an eye was popped out, hanging loose on his cheek like a marble on a string.
Time stood still.
Then, proving (as always) that if you have enough people around, you will have one of everything, a nearby customer strode over, got Mr Eyeball to stand up straight, positioned the eye high on the cheek, and with the heel of his hand calmly bumped it back into place (as if it were a trackball going back into a computer mouse).
The three assailants gingerly got to their feet and equally as gingerly stumbled away.
Nobody moved or said anything for a while. Then the manager, unruffled as always, noted that the training he had received many years before, on how to defend himself when unarmed, had taught him to poke into eye sockets, but there had been no mention of what to do if the eye popped out, and it was "quite handy" that the unknown patron happened to be on the spot to save the day.
Then we all returned to our work as if nothing had happened.
Reproduced by kind permission of the author. This article originally appeared here. All original material is copyright of its author. Fair use permitted. Contact via comment.