Dear Jonny, Bouncing Injuries?
I just finished reading your “We Were Bouncers” article (awesome bit of writing by the way) and I’m left wondering if you were ever hurt while working in that “wonderful hellhole” of a club?
Actually, yes, I was. But the story isn’t very flattering. One night, while I was attempting to ignore the candy-themed rap song, “Laffy Taffy,” blaring from the speaker system for the tenth or five-hundredth time, there suddenly began a massive interracial brawl on the lower dance floor. Twenty or so drunken, coked-out patrons were throwing punches, bottles, chairs, and each other. I remember seeing a particularly small Chinese young man use a jagged piece of glass from a broken beer bottle to stab a morbidly obese Hispanic gentleman in (through) the eye. Now, let me preface my description of what came next by informing my readers that I’d had a few swallows of Jaeger that night. Possibly more than a few. Anyway, about that time I became convinced that I’d evolved into some sort of indestructible nightclub ninja, which led me to believe that I could hurl my then 250 pound frame from the upper dance floor, land with an elegant cat-like agility amidst the chaotic orgy of violence, then dominate the situation via doling out some heavy-handed ass-whippings alongside my various bouncing brethren. Instead, I soared from the platform like a sack of lead and bricks, then crashed down on the floor at a very interesting, stupid angle, causing my ankle to snap and crackle and pop in ways that it shouldn’t. The sudden shock of pain and adrenaline mixed with the booze in my brain, causing a strange euphoric effect that distracted my body from the injury long enough to allow me to leap to my feet and throw a few lackluster punches before collapsing clumsily onto the bloody, whiskey-stained floor. Later, my foot, as well as much of my ankle, would turn as black as ink-soaked coal and swell to twice its normal size. I didn’t walk right for several months. But I like to think that for a brief second there, while flying through the nightclub’s secret shadows, I really did look like a fucking ninja.