At The Roughnecks Game with Zacharie

[twitter]Dump a beer on my kid, stumble and knock him over, hurt him, and I’ll lose it. You’ve heard about Mama Bear defending her kids, well, meet the very angry Papa Bear.

I am not “likes to fight guy.” I don’t get into bar fights, I’ve never been kicked out of anywhere for starting a ruckus, I don’t get the bravado and puffery that most guys bring out when someone looks at the them sideways.

That said, come after my kids and it’s on.

Twice in the past 6 months, I’ve had to be held back from going after someone after they irresponsibly hurt my kids.

Round One

The first time was in Mexico. We were settling in to a table on the beach to have some dessert and enjoy the evening’s entertainment when a very drunk guy in his 60s missed his chair, tumbled down some stairs and landed on top of Zacharie.

Z bonked a knee, got tangled in his own chair, and got soaked with booze du jour. We had seen this guy earlier in the day, blitzed by a pool, and staggering around the restaurant. It was an accident waiting to happen, and it happened on our kid.

I got right in the face of the guy’s adult kids, F-bombs flying. We all had to be held back from each other. Just as the drunk ass had flown over the edge, so had I. My kid was hurt, and those who were irresponsible needed to know about it.

Eventually everything settled down, parties retreated to their tables when, 10 minutes later, drunk guy stumbles down the stairs to “apologize.” He staggered over our table slurring incomprehensibly. I lost it again, screamed at the family to get this ass away from my kids. I took Z back to the room. I’d had enough.

Round Two

The next event happened this past weekend at a lacrosse game. Zacharie and I headed out near the end of the first quarter to get some popcorn. When we climbed back up to our seats, there were 3 people sitting in them. Zacharie asked them to move, and I did too which got us a “I said I was f***ing moving. Settle down pal,” from the bearded dudebro with a beer in his hand.

He stumbled from the seat, tripping on the steep steps which sent his his beer and Zacharie’s popcorn flying all over the aisle.

My switch flipped again. After seeing Z grasping his shin in pain while crumpled in a puddle of beer and popcorn, I reached over and shoved the guy in the back of the head with my open palm. Cursing ensued, and he scrambled down the stairs, pals in tow, to find stadium security.

A minute later half a dozen police officers and two security guards arrived. I was asked to join one of the security officers on the concourse. He interrogated me about the events while the police looked on. Yes, it was an accident, he agreed, but me hitting him wasn’t. I had control over that and it could very well lead to an assault charge.

Zacharie sat at my feet, himself explaining to the surrounding police that he had beer in his hair, while I tried explaining my reasons for reacting, but it didn’t matter. I crossed a line and had committed an assault. The security left, and spoke with police.

In the end I wasn’t charged. The other people were moved to another side of the stadium. “I get you were just doing ‘the dad thing,'” another security guard said. Still, I could have been charged.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

I spoke with Zacharie about the events as we walked towards the car after the game. I tried to explain that what daddy did was very bad and we need to respect other people. I explained that the police could have arrested me for what I did.

“I understand, daddy,” he said, side hugging me as we walked. “I know you were just protecting me, and I’m very proud of you for that.”

Zacharie understood the why, and the ramifications. My little guy got both sides. But there was still the matter of my wife.

Jennifer was furious when we got home. How could I have done that in front of my son!? If they had arrested me, what would have happened to Zacharie? Common assault carries a maximum fine of $5000 and 6 months in jail, although it could also be dealt a suspended sentence or a fine.

That didn’t really sink in to me until I got home. I thought the worst that would happen is we would be kicked out of the game. Not the case. I got off lucky. Very lucky.

I’m not likes to fight guy. I’m not one to cause violent confrontation, but spill beer on my kids, hurt my kids, be belligerent to me after disrespecting them and I will throw down, apparently. Papa Bear comes out. Which isn’t good.

How about you don’t steal other people’s seats and don’t spill beer on kids and we’ll call it even?

There has been a side benefit to this drama: Zacharie now has a strong disinterest in alcohol. After getting bowled over twice by drunkards, he’s less than impressed. He’s proclaimed he’s never going to drink alcohol because “I don’t like getting it in my hair” and “it makes people do really bad things.”

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