Hospital beds around the world are filled with people who yap off a little bit too frequently. Be it a matter of arguing with someone who has just collided with your car or discussing politics with friends or even asking your neighbours to remove Christmas decorations from their lawn because it's now May and the kids are asking why Santa's head is now a nesting place for crows, one wrong word, a misinterpreted phrase, may lead people to fistfights and thence to the Emergency Room.
I'm proud to say that for most of my life thus far I have managed to dodge trouble like an off-key Asian business man dodges rotten tomatoes hurled at him at rough Karaoke bars. With the suave confidence of a successful riverboat gambler
I have extracted myself from many a tense situation. Part Jedi mind trick
, part verbal judo
, I have been confronted by evil-looking hombres with 'love' and 'hate' tattooed on their knuckles
, brandishing switchblades that they use to carve their initials into "meddlers" and end up, ten minutes later, telling jokes and high-fiving these guys. However....Tuesday Night
( I'm imagining "Roy", the owner of the Amethyst bar, watching this Howard Hughes
-like on the surveillance cameras. With Fu Manchu-esque fingernails slowly digging into 350 gallons of Baskin-Robbins banana nut ice cream he stares intently at the screens)
7:20- Fatman arrives slightly intoxicated for his seven o'clock shift. There is no sound but he seems to be singing lewd sea shanties at the top of his lungs. Staff force strong coffee into him.
7:25- Fatman has a few more "quiet drinks" with longtime regular, writer, poet and drunkard (this is one person I'm talking about here) Adam J. Murray.
8:34- Adam leaves the building. Fatman keeps drinking. Alone.
9:20- Chef Steve (who used to work across the road four years ago) enters the bar with two girls and a guy completely startling Fatman who looks as he was asleep at the end of the bar. Lip reading experts
would later proclaim with 98% certainty that the first words coming from Fatman's mouth was "poopie trim"
. Whatever that means.
9:27- Chef Steve's friend 
, an English buffoon, begins to irritate Fatman.
9:32- Fatman's friends Matt and Cammy, from Blue Bar and La La Land respectively, come in for a quiet chat about work.
9:36- Chef Steve's idiot Yorkshire friend interrupts Matt and Cammy's conversation.
Matt (with uncharacteristic restraint) : Sorry pal but we're in the middle of a conversation.
Yorkshire Git (sarcastically) : Oooooooh. It's an important conversation is it? I didn't mean to get in the way of such
an important conversation.
9:37- Matt (to Fatman) :I'm going to leave before I hit this guy.
Fatman: I won't stop you.
9:39- Matt and Cammy leave. Fatman cuts off idiot
9:55- Fatman's other friend Surya comes in after a hard days' work. Just wanting a few beers.
10:12- Yorkshire Git lurches towards the bar. One of the two girls that came in with Chef Steve had ordered too many drinks in the last round and there was an extra bourbon and coke on the bar. The Git snatches it and starts drinking it without asking anyone if it is theirs first.
10:13- Fatman grabs bourbon from the counter and pours it down the sink.
10:16- The Git realises his drink is missing.
10:17- The Git grabs Surya's beer from the counter and starts drinking it much to the surprise of Surya and Fatman.
10:17 and 30 seconds- Fatman snatches the Git's mobile phone that had been lying on the bar counter with cobra-like speed. Says something like: 'OK champ. Here's how it's going to work. You are going to reach into your wallet right now and buy this man a beer. Then there will be no problem. If you do not, there will be a problem. I will dunk your mobile phone into this glass half filled with beer.'
10:17 and 33 seconds- The Git takes another sip of beer.
10:17 and 34 seconds- Fatman dunks the mobile phone into a glass of beer.
10:17 and 35 seconds- A cockroach stares at all this worriedly.
10:18- Fatman shows the Git a muddling stick-a wooden thing half the size of a baseball bat and used for muddling (crushing) limes and such for cocktails. 'Now, I'm going to give you ten seconds to leave the premises. If you do not I will go around the counter and crack your melon-head with this thing.'
10:18 and 10 seconds- The Git has not moved.
10:18 and 11 seconds- Fatman is on the other side of the bar on the verge of caving the Git's head in but one of the girls that came in with Chef Steve is blocking his way.
10:18 and 12 seconds till 10:19- A lot of yelling. Chef Steve, taking in the increasingly violent scene, offers to cart the Git away. 'It's probably for the best,' says Fatman. But not exactly in those words. Surya is laughing at the whole situation.
...And that was pretty much that. Except it wasn't. Twenty minutes later one of the girls storms off from the bar. The other chick, looking bewildered, says 'I...wasn't expecting that.'
'I've just found out that the girl who just left is a lesbian and held a secret crush on me for months. This may become an ugly situation.'
Her phone starts to ring. The first of many other calls that night.
Fatman Needless to say that the less successful dudes end up being tossed overboard and swallowed up by the Mississippi, and eventually, end their careers as the stomach contents of an alligator. Ah, the Circle of Life. Chef Steve: Nah, he's not my friend. He's my brother's friend's brother. He just came knocking on my door saying that he's in Melbourne for a week and needs a couch to crash on. He's an idiot.