Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Maybe things aren't all THAT bad...

The other day, I saw two guys in a fight outside a bar. At 5:30PM. On a weekday.
Now, I'm a self-loathing pessimist who has lost every last shred of faith, hope, self esteem and confidence and who is inclined (especially lately...good gawd) to believe that not only is the glass half empty, but that someone probably did something inappropriate to it with their genitals before serving it to me, but even I recognize I'm not that bottomed out.
Think about it: how many things have to go horribly wrong for you to find yourself in a fight outside a bar at 5:30PM on a weekday?
Let's break it down...
  • You're in a fight outside a bar at 5:30PM on a weekday - The biggest thing that keeps me from being a criminal is the disparity between the risk and the reward. In most cases, the penalty for getting caught doing something illegal is too severe for what's at stake if you get away with it (the one exception I've ever seen was an article I saw a while back that said guys with speedboats who smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S. can make up to $1.5 million a trip but face a six month sentence in jail if they get caught. I'd be seriously tempted to risk a lousy six months for a $1.5 million payday). Fighting puts you at risk for at least two penalties: going to jail on any number of charges plus the possibility of getting your ass whipped in the fight itself versus a reward of...what? Proving a point? Dumb, dumb decision, hothead.
  • You're in a fight outside a bar at 5:30PM on a weekday - You're not even inside the bar, which is in all likelihood, a shithole populated with lowlifes (see next point). That means however obnoxious and sleazy the activity taking place inside is, your behavior is deemed just too unsavory for the management and patrons to tolerate and you've been asked, possibly at aluminum softball bat-point, to kindly and promptly remove yourself from the establishment, sir.
  • You're in a fight outside a bar at 5:30PM on a weekday - Going to bars is a perfectly acceptable social activity, but it's generally considered a nocturnal activity and is not something that most people engage in three hours before the sun goes down. If you're at a bar at 5:30PM on a weekday, either you just got off work and made a beeline there...or you work a later shift and you're getting tanked before going in...or for whatever reason, you had no prior commitments or responsibilities that day (unless you did and you blew them off) and have already been there for hours. None of these portray you as a nice, decent contributing member of society. The only time nice, decent contributing members of society are in a bar at 5:30 on a weekday is if they're getting together for happy hour with friends and/or co-workers at some place like Chili's. And places like Chili's don't usually have people getting into fights outside unless it's an argument between soccer moms over who gets to park in the express pick-up parking space so they can run inside and get their to-go order of veggie-teasers.

So anyway, yeah, if this is what people mean when they tell me to count my blessings, I guess I get it now. At least I'm not those guys.

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