By Jack Mandaville I want to make a few of my...
Friday Night in Houston
The game plan had been to be on our best behavior. It was the night before Tim Kennedy’s title fight. Nick had been abused, much to my amusement (Hey, I’m not going to lie about it) by Tim for the past three days as he acted as Tim’s throw dummy/punching bag in the days preceding the fight, so he wasn’t really in a dancing mood. Furthermore, we’d extended the offer to have Ranger Up super fans, Sarah Fetters and her father Doug, come along for the trip. The Fetters are wonderful people, but we hadn’t met them before, knew they were strong Christians, and we weren’t sure what Ranger Up level they were comfortable handling, so Nick put me on strict orders to be good and not purposefully try and instigate a Sodom and Gomorra situation. Finally, our buddy John Tackett had been cleared by Home-6 to come out, with her giving me strict instructions not to let him get arrested or end up in another homoerotic workout video. Orders firmly in hand, the command decision was made to have a chilled night in the hotel bar for a couple of drinks, no more, and retire to bed at a reasonable hour. Sometimes, my friends, you don’t go looking for trouble, trouble just finds you…
John Tackett’s Perspective
There she was – rail thin with a nose that didn’t quit. She spotted right in on Tommy from across the bar. He was like catnip for this skank. As she began moving, I took in the whole of her: shorts a size too small and showing off thighs as big around as the average guys arm, she locked onto our little Batboy like a heat seeking missile. Tommy was doing his boisterous, laugh and talk too loud thing as I watched her walk snatch a drink from the bar and drunkenly saunter over. She stopped inches away from him and cleared her throat.
“Excuse me, did you say something?” I asked slightly surprised to find the girl right next to me. We’d seen her around the weigh-ins and hotel all day, talking to different fighters and hanging out with some bearded dude who looked like he also had an affinity for things that made you super skinny. As so often happens in my life, opening my mouth was a bad idea.
“I didn’t say anything,” she said smiling, as she moved uncomfortably close to me.
Sarah Fetter’s Perspective
It’s always a bit of a surreal experience to meet people in person that you have previously known only through a computer screen. So after introductions all around, I joined the Ranger Up guys in the hotel bar. I sat down to listen and observe. I knew of most of the people there so when a chick walked up and started talking to Tommy I thought “she must be with them or they know her from somewhere”. As she continued talking and using Tommy to prop herself up, I began to see the truth…this was a Ranger Up story in the making. They literally did nothing to provoke this encounter, but nevertheless, they would embrace it wholeheartedly. Enter: The Crazy Chick.
“So are you guys here for the fights?” She asked us, still staring at me. Tackett, Nick, and Joe Namee, owner of CTC Austin (the gym Tim trains out of) all looked at me wondering where this was going.
“Yes,” I told her. “We are all friends of Tim Kennedy and he’s fighting for the belt tomorrow night.”
“Oh, wooooooooow!” She slurred at us. “That’s so cool, so like what do y’all do?”
“Nick and I make t-shirts,” I tell her pointing over to Nick. “What do you do?”
“I’m a bartender in Austin, it’s a pretty cool job. Here you want my shot?” She says suddenly putting a shot of Jager in front of me.
“You didn’t roofie this did you?” I asked her. Normally this is a joke. I was not kidding.
“NOOOOOOO!” She squealed laughing at me. “I’ve been roofied before, and I’d never do that with a drink!”
“I’ve been roofied too,” Nick calls out, giving out a factoid I didn’t know about him before, but yet didn’t surprise me.
“Did you get roofied by steak, cause that’s how I’d do it,” Crazy Chick chirped merrily.
“Excuse me, but umm… what?” Tackett asks her, recovering his wits faster than the rest of us had and asking the question we all were thinking.
“You guys have all seen the Hangover right?” We nod. “Well you know how they get the tiger calmed down by feeding it the roofied steak? That was my idea. I came up with that years ago! If I was ever going to roofie someone, that’s how I’d do it, with steak.”
“Your parents must be proud,” Nick quips.
“P.S. Why do you have a preferred roofie method?” I ask. Teamwork is important at Ranger Up.
“Because what guy turns down a free steak? Seriously if a girl walks up to you and hands you a steak, are you going to turn it down?”
She’s serious, that is what none of us could believe at first. Somewhere inside her chemically altered head this was not only a good idea, it was THE idea in terms of delivery method of a narcotic designed to make you black out. Had we taken a moment to really chew this one over (no pun intended, but if Nick wants to note that if he had written this part, it would have been intended) we might have tried to change course (again, Nick notes this would have been the second level of the pun), but we simply had to know the mechanics of this thought process.
“But how are you going to get the steak into the establishment? And for that matter, what if they don’t serve food? Or maybe it’s like 1am and the kitchen attached to the bar is closed, or for that matter what if the place serves food but not steak, only burgers. Would you then roofie the burger?” Nick asked. Enquiring minds now legitimately wanted to know. Alack, all we got was a puzzled look on Crazy’s face. “Huh, I never thought of all of that,” she said, genuflecting on these new developments.
“For that matter,” I intoned, “isn’t it so much simpler just to put the roofie in a drink that you know will always be at the party? I mean isn’t that why the frat boys on every major college campus use that method, because with drinks it’s that easy?”
Little did I know mentioning higher education was about to turn this from “interesting night” to “shitshow” in the blink of an eye.
“Hahaha, that never happened to me at (insert Texas regional school here) when I was in undergrad and I don’t really hang out with frat boys now that I’m in grad school.”
“You’re in grad school?” Nick asked a touch surprised, as we all where. “What are you getting your degree in?”
“I got my undergraduate in business management and I have my master in English education.”
“Cool, when’d you graduate with your masters?”
“Well, technically I’m still getting my masters,” she answered.
“So you don’t have it,” Nick asked, “You’re a candidate for a masters degree.”
“Well yeah, I guess, but it’s still better than what you guys have,” she said sarcastically.
Uh, oh. I already know the second she decided to get cocky Nick was going to start really fucking with her, and I will have no choice but to support him.
“Where you going to school?” Nick asked.
“Token Regional Texas School”, she answered.
“Oh, so it’s like a Bachelor’s degree.” Nick asked with a smile on his face, the rest of us started giggling.
“What, screw you! (Insert Texas regional school here) is a great school, and I coulda gone to UT!!!” It was here she made her first mistake. You either do something in the Ranger Up world, or you don’t. It’s that simple. There’s no room here for woulda, shoulda, coulda- a price must be paid.
“So why didn’t you? You know if you could get in and all, why’d you just settle for like, another bachelor’s degree?”
“What, fuck you!” Crazy screamed at Nick, catching the attention of several tables nearby. Then she compounded her problem.
“So where do you have YOUR degree from!?!?” She screams, literally, at Nick.
Nick, has two of the most prestigous degrees on the planet with a BS from West Point (I confess to my fellow NCOs, I do in fact work with a ring knocker) and an MBA from Duke. Act like a jackass though he may, but unless you have a pair of degrees from the Ivy leauge, you’re not going to up pedigree Nick.
That said, there is a fine line between making fun of someone who deserves it and coming off as snotty, which is oftentimes the case when people turn to educational elitism.
I can tell Nick doesn’t want to go down this path, and uncharacteristically, he backs down, saying, “It really doesn’t matter. I was only joking. I’m sure it’s a great school.”
She persists. “No seriously, asshole, where is your degree from?”
Knowing Nick had absolutely no intention of name dropping, and being the person responsible for this chick being at our table, I figured it was my job to save the crack head from herself.
“You don’t want to do that with him,” I interject quickly.
“Oh really, I don’t huh?” She sneered at me. “Why not? Seriously, where’d you get yooooooooour degree from.” She once again taunted towards Nick. Strike two.
“Sweetie, you really, don’t want to play that game with him.” I tell her, making what I think is a passable attempt at being nice. Nick’s face is one of pure Zen, waiting to see which way this choose your own adventure is going to go.
“Whatever, come on big shot, where’d you go to school?” Strike three, you’re out. At least I have the good Karma of knowing I tried to save her from herself.
“I received my Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from West Point and I have an MBA from Duke,” Nick said calmly and nicer than I think I would have, had I been in his position.
“Oh that’s suuuuuuuuuuch a big deal!” Crazy Chick fired back, reminding us for the 8th time that night she had the maturity of a 5 year old.
“Better than a bachelors and a half,” Nick coughed out with a smirk.
This is the part where Cameron goes Bezerk
“FUCK YOU! I HATE YOU!!!” Crazy screamed, making me wonder if security was going to be called.
“I hate you!” She said leaning in towards him, poking him in the chest. “I hate you, I hate you so much I want to take you upstairs and hate fuck the shit out of you!”
Nick looks over at John and me: “Did she just say that?”
“I believe she did, Nick,” John replied. I concur.
Nick turns to Doug and Sarah Fetters: “I’m sorry”. They laugh. Clearly, they are ready for the full monty.
I put my hand on Nick’s shoulder. “Nick, I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in a situation like this before, but I’d take her up on the offer, if nothing else it’ll be an adventure,” now that I was off the hook for our melodramatic friend’s presence it only felt right I should stir the pot a little.
“I fucking hate you guys!!!” She yelled in reply, for the 5th or so time.
“Why do you hate me, I didn’t do anything to you. I was supporting you and your desire to hate fuck Nick, why are you mad at me?!” I asked, feigning being upset out of the right corner of my mouth while trying not to burst out laughing out of the left. Tackett somehow kept his look of mirthful serenity in place.
“You’re right, I’m sorry I’m going to go buy you guys some shots!” She exclaimed, happy again and suddenly turning and running towards the bar. The collective group was left to exchange looks of shock.
“Did that just happen?” Tackett asked, breaking the bemused silence.
“Yes, I believe it did,” Doug Fetters answered.
“I think she just gave me syphilis,” Nick added.
Ten minutes later she came back with a tray of Jaeger shots.
We quickly downed the shots, this times sans roofie jokes, while our new friend announced to the group that she loved the UFC and was its master.
She proclaimed with a great deal of (I’m sure) heartfelt emotion that “I’m just realizing that I know more about UFC than aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall of you!” Oh, and this might be a good time to mention she is going to take over Dana White’s job someday. Apparently, her bachelor’s in business management and her ha-masters in English education, along with a bartending resume and a rich Daddy that works for the oil company are the perfect combination for such a career path. God help us all.
After such a profound proclamation of knowledge to a group of people she clearly must have known were in the fight industry, I was expecting her to regale us with tales of Sakuraba, Severn, or maybe the Frank Shamrock/Tito Ortiz fight. Perhaps discuss the up-and-comers that she felt were on the rise? Something – anything – that would show that somewhere in that seventy pound body there was a functioning brain.
I started asking her simple questions like “Who are you favorite fighters?” After floundering for a bit she came up with Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. Now I love me some Randy and Chuck, and they are two of my favorites of all time, but if you proclaim universal mastery you better come with something stronger than that. I can pull a random dude off the street that’s never watched a UFC and the three guys he’ll be able to name are those two and Brock Lesnar.
Tom and I throw her more softball questions so she doesn’t lose it again, but when she didn’t know who Mike Goldberg was, I simply asked her, “Have you ever actually watched a UFC?”
She, of course, loses all control of her body and voice once again.
It was at this point, dear friends, I did what any sensible person would do: I E&E’ed the fuck out of Dodge. Seeking shelter and refuge at a table of Strikeforce employees across the bar from us, I sat down and started talking about the fights. Two minutes or so later I get a text from Tackett: ‘help.’ As I am deep in conversation I don’t hear the text chime rock off.
John Tackett’s Perspective
Buddy’s only half the word Tommy.
When Tom the coward abandons us, she reasons she will not be having sex with Tom tonight and as I am closest to her, she makes me her next target of opportunity.
“I’m going to sit on your lap,” she proclaims and starts pushing the table aside.
“Please don’t.” I answer.
“Trust me. You’ll like it,” she slurs as she continues towards me like a coked out, disease-ridden juggernaut of crazy.
“Nicholas Palmisciano!” comes the stern maternal voice from Ginger Kennedy.
“I’m not doing ANYTHING!” I shout like a four-year-old to Tim’s wife.
At this point, as it finally dawns on Crazy chick, in between doing shots and crying, that Nick isn’t going to let her straddle him in the hotel lobby, she tries a different tact to get near him – using me. Apparently, we needed to stick together and if push came to shove, I was going to fight the RU guys on her behalf. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
To further increase this tie she decides to try and sit next to me. In order to accomplish this she has to squeeze herself and her enormous purse in between the tables. There is not enough room for a drunk/crazy/high chick with a purse the size of Rhode Island to navigate, so she ends up spilling Nick’s drink on him.
She spends the next 20 minutes randomly proclaiming “I am innocent in this situation” to whomever is sitting by her. Then she passes out at the table for the first time.
She didn’t spill me drink. She rocketed my completely full Hendrix Maritini, straight up, with three olives, or as I like to call it “A little slice of heaven brought down here on Earth” into my groin. This was not a beverage to be trifled with. There are people’s lives that mean less to me. Furthermore, I now looked like I had wet myself. I wanted to gut her right there on the spot and turn her into a Ranger Up wall trophy, but it was the Fetters’ first day with us. I instead used the diversion to flee, leaving Tackett trapped between the wall and the skank.
John Tackett’s Perspective
I hate you both.
Finally she passes out and John crawls over the table to join us. Ten minutes or so after Tackett joined me I look back to see Joe’s morally flexible nephew, Ryan leaving the bar with our friend.
Nick is shouting “Don’t do it” at the top of his lungs while the rest of the BAR laughs. This is made all the more awesome because they enter into a clear elevator and the entire establishment watches their ascent.
Ten minutes later he comes back alone.
“What happened?” I asked him as he sat back down and ordered another drink from the waiter.
“She told me she had a bottle of Gray Goose in her hotel room for the first person who’d claim it so I called her bluff. She walked up to some door, didn’t have any sort of hotel key in that purse of hers, told me her friend had the key and he’d be along shortly and she’d just wait. She also told me really loudly that this guy wasn’t her boyfriend or some shit. Anyway, she said to just leave her so I did.”
“You can’t just leave her at the door!” Joe told his nephew, “dude that’s messed up!”
Be that as it may when Ryan went back to find her she had disappeared.
I saw her the next day at the fights, sitting next to her friend that “wasn’t her boyfriend.” She thanked me for a wonderful “fun” night and hoped we could hang out again. Swear on my combat scroll.