My grandfather had a saying, "Don't let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird ass." I consider this to be a really good rule...that I never follow. When I was younger I used to have a terrible temper, I come by this honestly from my mom's side of the family. My three uncles, Gibson, Dennis, and Stephen, are ruddy-faced, quick with a joke, love whiskey first and beer second, but if they get their Irish up the party stops real fast. I somewhat notoriously lost my temper in fifth grade when I got into a fight with a boy who started a fight with my boyfriend. Some would later say I was trying to break up said fight (me), but I went about with all the rage my 11-year-old body could muster. I even took off my jacket as though I worried about blood splatters.
There are about three bars in my neighborhood that I orbit around. I will confess that I am territorial and protective of each of them. These are the places where if I stop in for a drink I will likely know several people also hanging out or working behind the bar. There is a gnarly phenomenon amongst certain groups of Midwestern men in which they are so completely disrespectful to women it is unbelievable. Therein is the thing that makes me lose my temper these days in big, hot, profanity laden displays of fury. The list of skirmishes is long but here are three of my favorites from the last six months: When a dude told me that "Jolene" is a shitty song while I was singing it at my karaoke spot. When a dude asked if the chair next to me was taken and when I said yes he sat down anyway. When a dude said about me and a friend, "I don't know why these bitches are being so fucking stupid." That last one was a doozy and ended with him trying to sit in down at our table at which point I pulled the chair out from under him and kind of threw it...temper. In each of these cases the sense of entitlement is what kills me and they seem genuinely surprised when they get called out for acting like an utter dick weed.
These men and the ladies they roll with (who seem to lack some sense of solidarity with their fellow females and no sense of how to dress in a seasonally appropriate way) have steadily taken over the neighborhood on the weekends. It used to be that they had the toehold on Bucktown and we all resolved to not to go north of North Ave. Well having ventured north of Division on a weekend for the first time in a long time, let me confirm that the Lincoln Park army has taken Wicker Park. I don't pretend to think that I'm not a part of gentrification albeit an earlier wave. But you know what I didn't do when I moved to the neighborhood, I didn't start calling the old Ukrainian women bitches and I didn't throw things at them from my moving car. Last night after leaving one of my three bars (the only one north of Division) I was waiting to cross an intersection with my friend Megan when she was hit in the chest with something thrown from a passing car. It's like it happened in slow motion, I saw the blur of the object, heard the thwack of something hitting her down coat, and then it landed at her feet. A chicken bone. Someone hit her with a chicken bone. They may have won the battle but we can win the war if we start throwing entire rotisserie chickens at any asshole wearing Ed Hardy. Follow me and my tiny fists of fury.