The Wild Wild West

I was involved in an altercation years ago when I worked as a doorman in the town where I live. It was sort of like being in a Wild West movie, I fancied myself as John Wayne!  (Good guys versus bad guys) The incident happened whilst I was working a shift in a nightclub near to where I live. It was usually a place where the occasional drunken chap would become the worst for wear so would need some friendly assistance leaving the establishment. As I remember There were about six of us working the door because it was a pretty big club and always busy. We would all move around, interchanging strategic spots but always kept it friendly, chatting to the revellers, sharing many jokes with them, trying to keep them happy and safe so they could enjoy their night.

If things did get occasionally out of hand we had a safe word put into place for any incidents that had the potential of moving to the next level, the word was Mr Weston, which would be immediately followed by the particular area Mr Weston was required.

On the night in question, Mr W was called to the back of the club where the close dancing and canoodling normally took place. As myself and a colleague moved as quickly as possible through the crowds to reach the Alamo, my colleague, who was a few steps in front of me, fell to the floor, the remains of a wooden and metal chair covered his crumpled torso. As I bent down to help him to his feet I caught a glimpse of 2 or 3 guys being forcibly removed through the nearest fire exit.

After helping my colleague up and quickly checking the large swelling that had appeared over his eye, I joined in helping the bad guys leave through the exit. I found out after it was all over that the guys who were the cause of the problem had been selling drugs openly in defiance of the doormen.

Anyway, we escorted them out of the exit, through the back doors and out onto the street. We foolishly thought that was the end of the fun and games. How wrong could we be. Not 10 minutes later a car came to a screeching halt outside of the main doors, and out popped 5 or 6 men, all armed with baseball bats and motorbike chains which they were swinging furiously with intent, swearing as they sporadically connected.

Strangely, I remember 2 police officers standing straight across from the nightclub entrance, watching proceedings with what I perceived as interest and then blatantly walked away in the other direction. After a struggle, their weapons were wrestled from them and unfortunately a few of their eyes were blackened before they scrambled back into their car. For some reason, one of my colleagues decided he was Wyatt Earp and presumably thought it was a good idea to run at their car and hit the back windscreen with one of the confiscated bike chains. The windscreen shattered in on them as they sped away from the scene. Back inside the club, there was quite a few people who were visibly shaken after witnessing the violent scenes. I looked at them and suddenly felt guilty that I had been a part of what they had witnessed.

The incident became the talk of the town for a few days until tongues eventually stopped wagging.

When I arrived home after the night shift had ended, I went straight to bed and got a up a couple of hours later to discover my wife had heard all about the Wild West showdown. Of course some things she had been told were exaggerated so I put her straight on the facts of the incident.

A few weeks later I agreed to stop working on the door because things were gradually getting out of hand. There seemed to be more and more violence happening around the clubs and pubs and I had a wife and 4 children to consider before going out to work at the OK Coral. There was other incidents during my time working as a doorman, maybe one day I will get around to some of the funny incidents.

3 thoughts on “The Wild Wild West

  1. Glad you were able to get out of a job you didn’t feel safe in.

    Hate to nitpick also, but as a historian and an advocate for the right of self-defense (as an absolute last resort), the “Wild West” analogies I see always bother me. Hollywood has completely distorted the period and made it look like you couldn’t walk down the street in any town West of the Mississippi river without getting challenged to 3 gunfights.

    The knife culture; I’ve heard it’s bad. 😦 It’s a shame the UK didn’t learn from mainland Japan’s attempts to ban weapons from Okinawa when they conquered it though. People will always find a way to defend themselves and evil people will always find new ways to hurt people. Banning weapons won’t change anything. You have to change the mentality around their free use.

    Liked by 1 person

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