Actor and comedian Paul Scheer penned a recent piece for the New York Times‘ The First Time column, in which “cultural figures write about the first time they experienced something that greatly affected their lives.” In Scheer’s case, he wrote about the first time he’d gotten into a bar fight. (And one would have to assume only … maybe?)
After welcoming his first child in 2014, Scheer, who is married to actress June Diane Raphael, recalls the trials and tribulations of new parenting. When their son was about six weeks old, the frazzled new parents finally decided to get out of the house to check out a new watering hole in their neighborhood, trying to be the “cool” parents who bring their baby to a bar. “It was a place that catered to a crowd of people who did not have a care in the world,” he recalled. “Basically us nine months earlier.”
Shortly after they arrived however, Scheer and his wife ended up running afoul of one of the bar’s more colorful patrons, described as a “hipster version of Pitbull complete with an extra long scarf,” who even more colorfully ordered for Scheer to “get your bitch out of my seat.”
Whereas cooler heads may have normally prevailed, Scheer writes that it was perhaps the combination of stress and sleeplessness that brought out the alpha male in him. After some back and forth with a loaded “excuse me” and “oh yeah,” it appeared that sh*t was about to go down.
And then, a hand came out of nowhere and slapped the guy across the face. “Was that my hand? No,” Scheer writes, adding the kicker: “I turned to see it belonged to my wife!”
There is nothing more insulting than a smack across the face. It’s the quickest way to humiliate someone. When you smack someone across the face, you are essentially saying, I don’t care enough to hit you. I just want to embarrass you.
When the guy turned back to us a red handprint was smeared across his face. He looked shocked, and then he just ran. Like a deflated high school bully from an ’80s movie.
Having defeated the enemy, Scheer and his wife enjoyed a free round of drinks on the house before the bartender casually informed them that the guy she slapped was a recently released convict and possibly dangerous — at which point, they hauled ass out of there and never went back.
In retrospect the essay’s title was a bit misleading, since it was technically Raphael who got in the fight, but this sounds exhilarating nonetheless. Men, get you a lady who can get your back in a bar fight and you’ve found a keeper.