Rough Edges tonight was a bit of a challenge. The normal team wasn't there so it was just Michelle and myself. The Shore boys were there too and they are pretty cool and work hard. But we can't ask them to solve our problems and break up fights.
So we had to close early, which meant we couldn't get Govindas. So everyone was sad that they were going to go to bed hungry. There also was hardly any Oz Harvest food, so everyone was even sadder. Late in the night, about 15 minutes before we were closing, Oz Harvest did bring more food. It was very popular. Everyone was well hungry.
I love Oz Harvest. And Govindas. Good people.
There were also no blankets. So other people were sad about being cold.
Despite the tricks, the night went reasonably smoothly until right near the end. A few people got involved in a fight. A very big chap, taller and wider than me. And a tough lass, wider but rather shorter than me. In general people tend to trade words for a while, before getting physical. But these guys cut to the chase. The girl tried to use a broom as a staff which which to do battle. The fellow's weapon of choice was a bread crate. I had to jump in and distract them from one another. I politely asked the girl to give me her broom/staff. She reluctantly did, but quickly traded it for a chair. A much better weapon with which to combat a bread crate.
So these two had their weapons raised above their head, ready for a good throw or a good swing. The chap was in the corner, and the girl was covering his escape pretty convincingly. Spontaneously, I decided to tackle the girl and drag her away. She got a bit upset because she thought I was trying to protect her and she certainly didn't need protecting. I assured her that the last thing I was trying to do was protect her. That calmed her down. That is, until she processed the implications and decided that I must be trying to protect the other chap. That would mean I was taking sides, and that he needed protecting from her. Which might imply that she was somehow a threat or unreasonable. I insisted I wasn't protecting him either. Which was actually also true.
I asked her to commit to not hitting the fellow until I'd talked to him and asked him to leave. She said that was OK. So I went and asked the fellow to leave. He didn't want to leave until she left. We had a bit of a stand off. Thankfully, he didn't punch me. I negotiated for them both to leave at the same time in opposite directions. Which I thought was very clever, until I realised they were both wanting to go the same way and walking off the other way would be fairly silly. Fortunately the fellow was gracious and walked off, even though the lass sat down at Rough Edges and waited for him to go. His grace came with a lot of shouting and swearing and threats, but it was grace nonetheless.
I handled the whole thing rather poorly. Partly because it happened suddenly. Partly because I wasn't properly team leader and wasn't expecting to be jumping into fights. Partly because I didn't know the people. Partly because I was so scared that I didn't think about anything I was doing and just said the first thing that occurred to me. Quite a few of those things didn't make sense. And a few of them made things worse.
Rough Edges is a wonderful place. The lass apologised profusely for causing such a ruckus. I apologised to her for tackling her. And we made friends. I don't think I am friends with the chap who walked away though. I made him pretty cross.