Bar fights in Bama over the past decade or two....have been noted widely in newspapers. Yeah, we've gotten ourselves a reputation for discussions that went into violent arguments, led to violent assault, murder, and even prison time.
So I sat and pondered over the situation, and have come to ten topic that can easily escalate beyond reason. There are in random order, and are not topics of a vast nature.
1. Alabama versus Auburn NCAA chat. Basically, you walk into a Bama bar....wearing a Auburn shirt, and six guys immediately take a disliking to you. Something is said....you have a feeling of confidence in you....drinks are consumed....an hour or two later.....someone gets knocked in the head or a beer bottle is thrown. Just simple regular university talk from two colleges that are no more than 160 miles apart.
I'd take a humble guess that amongst the male population of the state between eighteen and fifty.....nearly eighty percent of the state male population has a team favorite and half are fairly serious about their team and their record. From the female population...at least ten percent might be willing (with several sips of Jacky D's)....to clobber you or your wife because you were pulling for the wrong team there at the bar.
2. NCAA football chat. It's bad enough....that folks don't just hold a grudge on two teams....but against the NCAA itself. If some ratings have come out and slammed either Auburn or Alabama....it's worth a serious discussion, and if you defend the NCAA.....you might not make it out of the bar alive. This is especially true in early November as the bowl mess is often discussed. As for defenders of the NCAA? I doubt that you can find more than one thousand in the whole state.....but they are a fairly tough crowd and willing to sip beer and whisky among the worst of the worst in America.
3. Bush versus Obama. There are some die-hard Democrats who will get a bit frisky at a bar, and the minute that a pro-Bush guy walks in.....it's discussion time. With alcohol flowing.....it's a simple task to get two guys all fired up about two one-star marginal political figures. Yeah, they might actually assault each other, or threaten with a pistol at some point.
4. Ex-girlfriend chat. Sadly, you will have some guy who dumped some gal a month ago....walk into a bar....start bad-mouthing this gal....and the new current boyfriend walks in and gets all hostile about protecting his "Wanda". Most bar participants will simply stand there and be amazed that anyone would defend Wanda....or that someone wanted to drink aggressively when they had an apparent four-star gal at home. If Wanda isn't there....there's a lesser chance of serious escalation. However, if Wanda is there....she's likely egging the new guy to beat the crap out of the old boyfriend.....just for pure revenge.
5. Accusation of stealing chat. We have odd events to occur in Bama....where guys get a reputation of robbing folks or stealing property. Naturally, they aren't smart enough to move away or shy away from public bars. So they walk in....get a dose of negative criticism.....over some suspected robbery. Comments go back and forth.....and eventually assault is just one step away. Add a sip of booze, and things get very hostile.
6. Someone done my family wrong chat. This is typically where someone has wronged a relative (getting some cousin pregnant, divorcing some gal, refusal to pay back a wrong). Relatives in Bama get all peppy about standing up, getting into heated discussions while drunk, and assaulting folks when necessary. Even after a good fight, and the ambulance has arrived....guys will still pat themselves on the back over their remarkable courage, and stupidity. The family will typically talk for years on the guy's evening at the hospital while defending the family name.
7. The family loan chat. Gus borrows a thousand dollars from Grandma to buy his nephew a new bike (Grandma is told over and over....bikes went up in cost). Relatives discover Gus bought a $16 used bike, and is sitting at the town bar guzzling drinks with the left-over money. Relatives of grandma go over, get into a fairly intense discussion, and Gus is too drunk to avoid confrontation. Aggravation leads onto assault, the cops, and an ambulance being called. Grandma gets called later to come down to the hospital because Gus is all bound in bandages and needs someone to drive him home.
8. Out-of-state chats. Occasionally in Bama....it will come out while in a heated debate over something between two parties....that one party is not from around the local parts. He's from Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia or Florida. That pumps the potential for violent assault up one notch. If the guy is from Texas or New York state....the escalation potential goes up another ten percent. Folks in Bama might have some limited compassion for a argument with a local guy....but out-of-state folks....that's another story. Now, this said....Bama folks will freeze the minute that you say you are from Alaska. Bama folks don't typically meet many Alaskans....and there might be a momentary pause while they ask about the weather, grizzly bears, glaciers, the drive from Washington state up, and Sarah Palin. The Alaska guy might eventually be made into an honorary good-friend of the Bama guy....only because of their unique state status.
9. Corruption chats. This is typically where one city council guy has done corruption, and someone in the bar wants to defend the honor of his associate or relative. It could involve a minister who got corrupted and robbed the local church of $500. It could even involve some school teacher who stole $100 from the school lunch money fund.
10. Finally, drunk arguments over drunk arguments. This is typically where a Bama guy has consumed a fair amount of beverage, is randomly talking over Baywatch, Democratic politics, Ford F-150 trucks, septic tanks, fellows from Army boot-camp that he met, savior talk from the last revival, public transportation in Montgomery, sewage reports from CNN, and a brief report of Japanese war activity in 1944 in the local newspaper. A fight erupts from talk from another drunk, and one guy gets shot or stabbed.....mostly over something, but no one remembers what it was. The cops hate this kind of report because it's spread out over sixteen topics and likely to be a five-pager.
All of this brings us to the favorite topic of non-drinkers in Bama.....that alcohol ought to be outlawed across the state....with all counties being dry. If bars were shut down....murders and assaults would go down drastically....at least that's what we are often told. The same discussion could occur if we got rid of NCAA football (in my opinion).....but Bama folks would never accept that change.
My humble opinion on a diverse Bama topic.