The International Writers Magazine: Club Bitch - From Our Archives
week, in the midst of loud music, boozing dancers, and a burly
line-up of club bouncers, I received my first Vancouver-based
death threat. Lucky for me, it came from a wimpy, ugly, insecure,
white-trashy blonde chick who I could have pinned down in a heart
beat had I needed to. (Not that I would sacrifice my new manicure
) But there you have it: Thursday night at the Tokyo
I showed up following
a brief and utterly enjoyable beer-drinking session at the Marine Club
on Homer. My friends and I were hanging out there, grooving to a handful
of skeleton toting indy punk bands, and laughing at ridiculous jokes
that only we found funny. When the beer mugs were drained and the tunes
dissipated into the air (or maybe it was the amp screeching to a malfunctioning
halt- I cant remember), we commuted in a parade of cabs over to
Reggae night at the locale on Alberni and Thurlow named for our Japanese
urban friend. There, we shook it up on the dance floor between jager-bombs,
lifting one knee and then the other repeatedly like clumsy soldiers.
I felt like I was in the gym doing step class high on pain killers.
It was not until the end of the night, as I was exiting the place, that
the trouble started. I was quietly leaving, trying not to grab the attention
of some cling-on guys whom I wanted to ditch, and there in the frame
of the exit door, stood a scrawny guy with his hat on backwards, one
arm raised against the wall as if to hold himself up. He was staring
me straight in the eye. I smiled nervously because he was in my way
and proceeded to try and pass him when he blurted out, "Why are
you looking at me?" Confused and mildly offended I said, "Well
maybe because you are standing in the doorway directly in front of me
He repeated, "No, I mean why are you looking at me," he insisted.
I shrugged my shoulders unsure of how to respond but before I had a
chance to say anything, a rancid voice piped up from behind me.
"Yeah, you ugly bitch, why are you staring at my girls boyfriend?
Youve been staring at him all night
what the f#$@?"
I had never seen this guy before, so I was flabbergasted at the accusation-
but little did I know, this is how gangs set you up for death. Right
then, she shoved me into the wall with all her might. (Note to this
rude young woman: go to the gym before you try to take me on honey.)
In that moment, an adrenalin rush the size of GM Place welled up in
my chest and I felt an incredible urge to kick her in the jaw. I even
shocked my normally-peaceful self! Ugly bitch kept running
through my brain and all I could think about was how she was extremely
inaccurate. Im not a canine and while my ugliness may be a subjective
thing, I hardly felt the claim was warranted after I made a concerted
effort to brush my hair that day. It was dismissive, rude, and highly
unoriginal. The least she could have done was come up with a more witty
insult after all. Enraged, I retorted (in gangsta speak): Oh no
you did-ent, dont go dissin on me girl. Kick yo own
ass to the curb. Yah, thats right dog."
OK, OK, maybe it was more like, waaaa as I ran back inside
and hid behind the bouncer, but before I left, I did manage to get the
last word in. I said, "Oh go home you
.." and the last
word started with H and ended with O. That there,
that was grounds to run.
When a friend later pointed out to me that this kind of interaction
is exactly what gangs do before they kill someone, (and highly un-Kits-like
I might add) I got a bit freaked out. Packs of girls or guys pick on
someone for no reason, and then gang up and beat the living potatoes
out of them - or just stab them to death on the spot. And that would
have been me if I had pushed her back. Her girlfriend got all up in
my face and said, "you look at him again and Ill kill you."
Meanwhile, comebacks were swarming my brain, but I knew better than
to utter them out loud. Heres what I wanted to say though:
"Looking at his ugly mug would kill me on its own you idiot."
Or "Yah? Well, maybe its cause he cant take looking
at you anymore fat-face."
Or even, "Youll kill yourself with that breath baby- go find
a toothbrush and then come back and talk to me."
Either way, I would have been in for a serious scrap had I not kept
my tongue to myself. And its a good thing I did because now I
can live to tell the story. Bottom line is: dont let them beat
your pride down, but once youve said your peace, RUN.
© Heather Neale Nov 2004
Heather is a working journalist and reviewer in Vancouver BC
all rights reserved