Women Are More Dangerous Than Men: 5 Lessons Of A Bouncer
If you allow your friends to talk you into going out to Da Club, or have just seen a movie in which that happens, you've no doubt noticed the bouncers. They are those terrifying hunks of beef who stand guard, waiting to rain down musclebound order should chaos break out. That probably seems like a fairly simple job, one you'd be instantly qualified for as long as your neck is a certain width. But, as we continually discover, every career has its fascinating little secrets.
We talked to a bouncer named Cronk (no, really), and he told us ...
In A Fight, Women Are Way More Terrifying Than Men
If you had a choice between breaking up a fight between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Seagal, or a fight between two women whose combined weight equals one of Arnie's biceps, the women seem like the safe bet, right? You could probably just stand between them with your palms on their foreheads. Boom, fight over. Well, Cronk is picking Schwarzeagal every time. And not just because they're both now senior citizens.
JCVD is usually an easy bet, as long as Beau Williams isn't playing.
You see, women are living in a world where it's increasingly dangerous just to be one. If they're attacked, there's a good chance they won't have a size advantage over their opponent, so they've come up with clever ways to even the playing field. The reason that "girl fights suuuuuck," according to Cronk, is simple: "Women carry mace." Hooray for equality! "I've been maced eight times as an adult man," he says. "I wouldn't wish mace upon my worst enemy. ... It's worse than the Devil's piss. I hate mace."
Aside from being more likely to whip out actual bioweapons instead of their fists, Cronk has also observed a gender difference in the psychology of bar fights. In general, men will maintain a laser-like focus on the dude who pissed them off; they "only want to fight each other; they won't fight you." On the other hand, telling a violent woman what to do, for perhaps understandable reasons, will only piss her off more: "Women will fight anyone in their way. They will take a swing when you try to stop them."
"Oh, shit, she's turning her rings around!"
To make matters worse, this also means that women fight to the bitter end: "You can separate two men in a bar, and they will calm down," Cronk says. "Women won't. You have to completely remove a woman from a bar, or she will find a way to escape you and go back to fighting." It's never a good idea to try to "help" the bouncer or start a fight yourself, but if you get it into your fool head to try, do not fuck with a woman.
People Have No Idea How To Behave In A Bar
Let's get one thing perfectly clear: You people are animals. Specifically, sheep. You see, Cronk has noticed a bizarre pattern when it comes to bar fights: "If anybody starts a fight in a bar, you can expect everyone to start a fight afterwards," he says. It's kind of like that screaming virus that passes at breakneck pace through crowds of teenage girls: One starts up, and soon you've got an entire gymnasium screeching at a pitch only dogs can hear that's somehow still deafening. Yes, we are saying you are a bunch of teenage girls.
"Danny calls me up and is all, 'Dude, is Kasey on a date with Chelsea right now?'
And I didn't want to rat him out, so I was all ..."
The flip side of this is that no one wants to be the first one on the floor, just like at a middle school dance. If the entire bar isn't already engaged in a full-on ballroom blitz, "There will be no fights," Cronk says. "That's all it takes, if one happens." Apparently, people are waiting to start a fight at all times and just need someone to break the ice.
And, in general, people have no idea how exactly they're supposed to behave around bouncers. For example, when it comes to tipping a bouncer, people seem to think it's required to involve a secret handshake and a ritual dance. "For some reason, when you tip a bouncer, you have to slide it into the palm of their hand like it's a drug deal," Cronk says. "Never has anybody just said, 'Here's 10 bucks, thank you for taking care of us tonight.' It's the strangest ritual, and I have no idea why people do that."
"Look, if you want this, we're doing the Kid 'n Play dance and that's all there is to it."
Is it something they saw a cool dude do in a movie at some point? Speaking of which ...
Road House Should Be Used As A Training Video
We like to talk about how movies portray certain professions all wrong, but in this case, Road House, the ultimate bouncing movie, is pretty goddamn accurate -- just not in the way you think. Cronk assures us that we can "ignore him when he's shirtless and ripping people's throats out on the beach," but, "There is a speech that Dalton -- fucking Patrick Swayze -- gives. ... He gives a speech to the bouncers and the bar staff at one point in the movie where he talks about how he's the cooler. If you look that speech up, that can tell every bouncer how to be the best bouncer ever. In fact, I've trained bouncers and used that speech."
He's talking about this speech:
And for those who can't watch video in your cozy little offices, it goes a little something like this:
All right. People who really wanna have a good time won't come to a slaughterhouse. And we've got entirely too many troublemakers here. ... All you have to do is follow three simple rules: 1) Never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. 2) Take it outside; never start anything inside the bar unless it's absolutely necessary. And 3) Be nice. If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to walk and be nice. If he won't walk, walk him, but be nice. If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you, and you will both be nice. I want you to remember that it's a job; it's nothing personal. ... I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice. You are the bouncers, I am the cooler. All you have to do is watch my back and each other's. And take out the trash.
"4) No sequels."
Cronk says, "It's perfect, almost to a T. If it weren't for that movie, I don't think I would have been such a good bouncer." The fact of the matter is, bouncers -- at least, good ones -- don't want to have to fight you. It's better for literally everyone if it never gets to that point.
Incidentally, that last line of the speech ("And take out the trash") is a whole lot more literal than Swayze intended: "That's actually like 90 percent of it -- most of your job will actually be cleaning up broken glass and vomit," Cronk says. "Bars are full of vomit. Glasses are broken constantly, and the bartenders can't leave the bar; your barback is usually the busiest person in there, so we usually end up taking out the trash, cleaning up the vomit, cleaning up the bathrooms. You're basically [also] a janitor."
Which means you're also less likely to spill blood in the bar, since you'll be mopping it up.
It's More About A Look Than Fighting Ability
In case you were thinking of strutting your purple belt from the local McDojo to the pub down the street and offering your ass-kicking (and trash-picking) services, you should know that you'll be laughed straight out of the place. "The people who run the bars, they're not looking at your karate application; you can throw that right out," Cronk says. You might as well paint a big sign on your back that says "Potential Lawsuit," because those kinds of people are "more a liability than anything," he says. "The bar that does hire them, they're asking for trouble. They're gone within a week 99 percent of the time anyways. They think it's more like the stereotypical bouncer, like the guy who throws people out doors and yells at people, and it's not like that."
Do that, and the only things you'll be bouncing are checks until unemployment kicks in.
What actually makes a good bouncer is a combination of two things. The first is the intimidation factor. Cronk looks exactly how you imagine a man so christened: 6-foot-2, 320 pounds, and -- no fucking joke -- an eye patch like a cartoon pirate or Bond villain. Forget about breaking up a fight -- you take one look at Cronk and the idea of even starting one leaves you as quickly as your bladder control. He could secretly be the snuggliest of teddy bears who has never even crushed a spider, let alone some heads. It wouldn't matter -- you'd never risk it.
"Dude, I heard if he flips it up a tiny fist pops out and punches the shit out of you."
The other is simply the ability to talk to people. "Empathy is probably the most important skill you'll have as a bouncer," Cronk says. "If you're doing your job right, you're talking people out of doing stupid things; you're not encouraging them. If you do it really good, they'll think it's their idea." Your entire job description is doing whatever it takes to make sure you don't have to do an Uncle Phil on an entire bar of Jazzy Jeffs.
A Lot Of Bouncers Moonlight In Less-Than-Legal Jobs
There are, of course, perks to being the guy who cracks the skulls: free drinks, free merch, and a surprising number of women whose relationship issues we won't comment on who get all tingly at the sight of a mountain with an eye patch. ("The bigger and more scar-faced, the more intimidating you are, the more they wanna take you home with them," Cronk says).
"Before you say no, let me show you my knife-fight scar."
These perks do not include, however, the pay. Just like everyone else in the bar, they're working for minimum wage plus (often nonexistent) tips. "You'll get into all kinds of 'cheap thuggery,' we'll call it," Cronk says. "Beating people up for money, things like that. I've personally never beat anyone up for money, but I've had offers. More often that not, it's selling drugs."
There's actually a logical reason bouncers wind up as drug dealers, and not just because it's kind of a lucrative market: You literally find that shit just lying around. "You're the last one at the bar, you're sweeping up, you're going to find drugs," Cronk says. It's pretty easy to look at your haul at the end of the night, look at your paycheck, and come to a less-than-legal decision.
"It's this or becoming an eye-patch-themed gigolo."
For someone who's just happened into the drug trade, how do you even know what to do with these valuable discoveries? There is a code of ethics here: It's generally frowned upon to sell it back to your customers at the bar, but it's not like you can set up a table at the local flea market, and most people tend to avoid making friends with crackheads. Cronk says, "Go to the strippers."
"Strippers always know where to unload drugs," he says. "They'll ask for a cut, but whatever. Some bouncers I've seen, especially in shittier bars, I've seen them sell drugs to their own customers, and really, you can't fault them. We get next to nothing. Even the best people might last a year before they decide this is stupid and pointless and I'm not making any money doing it."
You can't even afford to drink where you work to take your mind off it.
So remember, next time you go out, please tip your bouncer. Just don't be weird about it.
Manna has punching allergy and also a Twitter.
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