John was a swooper, and he had to go down. Not that what I did necessarily took him down, as it probably came off more as a minor inconvenience, but it was a decent try anyways. It all happened in Who’s Bar about a month ago, when I snapped like a neck in a Bruce Lee movie and tried to fight John UFC style. In this instance, though, there was no octagon and no Joe Rogan, just a bunch of beer that I knocked over and spilled on the floor. In retrospect, it was an embarrassing moment in my life. But hopefully it will send a message to whoever needs it, like when a pitcher knocks down a batter or like when your girlfriend files her second restraining order against you. The message I was trying to send should have been clear: Swoopers must die.
Well, maybe not die. Let’s try that again. Swoopers must…um…have beer spilt on them.
Before I get into my altercation, let me explain what “swooping” is. It’s a practice widely used here in Incheon, and perhaps around the world as well. To illustrate, I will give an example. Say you are out at a bar. Guy X is also at the bar. You sit down next to a lovely young lady and begin chatting. Things are going well. An hour passes, and you are still talking to her. Then you have to momentarily leave – say for a bathroom break or to get the next round of drinks. When you return, you find Guy X sitting in your seat, talking to your new acquaintance. You, my friend, have just fallen victim to a swooping. Guy X waited for the gap, and as soon as it appeared, he swooped in on your girl. Now you must hope the girl tells him to go away quickly. If not, hand the girl her drink and prepare to stand there uncomfortably. Swoopers don’t leave on their own.
A known swooper – like John – operates under a fairly understandable concept: as long as a girl isn’t someone’s certified “girlfriend,” she’s not taken and is thus fair game. To the swooper, if boundaries aren’t clearly defined, then they don’t exist. I suppose that objecting to swooping is, in a way, somewhat territorial – as though by talking to a girl first, I’ve somehow claimed her. Perhaps it’s not so much the idea of swooping that I object to, but the timing of it. Hey, swooper, if you want to talk to the girl, talk to her. Don’t be a punk and wait for me to go to the bathroom and then jump in. In the future, I’ll just wear adult diapers to the bar and then I won’t have to worry about it.
Although many guys in Incheon swoop, John was the worst, and he was the worst because he was really good at it. Girls liked him. He was a smooth talker and knew what he was doing. In the past, he had successfully swooped girls from me. He even sent me a message on Facebook once apologizing for it. Mind you, things might not have played out as they did if I wasn’t drunk as a skunk, but let’s consider that a minor detail. I took a stand against swooping that night, and it went like this:
A female “friend” and I arrived at Who’s Bar already drunk. I went to the bar to get myself some water and then hit the bathroom. When I returned, there was John, chatting her up. As always, he was doing well. He had her laughing. I stood back and waited for her to move away from him but she didn’t. Then (and I could be mistaken here), it looked like he offered to buy her a drink and she accepted. That was it. I was sick of watching this particular swooping session. I took the girl by the arm and told her I wanted to leave. We made it to the doorway, and that’s when she flipped, calling me a control freak and saying she wasn’t leaving. It escalated from there into a full blow up. By the time it was done, she had told me that we were “over” and she “didn’t want to see (me) anymore.”
Obviously this was John’s fault. No swooping would have led to no controlling behavior which would have led to no fight. Simple.
I walked back into the bar. As soon as the girl was back at the table with her friends, up came John. She tried to motion him away, maybe aware that I was about to lose control. John was persistent. He kept talking to her even though her head was turned away.
Fuck this shit, I thought. I ran over there and tackled him. Now I’ve always thought that, since I’m a weakling, if I got in a fight, I would have to resort to some Royce Gracie tactics and try to choke the person out. This is where my head was at the moment. Suddenly the two of us were on the floor and I had him in a choke hold, trying my best to get him to tap out (or something). In retrospect, as John is smaller than I am, I believe I went for the UFC chokehold too soon. To any degree, I did it all wrong. I didn’t wrap the legs and I didn’t lock it properly with my other hand. When we were pulled apart, I don’t think any damage was done, other than the damage inherent in making myself look like a total lunatic in front of everyone at the bar.
The next night, I got high fives, congratulations, and thanks you’s from a lot of guys. One guys said, “I’m happy someone finally did something about him.” Another guy told me that, in attacking John, “You did it for all of us.” It was pretty clear that I wasn’t the only one getting pissed off by the swooping. Still, it was of little condolence. The girl was gone, and I was thus left with no one for a swooper to come swoop away.