So after I finished reading, Jason got up to introduce the last reader, and said something like, “Sorry for this place sounding like a piano bar with all the glasses clinking,” and then the bartender said, “If you all would have brought your glasses to the bar,” and then there was some more back and forth, and honestly I wish I could remember exactly what was said because I couldn’t really believe it was happening but I do remember the bartender calling the whole lot of us, “Pretentious.” As we sat at the place where he worked, which was of course called CULTUREFIX. I mean, I’m pretty sure we’re all in this together, no?
I could hear some yelling from behind the curtain, and then as the final reader started to read his poetry, there was a sound of a scuffle. I looked around but no one was moving, and the poetry continued. Then I got up and went to the front room where Jason and the bartender were engaged in some sort of head/arm lock, and several men were trying to pull them off each other. I yelled something like, “Fucking cut it out.” (Good one! Helpful!) Nick and Toby from Vol 1 arrived and helped separate the men. Jason’s glasses were broken. The bartender had headbutted him. Then the bartender was whisked away somewhere, never to return.
Setting aside the OMG surreality of this event, everyone involved in this scuffle ought to be embarrassed. After it seemed like everything had died down, Jason stomped back into the bar area, presumably to give the bartender a piece of his mind. But really, why? I can only assume dude was, fueled by the room’s tension, looking for a fight.
The altercation should have ended with a shrug rather than a headbutt. I moved to NYC to get away from this kind of aggro shitheadery.
On the other hand, bummed it didn’t turn into a nerd sharks-vs-jets-type situation.