For the most part, people seem to value their lives. Some feel they are really important and their existence is completely necessary, sokaworld while some others like living but aren’t to worried about their eventual demise. I never really put a value on my own life, though if you read my previous blog you might think I walk around with a pistol in my mouth. But friends there is a distinct difference between recognizing you have not accomplished anything and not wanting some more time to try and get things done. Luckily, a couple weeks back, I was able to see just what kind of price I put on my own livelihood. kinmagazine

It was just another Thursday evening. Because I can’t let go of my college days, I found the need to hit up a local watering hole. Like most college kids, Thursday night is the time to usher in the upcoming weekend by drinking large amounts of alcohol and convincing yourself that even though you have to work the next day, it’s Friday, and for some reason that means it doesn’t count. businesschamp

When I first moved to LA back in the summer of 2004, one of my favorite pastimes was to head down to Champs sports bar on Thursday nights for some team trivia and 50 year-old eye candy. Sadly, Champs ended their trivia night thus leaving a huge hole in my social schedule. About a month ago, we learned that champs had reinstated their trivia night. So, without much hesitation, I decided it was time to return to my stomping grounds that filled my life with purpose. Play trivia, win a $60 bar tab, and then get hammered for free. But this night, would not be like the trivia nights I had come to love… businesssalt

“We haven’t had trivia night for three weeks”. That sentence from Ronda the bartender stung deep. Apparently, the beginning of football season signaled the end of trivia night. But since we were all there, we decided to hang out anyways, order some food, down some pitchers, and play some bar sports. Now champs may not draw an A-list crowd, but it will bring in Hepatitis of the A variety. However, it has one of the most exciting games in the history of the planet, shuffle board. A long wooden table covered in a saw-dust like substance that acted as lubricant to slide steel-like pucks back and forth. This was truly a game for the man who can’t participate in competitive athletics, that’s where we came in. It quickly became an obsession amongst the group, and like anything pure, we found a way to make it full of trash talk, cursing, and sexually suggestive language. It was that game we were playing, laughing, shouting, and drinking. Then, it happened… For more info please visit these sites:-

“Oh come on!” I had just slid my shot right into the gutter, a real amateur move, bush league garbage. Then, a girl yelled and sprinted across the bar and out the front door. I instantly felt bad as I egotistically thought I startled the young lady with my outburst. If only I had been right. Quickly behind the fleeing female were two men, both wearing ski masks, both holding hand guns. Now my first thought was, “ok, whose birthday is it”. It seemed very practical in a bar like Champs that someone would stage some stupid event like that to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. Once again, I wish I had been right and the two men weren’t escorting in a cake with candles, instead they brought a gift of anger, profanity, and the threat of violence.

“Everyone on the ground! Nobody (expletive) move!” Yeah, they meant business. Instantly, I and my three friends ducked down behind the shuffle board table. Now I’m kneeling down with my head lowered looking at my friends Tom, Osa, and Steve. We send each other glances of “is this really happening?” Yes, it was. Luckily for us between the robbers and ourselves was a long counter that ran along the shuffle board table and cut the bar into too rooms. This kept us out of sight from the robbers as long as we were on the ground. Once I realized we were dealing with a serious situation, I started to think that the thieves didn’t know that on the other side of the counter were 4 young, but unhealthy men in their mid 20’s. I thought they would come around the corner, be surprised by our presence, and all hell would break loose. So I did the only thing I could think of to keep them from panicking, I hid my wallet. Yes that’s right, for some reason I thought, “Well they’re not getting my cash and credit cards,” and so I slid my wallet deep under the shuffle board table so it was concealed between the counter and the gaming table. I then peered over the shuffle board table so I could see the robbers; it was half an effort to make myself known, half an effort to get a look at these thugs.

The one guy had a massive hand gun. Looked like something Eugene Tackleberry of Police Academy fame might have as a side arm. It was so big and shiny silver that my first impression was that it was a fake. Then my second impression was, who cares if it’s fake, Champs sports bar, which was probably full of criminals anyways, was not worth a slug in the chest.

Now we’ve all seen movies where people are put in situations like this. And we like to ask ourselves, “How would I respond in a situation like that?” We like to think we’d be like Arnold or Chuck Norris and take down the bad guys. That’s what I thought, and that’s what I did. I crept around to the opening of the two rooms, I knew if I had one of my friends be a distracter, I could get the drop on them!

REALITY: I stayed knelt on the ground hoping they didn’t come into our section of the bar. I was an idiot and realized if they came person to person and I didn’t have my wallet on me, it was going to cause more trouble than good. And let’s be honest, it’s not like there’s much room left on my credit card, and there’s sure as hell nothing in my checking account on the ole’ debit card. So why in the names of Christ’s under shirt, was I trying to hide my wallet and cause problems? I laid low and hoped it would all be over soon.

Steve and Tom stood up and announced their presence, the thief told them to stay still, I waited for him to turn his back to them, and then I pounced. He went down like a sack of potatoes when my 6253 230 lb. frame crashed down on him, I turned his gun against him and pistol whipped him into an unconscious state!

REALITY: MAN, are these guys ever going to leave?? Just take the register cash and get out! I thought about reaching for my cell to dial 911, but I didn’t know if they would come around the corner and see me dialing, it didn’t seem like a worthy risk. I mean after all, they didn’t have a woman in their sights, right?

The other robber got a girl in his sights. He grabbed her and put the gun against her head. I told him the jig was up, to just leave the bar and run away, leave his dead beat partner behind. It was then he pushed the woman out of the way and raised the gun to me and fired a shot. I anticipated this move and fell to a knee. His bullet went into the popcorn machine and led to an explosion of kernel’s and hot oil not seen since my tragic circus mishap of 1989. I returned fire, landing a shot in his knee and shoulder. I didn’t want to kill the man, that would be an easy way out for him. He was going to do time for this injustice!

REALITY: “Alright everyone, they’re gone” We stood up and looked around. The bar patrons were a little shaken up, but the only physical injury was an older gal took a knock on the head from one of the perps. Soon the police arrived and interviewed all of us. We told the police the whole story, his reply “well if you didn’t think they saw you, why didn’t you get the drop on them?” I kindly told the officer I wasn’t risking death to save $200 out of the champs register. He understood. The owner showed up and that’s when I felt the most traumatic pain of all. “Everyone who has a tab going, it’s on the house, nobody pays tonight!” I had settled my tab 10 minutes before the robbers showed up! (Insert expletive) I couldn’t even get free booze out of the ordeal, but at least I had my health.

The police arrived and congratulated me on doing a great service to the community. Apparently these men had hit up many places, but walking into my bar was the end of the road for their hack operation. I received an accommodation and award from the city, as well as interviewed by local papers and news stations. My story was going to make a best seller and a must see Hollywood movie they said. My life had become valuable in the shadow of this thievery.

REALITY: My life didn’t flash before my eyes. I wasn’t even really nervous throughout the ordeal. I was thinking about whether or not West Virginia covered the spread that night. After talking to the police we hung out in the parking lot. Ronda said the robbers took her $80 in tips. The four of us all threw in some money to replace that sum; after all, she’s the one who had the gun in her face for the majority of the time. It wasn’t a Hollywood ending, which is ironic, since it happened in Hollywood. Instead, it ended with Steve and I sitting on the couch, still a little nervous, but not stressed. We consumed a couple cocktails to take the edge off and laughed at some of the moments of the experience.