By Steve Vaz
This is a true story, no doo-doo! And we all know when any Sailor starts a story with that line, that it would be impossible to strain out of all the following words, the tiniest fib or the most minuscule fabrication, with a fine-toothed comb.
All kidding aside, this really is a true story that proves that real men can be throwing fists at each other one night, and throwing back drinks with each other the next. No harm. No Foul. No hard feelings.
A buddy and I were walking down Argyll Street after closing the Pub. Back then the bars closed just about the same time that the party was just getting started: 2300 hours. So as we walked past another pub a bunch of local guys came staggering out. It turned out that one of them had been drinking some of that Joe Louis Whiskey. Unfortunately, my Buddy Doc and I had also been drinking that Joe Louis Whiskey.
Well one of these local blokes said something about f***ing Yanks. This caught our attention, even though we had a few pints of beer in us that night, under that Joe Lewis Whiskey. So Mr. Big Mouth ( that would be me) looked him in the face and said, “pardon me?” Noticing a mug of beer in his hand, I commanded him. “Put that mug down ‘cause I’m gonna kick your ass!” Now, if that won’t start a fight, I don’t know what will.
Without comment, he slowly set the mug on the window ledge…And it was on!
There were four of them, with more pouring out of the Pub. I was a regular Donnie Brook. Doc and I set ourselves back to back, feet set in a combat stance, fists up and clenched tight, and we battled these guys hard. Suddenly Doc grabbed one, and Judo-threw the guy right through a storefront window.
That managed to instantly take the fight out of the rest of us.
Everyone knew that the cops would be coming soon, and even if they didn’t, this drunken brawl had already gotten more dangerous than any of us had intended. Me and Doc, like the Scottish Yankee-haters, decided that exiting this situation was probably the best move we could make at the moment.
We ran down the street a hundred feet or so, when we heard one of our shipmates call out. “Hey! You guys okay? Need any help?”
“Not now! Doc yelled back. “Where the hell were you a few minutes ago?!”
This fight story doesn’t end there. Sometime later I started drinking at a local Pub on Queen Street, called the Sundowner. There I was, drinking some more of that Joe Lewis Whiskey, while shooting darts with this local Scottish guy. Unprovoked, he spoke up and said, “You know, I feel sorry for you Yanks.”
My guard went up immediately, and I thought here we go again. I turned my back on the dartboard before my next throw, looked him in the face and asked, “Yeah? Why’s that?” Anticipating his wise-ass reply.
He explained. “Well, you know, here you are, way over here and so far away from home.” Then he added apologetically, “you know, I used to give you guys a real hard time. But then some Yank threw me through a plate-glass window!”
I bought him a pint to chase a couple more shots of Whiskey, and we reminisced about the great Dunoon Donnie Brook.