Here are a few things your should know about Hoboken, New Jersey.
- It is only one square mile.
- It has more bars per square mile then any other city in America.
- In order to NOT compete with New York City and the neighboring Jersey City, they hold the Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade two weeks before St. Patrick's Day.
- Frank Sinatra was born there.
- Cake Boss is filmed there.
This is a story about the first three points.
It was two weeks before St. Patrick's Day and Hoboken had been in full swing. There were lines to get into bars at 7:00 in the morning. When we woke up we found this note on the door to our building:
So we had stayed hunkered down in our apartment for most of the day, but we were getting stir-crazy and decided to venture out. We called our friends Liz and Jared and made plans to meet up and walk to dinner. They lived on the same street and there was a great little restaurant a block from their apartment. So, all of this story happens in the one block between Liz and Jared's apartment and Legal Beans cafe.
It was around 4:00 in the afternoon and we were taking in the Sesame Street quality of the the street that we lived on, only, instead of Muppets, it was drunk people popping out of garbage cans, hanging out of third story windows, and singing the alphabet in full voice. We were passing this amazing old church that had been converted into condos when a very drunk man who was holding himself up on fence with one hand reached out and grabbed on to Liz with the other hand and said, *Please censor the following and note that we do not approve of such language but this is what was said and we can only report the facts. Alright: get ready.* So this guy grabbed Liz's arm and said, "I would love to be in your butt right now." Liz's eyes popped out of her head and we all continued to walk to dinner...all of us, that is, except Jared. By the time I turned around I caught the last glimpse of Jared and the drunk guy barrel rolling over the hood of a parked car and in to the street. It was all very horrifying, but I was interested; I had never seen a fight so close up. THEN, drunk guy's friend shows up and starts in on Jared, and I actually yelled, "Oh, friends, really?!" and I reluctantly step in (trés reluctantly) (and by step in, I mean Lindsay and I ran up behind the fight with Lindsay yelling, 'Hey! Hey! Hey!'). Well, the drunk guy turns around and looks me in the eye and cocks his fist back ready to punch, and I do pretty much exactly what you would expect from me: I run away screaming in what would later be described as a mix between a twelve year old girl and the small dinosaur that kills Newman in his jeep on Jurassic Park. However, since he was cocked and ready to go, his eyes locked on the next closest target, a beautiful but squawking brunette. In my fleeing, I looked back over my shoulder just in time to see him clock my eternal companion squarely across the face. (Here is where I do something that you may not expect.) In seeing Lindsay get hit, some little snap in the back of my head snapped, for reals, and I do this deep guttural war cry (not unlike Xena the Warrior Princess) and propel myself atop drunk man's back and proceed to scratch at his neck and bite the crown of his head like a wild and terrifying, yet super masculine, ferret.
Needless to say the fight continued with Jared pummeling this man (as I rode him like a drunk sack of flour) while other drunk people sat in the windows of their apartments like Muppets, cheering us on, "Hit him with the trash can!" "Foul play! That ferret just pinched his eye!" and so on until the cops showed up and we promptly informed them that this obviously drunk man had punched this plainly sober woman and we were simply standing up in defense of her virtue. The cops asked Lindsay if she wanted to press charges (which Jared and I most certainly did!) but she declined, asking them to just remove him from the streets. They said they would get him home and that he would wake up tomorrow with a hangover and a hefty fine to pay. (We later found out that the city makes over half a million dollars in ticketing on this day alone.) After the drunks had settled and we were continuing on to dinner we asked Lindsay why she didn't press charges and she informed us that the man never came close to actually hitting her, that he had been about as quick and as accurate as a brain damaged sloth and all she did was move her head a bit to dodge the very slow moving bullet. (In my defense, I was running away in blinding fear and may not have had the best vantage point, but I really did think he hit her and I really did jump on his back and punch his shoulders and kick him with my heels like I was spurring on a crazy pony--something that I had never known if I would be able to do if things came down to it.)
This is the one and only fight I have ever been in that was not with one of my Brothers, and even then it never escalated nearly as high. But I think back on it fondly and often. I fought a guy. Granted he was so drunk that he could not easily stand, but I fought him and, with the help of my friend Jared, I won. Years later, while walking to work, I saw this guy...
And I thought to myself, 'In three or four hours... I could take that guy.'