A question I often ask myself is “what would I do in that situation?” Whether it be a monumental disaster, or simply witnessing a fight breaking out between two drunk men in a bar, I would hope that I would act rather than would sit, stunned by what I am seeing and unable to intervene in any way.
I don’t think I’m alone in thinking about this, especially now that the internet brings us stories every day of civilians in awful situations, who either watch on silently or heroically respond.
This was the situation one man found himself in a restaurant recently, when he overheard a disturbing conversation between a man and a woman at another table. The two were presumably out for a date, but the things the man was overheard saying was definitely abusive. At one point it became too much to handle, and the eavesdropper knew they had to intervene.
The story was discovered recently on Reddit, under the thread: “Women of Reddit, what has been your worst ‘nice guy’ experience?” There were nearly 7,000 responses on this thread, usually about men who had started off treating them well, but had quickly turned into a horrible person once they had been rejected in some way.
Eventually one commenter came forward with their own story, which begins bad enough, but escalates to a point that no one was expecting. Having dinner with his girlfriend, he notices another couple are on a date too, and the girl looks very uncomfortable.
“I’m having dinner with my girlfriend at the time, and behind us are a couple on a date. It is.. not going well. Guy was being rather creepy and making some pretty inappropriate comments, the girl doesn’t look at all comfortable.
“The girl finishes her appetiser really quickly, my guess is she wanted to get it over with. Guy proceeds to comment on it and says ‘well, least I know you can swallow right?’. Loudly.
“Girl goes red and tells him that isn’t appropriate, he literally waves his hand in a ‘shoo’ type motion and says ‘oh calm down I was going to find out in a few hours anyway'”
“I missed her exact reply as she moved to a hushed tone, but it was fairly obvious what was being said – f*** no, f*** off, f*** this. He responded with ‘sweetheart I picked you up, I know where you live’. She lost the colour in her face and said nothing.”
The storyteller then got up, unable to ignore what was happening on the table, despite the fact he doesn’t consider himself “one of those ‘get involved’ type of people”. There’s no way he’s going to let this go on any further, so he stands up to walk over to the table.
“I was halfway out of my chair when a hand came down on my shoulder and I look up to this mid-50s but super fit guy who says ‘Easy.. I’ve got this one son’. Absolute, total confidence in his voice. He walks over, grabs a nearby chair, flips it around and sits down with the couple. Then.. he pulls out his police ID and puts it on the table. Now the guy doesn’t have any colour in his face.”
“Cop: ‘So, I’m quietly celebrating my daughters birthday with my family when I distinctly hear you threaten this young lady, would you care to explain yourself?’
Guy: ‘I, ah, well, um, you see..’
Cop: ‘That’s what I thought. Now see, we take a very dim view of that kind of thing, so right now I’m deciding if I want to have some of my buddies come pick you up.’
Guy: ‘oh no well that…’
Cop: ‘But that would disrupt everyone’s dinner, so how about you hand me your ID, because I wouldn’t want you running off on me, then you go see one of the staff here and settle your bill.. the full bill now, this young lady shouldn’t go hungry on account of your poor behaviour. Or we can go with the first option, I’ll leave it up to you.'”
Terrified, the man hands over his ID and heads to the counter to pay. The cop writes down his details, then offers her a place at his table to finish her dinner with his family, promising to drive her home afterwards. She happily accepted, and the cop makes sure to the man know that if anything happens to her, they would come looking for him.
The Redditor who posted the story got pretty lucky as it turns out. Not only does he get to avoid a fistfight, but he gets to see some badassery too.