Looks like pretty good cardio.
10. Attempt to Defuse. Most melees benefit from a spark, a ‘drunken escalation’ that cooler heads could smother. If one of the belligerents, for example, asserts “Your friend has a beef with my brother” then offer to buy the brother (and the belligerent) some beef, preferably some burgers on 2-for-1 night. Think of the health benefits—no broken bones!—of chopped steak in a bun!
9. Stay Put. If a scrum or ruck breaks out, don’t move. The reason being: everyone in a ruckus reacts and then they experience damage to life, limb, or property. Imagine a zen-like stance in which all the bar stools, bowling pins, dip cans, beer slicks, monopoly pieces, hairbrushes, ashcans, Grecian urns, French-fried potatoes, invective, and rubber snakes crash around you.
8. Forget Civility. Contrary to what you might think, you do not enjoy protection under the Geneva Convention, among other treaties. You cannot become a prisoner of war in a brawl since it places an undue administrative burden on the other side. Calling the cops would only add a third side to the conflict, a side notorious for taking everybody, regardless of justice, as prisoner.
7. Suggested Tactics. The Consultant-in-Scrums to Blood And Gutstein (Anonymous, Marine Corps, Ret.) offers one word: Epiglottis. Disable the epiglottis and the opponent will tumble. Of course, in a scrum, you might need to disable several epiglottises. We also advise pinches, eye-pokes, tickles, nose-pulls, wallet-grabs, and sycophantism: basically the Three Stooges playbook.
6. If Those Don’t Work. Go crazy. Scream like a wildebeest. Beat your bosom and lash out in all directions, even if that means walloping a friend. Chances are that friend did something to wrong you at some point and deserves a clatter. There you are, going crazy, and what? The melee ceases. Everybody has grabbed hold of everybody else, but paused, staring at you going nuts.
5. If You Detect a Foreign Language. Beware words like “Fook” and “Feck” as they may indicate the beginnings of a considerable ruckus. Listen carefully for other clues. If, for example, you hear the thumpety-thump of darts into a dartboard then the words “Fook” and “Feck” should not be feared, and at worst, may indicate the misfortune of a shanked treble.
4. Consider the Landscape. If a brawl erupts at the ocean, you have one fewer direction in which to run. The waves are there to toss you back toward the rumble, and so you really can’t swim away. Potentially, the entire rumble could transpire in the surf, which might attract the attention of sharks. (Jets, too.) Shark-human alliances are rare; sharks usually devour all the combatants.
3. Nursing Physical Wounds. Click over to Google Wounds to get a real-time view of the contusions you sustained in a scrum. It’s a helpful app. You can also get directions to the original site of your wounds, estimate the time it’ll take to heal your wounds, and rate your wounds—you know, give them, like, four bandages out of five. Otherwise, apply plasters and lean meats.
2. Nursing Psychic Wounds. We at Blood And Gutstein realize that there are wounds, and there is trauma. Let’s talk trauma. We mean the invisible mark of a melee that endures—like the stranded Cosmonaut—in the dark vacuum of your soul. Or maybe that’s just the odor of really bad beer that even the old Arm & Hammer can’t manage to cleanse from shirt and trouser alike.
1. Should You Attend Your 25 Year Melee Reunion? We think you should. You get to see how things have turned out for everyone in the melee. Well, everyone who’s not incarcerated. People have put on weight. Started families. Self-radicalized their politics. Of course, there’s always the risk of another brawl, but isn’t that just part of the essential tension that informs our lives?
This post dedicated to Terence Winch.