Smoke if You Got Him / by Courtney Mehlhaff

I don't always remember stories that I hear in the most exact detail. Sometimes all I'm left with is an overall theme that really tickled me. In the luckiest situations, I'm able to give the person relating the tale suggestions about how they could spice it up on the next go-round. This is one of those times. 

I was chatting with a friend who used to work as an usher at a large local venue, and I asked about some of the craziest things that have happened on his watch. 

He said that several years ago, one particular patron got ridiculously drunk at a concert. 

The man was escorted to the lobby, where he continued to grow increasingly belligerent, and security was called. But before they could arrive, the man got physical with one of the other ushers. 

My friend, who was outside taking a smoke break, saw this through the glass doors. 

"So I threw down my cigarette, ran across the lobby, and tackled him."

(Although it may not be true, this has always been a flying tackle in my mind, and it shall remain so, because that idea delights me).

"Then what?!" I asked. 

"I sat on him until the cops got there." 

While he isn't a large man, I certainly saw where he could be powerful. "I grew up with brothers. I'm used to that stuff."

"Oh, man!" I said. "I wish you hadn't dropped your cigarette."


"Because how badass would it have looked if you were just perched on that dude having a nonchalant smoke when the police showed up?"

I really hope that when he re-tells this story, that cigarette stays firmly clamped between his lips. For right or wrong, this is how I picture him, sailing through the air on a collision course with awesomeness.