I picked up Maria on a lazy Sunday afternoon right after dropping off another security guard at a dispensary, his place of work. Maria was a middle-aged, stocky, Latina woman who had been working security and door for nightclubs for 20 years. Once I learned this, I began asking questions, and she was more than happy to answer.
“So what’s the best way to break up a fight? Do you just go in there while people are swinging wildly?”
“No! No! You don’t want to do that. Trust me. <feeling her nose> I did that one time, and I got punched in the face. My nose is still messed up from that. What you want to do is when people are going at it… just let them. After a while, people get tired, and they use up all their moves… and then they don’t know what to do. They’re looking for someone to rescue them, and that’s where you step in to pull them off and nobody gets hurt.”
“Ah! I see… do you encounter a lot of fights?”
“Oh every night! What I don’t understand is these women who go to a club looking to start a fight, and they’re wearing a dress and heels. Like why would you do that, you know what I mean? If I’m going into a fight, I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Who do you think is going to win? Me or the chick in heels? I’ve seen some crazy bar-wide brawls. Clothes coming off, shoes flying everywhere, broken bottles…”
“Wow, that’s intense. Any tips you have when it comes to fighting?”
“Yeah, don’t punch someone IN the mouth. I did that once. Her tooth cut my hand, and the saliva got into my finger and caused an infection. It’s better to hit them in the side of face instead.”
Author’s note: On a separate ride weeks later, a nurse asked me what one of the wilder stories was that I’d heard. I shared this story of Maria and her experience punching someone in the mouth, and the nurse nodded knowingly. “Yes, that’s absolutely true. I’ve been studying all the diseases and infections that can occur to a person, and she’s absolutely right. Our mouths are gross.” So try not to have a stranger drool onto an open wound next time. Hand-saving survival tips, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood WordPress blog!