“You liking this?” My manager asked as I watched one of the seemingly hundred screens we had of the UFC fight (not even sure that’s actually what it’s called, I’m bad with acronyms). I started chuckling to myself.
He looked puzzled. “It reminds me of my cats fighting. They kinda paw at the air and then smack each other.” He seems a bit upset about my description, but it wasn’t untrue. I kept having a video I had seen forever ago on YouTube of two cats that were doing similar hand motions the fighters were. Pushing each others hands around until one had enough and hit the other. The voice over was hilarious.
About the time one of the fighters got a huge gouge taken out of his forehead and the skin started flapping around a little bit more, was about the time I went back to the kitchen. I couldn’t watch that stuff. I don’t care how sportsmanlike each fighter was. I don’t care how many tattoos from Philippians you have tattooed on your body in plain visibility. I don’t care how many times you praise God for “getting this far.” It’s a little gross what those fighters do. Intentionally trying to injure another person so they cannot fight anymore. To deprive what? Who’s better? Or is it to prove who’s luckier?
How do they determine who is winning if another person is still standing anyway? By how bloodied their bodies are? Is there a point system per hit? I don’t know. I don’t even want to know.
The sports commentators after the fight asked the winner what his strategy was. I came back into the kitchen and exclaimed loudly “His strategy was to hit the guy in the face as much as possible and knock him out.” I got a “Hear hear!” And some laughter from my coworkers. We hate UFC nights. Tables sit and drink all night so we can’t be seated again, and we can’t leave until they do. Yell at us all night because their drunk. Sexually harass us. Or just harass us. Trying not to be caught by the security we have all over the building in case something happens. They don’t see the tears in the kitchen from the poor waitresses who are stressed out. They leave poor tips or none at all, not knowing some of us only make money by our tips. They watch two grown men fight each other bloody. Then they leave. Like nothing happened.
It all feels very heartless.
I had felt bad putting in my two weeks notice. I had done well there. Somewhat. But not enough. The promotion at my other job was a better bet for me. I could organize client information. I could sell cosmetics and perfumes. I could talk to women and men about style and fashion. I could justify the need for selling clothing…because it’s required to wear in public. I could justify women wanting makeup to feel pretty. I understood it.
What I cannot justify, is the aggressive fight culture.
Gangs beat up on each other in New York, or Chicago….willingly. Sometimes it’s just for something to do. Perhaps they want to settle something. Like who is the best. They don’t want cops involved, but if cops catch wind they get arrested. Assault they call it. So why is it different in a cage match with hundreds of spectators present, and thousands upon thousands televised? The hype? The expectation that said fight will take place? Training? Gangs workout and train together. They too have skills. So why is it underground fighting or street fighting is so illegal and UFC isn’t? Same risk of death, with or without a referee. Same risk of brain injury. Same risk of deep wounds.
Maybe I just hate life as a waitress at a sports bar.