Uncorking A Bottle of Whoopass

Pre-game brawls in parking lots. Waves of projectiles hurled at someone wearing a rival jersey. Violence erupting in the grandstands. These acts have become acceptable (and, at times, expected) at any given major league sporting event. And, as a result of our nation’s increasingly nonchalant attitude of ‘boys will be boys’, this behavior has begun to slither its way into other areas of our culture. From small towns to metropolitan sprawls, police nationwide have all reported a disturbing trend: a rise in violence stemming from over-enthusiastic fans.

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“Excuse me, young man. I’m sorry to interrupt, but some spectators mentioned you were a &%$# sucking @@$%#@# that eats $%^#@$ by the pound and has $%&*@ and %#$^@#$ for brains. I just wanted to know if that was true.”

Gone are the days when good-natured ribbing over a rival interest was met with a hearty laugh or, perhaps, a friendly wager. The drunken brute attendee of your father’s days (the one whose loud criticisms of outcomes or performances might get him escorted to the nearest exit) has been replaced by the drunken brute with a knife or gun who is willing to risk life in prison on behalf of his brand loyalty.

While media coverage of these events is relatively scarce, one story has emerged out of Illinois:

***

A recent performance of La Boheme at Chicago’s Metropolitan Opera ended in the arrest of six and the hospitalization of one. An investigation by police determined that the catalyst for the incident was what they termed ‘team loyalty’.

One witness was Jasper J. Delacroix, husband to Madeline Meinholt, heir to the Meinholt Manhole Cover Design firm. In attendance with Sindy Staxx, a young woman he began to call his Consulting Economic Marketing Engineer Consultant before introducing her as his adoptive niece from out of town, Mr. Delacroix described the incident. “Well, it began just after the second act. A young upstart by the name of Whitehend stood up and claimed that, while La Boheme is a wonderful opera, that it ‘did not hold water’, I believe the exact phrase was, to anything penned by Pagliacci. Immediately following this statement, Whitehend and some of his chums engaged in what some have called high-fiving.

image

“Miss Staxx? Oh, well, she is my, uh, my niece. Yes, niece. From my sister’s ex-husband’s side of the family, I believe. Wonderful girl. But, how are you, Eleanor? Still writing the society gossip page, are you?”

“Well, it was then that Arthur Merriwhether, chairman of the opera’s board of supervisors, stood and said something that was a complete contradiction of young Whitehend’s comment. In a matter of moments, Merriwhether and Whitehend were rolling down the aisle engaged in fisticuffs like common factory workers arguing over a two dollar bill. Well, everyone in our box seat, including myself and Miss Staxx, began to watch the melée instead of the opera. So engrossed were we by this act of barbarianism that we completely forgot about Musetta’s Waltz.”

Ushers were immediately called in to calm the spectacle and the opera resumed.

Still, police say that tempers continued to flare and ferment. Once the fourth act was complete, old wounds were opened and soon all Hades broke loose.

Lionel Firth provides sound effects for whenever an audience member gets off a good zinger.

Lionel Firth provides sound effects for whenever an audience member gets off a good zinger.

Fueled by pride, competitiveness and the complimentary 2006 Woodburn Chardonnay served during intermission, all parties involved wanted to have both the final word and the upper hand.

Officer Jerome Carter was one of the first on the scene. “As the crowd spilled out into the street, it seems this Whitehend guy and his buddies took off their jackets to show the letters ‘NP’ monogrammed across their shirt pockets. NP is for the Northside Pagliacci’s. Those guys are bad news. They were all hopped up on wine and culture and looking for trouble.”

"I don't know about you fellows, but this Northside P is feeling a bit querulous, this evening. Anyone up for some engaging in a fracas?"

“I don’t know about you fellows, but this Northside P is feeling a bit querulous, this evening. Anyone up for engaging in a fracas?”

“Whitehend spotted this other man, Merriwhether, getting into a reserved town car and said something to him, I don’t know what really. Anyway, Merriwhether strolls over to the Northside P’s all calm and collected, acting like maybe he was going to try to make peace, ya know? Then, out of nowhere, this Merriwhether reaches into his overcoat, pulls out a blackjack and clocks this Whitehend over the head and down he goes. Immediately, the Northside crew went to work on Merriwhether. I mean, the last place you wanna be is getting stomped by 4-5 guys who don’t care if they get a scuff mark on their Salvatore Ferragamo’s. That’s some scary stuff, ya know? I’d rather be shot in the face than be on the receiving end of that patent leather smackdown. So, anyway, then the wife of this Merriwhether comes over and goes ballistic on the North P’s, hitting ‘em with her purse. Later, we find out that she had had a flask in there, so that thing probably hurt like hell.”

In response to the outbreak of violence, Francis Darbinville has taken to wearing a bulletproof truss when attending the opera.

In response to the outbreak of violence, Francis Darbinville has taken to wearing a bulletproof truss when attending the opera.

All parties involved were released the next day on their own recognizance. When asked why no charges were filed, officer Carter shrugged, “Every one of these folks were wealthy and white. Do you even have to ask?”

***

This is only one story, one incident, but representative of a larger problem facing our society. If good sportsmanship and open mindedness are allowed to become as extinct in our modern culture as, say, lawn darts or CB radio slang, then we have failed future generations. Gentlemanly arguments and civil disagreements, in the years to come, will suffer the same fate as the character of Mimi in La Boheme. That’s right, consumption. It will all die from consumption.

Let that sink in and maybe you’ll think twice before letting your next viewing party go from hot wings and potato chips to mayhem and bloodshed.

Categories: Fiction Fiasco, Smartass | Tags: , , , , , | 60 Comments

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60 thoughts on “Uncorking A Bottle of Whoopass

  1. I shall never go to another event!

  2. Arthur Merriweather is a jerk.

  3. i’d rather take my chances at a yankees-red sox game. at least i won’t be fooled by the tuxedos. excellent job, sir. i would have written that entire piece myself, if only i could.

    • I’d probably still get beaten up, once I show my ignorance of the teams , the players, what an RBI is and how it’s different than GTO or an STD.

  4. heh, the the NP’s der a buncha’ white tiger pantiewaistes, we rumble wit dem all the time here on da northside. snap a strap on der corsets, dats all ya gotta do.

    but seriously, good natured silliness is a thing of the past at sporting events. i had season tix for Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks during the 80’s and then, even when the hated Packers came to town, we could have a few brews and still have fun with the out of Green Bay fans. now, not so much.

    these days it’s safer and cheaper to stay home and enjoy the game on my HD flatscreen.

  5. You should see the chaos erupt during a bingo hall brawl. Blue hair, dentures, and random suspender straps strewn everywhere…

    • I’m nauseous just thinking about it. “G-22. G as in ‘gonna get your ass beat’, 22. G-22.”

  6. Oh my! I do say those cads make my fair city a very shameful place, indeed!

  7. By Jove, positively top drawer, old man!

  8. Yeah, maybe, but alliances and loyalty run deeply with me when it comes to my teams. Louisville (my hometown) played Moorehead State in Denver during the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tourney two years ago. I diligently paid my $500 entry fee for two tickets and prepared to watch my team dominate. We didn’t, but it wasn’t the loss that was so bad, it was the attitude of this asshole sitting in front of me who heckled me (in a passive agressive kind of way but mostly aggressive) for the entire game. At the end, my husband had to physically restrain me from jumping on his back and lobbing some serious girl punches into the side of his skull. I did manage to pour a $12.00 beer over his head before I left though, which was pretty much the highlight of my day.

    Keep in mind that I’m a calm, rational, peaceful person. Except when it comes to bad-mouthing my team. Then you’re putting your life in my hands, and that’s a scary thought. =)

  9. I like to think that when one is hopped up on wine they are always equally hopped up on culture. The two go hand in hand… unless it’s Franzia.

  10. After reading this spot-on assessment about the decline of Western Civilization, I’m going to shift my investment funds from utility stocks to bulletproof trusses.

  11. Holy crap–opera just got interesting. “I’m the Barber of Seville! Figa-this, m*****f*****!”
    And once again, you have touched briefly upon my credulity with the opera violence story.

    Still, when it comes to sporting violence, we’re light-years behind our European cousins, who have taken soccer hooliganism to exciting new heights and heretofore undreamed-of body counts.

  12. Mike, you’re a complete fucking genius, dude. You have such a unique niche and style. This was like reading a paper outta the sixties?! It blows my mind that you don’t have a publishing contract. Have you self published anything?

    • You’re very generous in your compliments, Adam. It does mean a lot, trust me. I have not self-published anything, no. I am working on more pieces to actually shop around, so who knows what will happen. Probably a psychic does or a really insightful gypsy, but I don’t personally know what will happen. Also, the gypsy cursed me, so now I have to deal with that.

      • I think you really have a unique thing going on. All the vintage photos make me think of a Calahan + David Dixon matchup. Blow that shit up, you know?

        I’m surrounded by fucking gypsies. I’ve run into the same problem before.

        Try this: pour olive oil on your head, then burn a bag of marshmallows in the Northeast corner of your house.

        …I’m just kidding. I made that shit up.

        Hey, by the way, do you wanna be included in *The Roast?*

        • Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the rights from Life to publish any piece using those as illustrations.

          And, yeah, roast away!

  13. Some guy once called me the C-word at a baseball game because it was a hometown (Mariners) game, and I was wearing the opposing team’s (A’s) jersey. I started fake crying to garner crowd sympathy and it worked. The douche left.

    Also, what Adam said.

  14. Never liked opera. Always felt it attracted the wrong element.

  15. Pingback: Grab a Tissue Because it’s Time for The First Inaugural MRTB Roast. | MY RIGHT TO BITCH

  16. LOL @ ” I mean, the last place you wanna be is getting stomped by 4-5 guys who don’t care if they get a scuff mark on their Salvatore Ferragamo’s”

    Also, our headmaster had a saying when he thought there was about to be violence, which he says duelling gents used to use: “There’ll be wigs on the green”. I don’t know why that popped into my mind.

    • Wigs on the green. That’s brilliant.
      Also… You had a headmaster? That only happens in movies.

      • And rural Irish primary schools, apparently. He still teaches there, still with the pork chop sideburns, flared plaid suit and yellow dress shirt. No doubt his pupils are still in terror of him and his encyclopaedic knowledge of all the rivers and valleys of Ireland, in Gaelic…

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