The sound of breaking glass, accompanied by the crash of suddenly upturned furniture, shouts of anger and threats of violent bodily harm. Scenes from my last family reunion? No. This was a random fight that broke out at O'Brien's Pub in Allston last night during the "Punk Rock Comedy Show".
It was a thing of beauty. While Brendon Walsh was trying to explain to the crowd about glory holes at peep booths (I think), some punter developed the opinion that the guy next to him was beating up his girlfriend (not the punter's, the guy's own woman) and decided to mete out justice on the woman's behalf. Punches were thrown. The crowd's attention inexorably drawn to the fight, Walsh made the best of it by serenading the fighters with a little Tina Turner ("Private Dancer"). It was surreal and beautiful...and for some reason went on for at least 5 minutes before the bouncers decided to get involved.
Even before Tim McIntire or Doug Stanhope took the stage, it was already the best comedy show I've ever attended. And I say that having been very impressed earlier in the week by Steven Wright. But, that was just a very different show. The Providence Performing Arts Center is a gold leaf encrusted monument to old school "theatre". Sure, there's a bar, but you have to leave the theater to actually get a beer, which is a pain the in ass. As a consequence, you end up sober, listening to the insipid chatter from the soccer mommies seated in the row behind you while you wait for the show to start. Sure, you could get violent with them to shut them up, but with its proscenium arches, balcony box seating, and glittering curtains it's really not "that kind of place". By contrast, a live show in a room like O'Brien's is dark, scary and raw. You can easily get to the bar and stay lubricated for the whole show. Plus you, and all the other drunks around you, are right on top of the action and each other. Frankly, I would have been surprised if a fight hadn't broken out.
On a completely unrelated note, it's National Meatloaf Appreciation Day. Expect that I will be posting meatloaf recipes and pictures later today or tomorrow. We're big meatloaf fans here at Casa del Scoop.
But to bring the two subjects together as I close out this post (food and violence), here is a video short from Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg: "People Getting Punched Just Before Eating" (also via Serious Eats).