Salt Lake City, UT – 2005
My girlfriend and her roommates decided to have a house party. They invited a bunch of friends, most of whom I didn’t know. But these girls were friendly and didn’t draw a rough crowd, which was always a concern of mine. It would be fun, I thought, to party with some mellow people.
In addition to the mellow crowd, my brother showed up to the party. This was the first time we had shown up to the same party and we were excited to hang out in mixed company. The party rolled on and by the second hour everything was smooth and entertaining.
But by the third hour, a group of loud shit heads showed up, already drunk from a previous party. One of them – the big, thick, loudest one – immediately established himself as the party douche bag. But the mood was still good and everyone else at the party seems to ignore him. I was pleased to let it slide and enjoy myself.
But it wasn’t long before this thick kid was walking room to room daring people to hit him, calling them pussies, and challenging them to a dick measuring contest. I was always game for this kind of thing, but sensing this he avoided me and targeted smaller and weaker party goers. At one point he picked up a knife from the kitchen and made several superficial cuts on his arm, sneering at the crowd of onlookers, “I don’t give a shit about pain, I like to bleeeed.”
It wasn’t long before he noticed my brother and challenged him to hit him as hard as he could. I laughed to myself, knowing that my brother had trained with me for years and that he could punch really hard if he wanted to. He didn’t look the part, which is probably why this fellow challenged him; he was thin and lean, had a cheerful disposition and a natural aversion to conflict. I, on the other hand, was standing in the kitchen exuding death and violence.
Nate looked over the guy’s shoulder at me as though to ask what to do. I told him to fake a punch to the guy’s arm but hit him in the face instead. He liked the idea, but said he’d aim for the body instead of the face. I laughed and we subtly agreed while the dude postured and paced around talking tough. The guy saw Nate and I nod to each other and realized we were in cahoots. He told my brother “Don’t listen to that guy, this is just you and me.”
The guy took his stance. Nate reared back and ripped a tight, deep hook punch through the guy’s tricep, with full follow through. I watched it penetrate to the bone. The guy immediately jerked his arm back and winced; not what he had expected. This shot hurt bad, and that pissed him off.
“What the fuck?!” he shouted at my brother. “What? You wanted to play this game man.” The dude charged Nate and shoved him into the corner. I immediately flanked him and reiterated, “Yeah man, I don’t know what you expected. This was your game dude.” The guy continued to fume. As I stood by him, I realized that he didn’t know that I had Nate’s back in this situation.
We made several more comments about how the game was his idea. He was pissed and wasn’t going to deescalate. This is ultimately what he wanted anyway. He shoved Nate again and cocked his fist to hit him. Nate raised his hands in a defensive posture and looked at me as though to say, “Is this guy going to try to fight me now?” That was all I needed.
In one motion I slid my arm down the side of is neck and yanked it up under his chin on the other side, sinking in a tight rear choke. The guy flailed his fists, so I pulled him backwards off his feet and onto his heels. He continued to kick at Nate and grasp at bystanders so I dragged him into the living room. I pulled him down onto a couch and used my legs to secure his legs, pinning one of his arms. My girlfriend returned from the restroom just in time to see the guy lose consciousness.
“Let him go, let him go!” she demanded, not at all panicked or surprised by the sight of this. By this time I held the choke long enough. I let him go and rolled his unconscious body onto the floor where he lay perfectly still. Everyone gasped, but I knew he was fine; his chest was rising and falling in a regular rhythm. Getting choked isn’t painful, nor damaging; it’s just scary for a minute and then confusing afterward. I was sure he could handle it.
Everyone stood quietly and stared at the corpse on the floor while music blared. He lay on the floor for a full minute before stirring. Suddenly he twitched, rolled over, sat upright and stood up. He looked at everyone in a confused manner, as if he had no idea what we were all looking at or what had just happened. He asked where his beer was and someone handed him a cold one. He opened it and went right back to partying without missing a beat, as if nothing had happened. It wasn’t until a half hour later that one of his friends recounted the story to him, which he refused to believe. The only proof was the giant bruise on his tricep.
He was much calmer the rest of the night and the party went on without a hitch. I felt bad that I had choked someone out at the first party I attended with my brother, but he thought it was funny. And we were all the better for it.