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Tucker Max, The night we almost died
The night we almost died 
by: Tucker Max

Tucker Max Home / Vices ChannelEntertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

Want to read more of Tucker Max's tales of belligerence & debauchery? Visit!


There are fun nights, there are crazy nights, and then there are those nights that make men legends.

It was a Saturday night in law school. Me and about four friends (Hate, GoldenBoy, Brownhole, and Credit) had collected at El Bingeroso’s apartment. El Bingeroso had a college fraternity brother in town, Thomas, and wanted to show him a good time. We got there at around 7pm, and immediately began cooking large quantities of meat and drinking lots of alcohol.

El Bingeroso, who lived with his fiancée, was excited about seeing his college friend and began attacking the Natural Light. His fiancée, Tracy, knowing El Bingeroso’s proclivity towards unruly drunken behavior, caught me in a corner and made me promise to stay sober so I could drive. Owing her a favor, I agreed.

Though pissed at the time, it became the best decision I have ever made in my life.

All the meat and liquor in the apartment consumed, we headed out. It was decided that we needed to try a new bar. Someone mentioned that a place called "Shooters II" had a mechanical bull. This was an easy call.

By the time we arrived, El Bingeroso and Thomas were so drunk they were singing Johnny Cash songs and kicking cars in the parking lot. The rest of the party was not doing much better. Hate, normally an edgy person anyway, was so drunk he was eyeing Stop signs suspiciously. Having wrestled with Jim Beam for the past two hours and lost, he was ready for a fight. Brownhole and GoldenBoy were already staggering. I mentally prepare for the worst.

We paid $2 to get the obligatory bracelets. The girl behind the counter was dressed in a tight red Lycra cowgirl outfit, replete with white lace and frills. Her boots were black and white snake skin. But it was the leopard skin ten-gallon hat that really brought the outfit together.

The bar was decorated in classic neo-Western Roadhouse: longhorns, oil cans, and saddles decorate the walls. I half expected Patrick Swayze to be smacking around unruly townies. I was so busy looking at the redneck paraphernalia, I failed to notice it before I heard Hate gasp, “No way! This is awesome!”

In the center of the bar was something I had never seen before in my life: Live professional wrestling.

Let's be clear about this: there was a ring, a full wrestling ring set up in the middle of the bar, and there were people, ostensibly professionals, in the ring, wrestling each other. I must have stood there for a good three minutes, trying to let my brain catch up with my eyes.

A real life ring, right in the middle of the bar. Two sweaty, out of shape wrestlers grappling, and a white banner behind the ring, proclaiming for all to see, “THIS IS THE SOUTHERN WRESTLING ASSOCIATION.”

Hate is the first into action. Being an ex-high-school wrestler, and completely shit-housed, he immediately pushed his way though the layers of crowd to arrive ringside, and began yelling curses at the wrestlers.


This continued for a good five minutes. All of us were mesmerized, drunkenly fixated on this surreal comedy playing out before our eyes. To Hate’s credit, the guys in the ring were not in good shape. If by “not in good shape,” I mean “fat and disgusting.”
A mere one beer later, Hate made his move. He stepped over the ropes that separated the crowd from the ring, and began banging on the canvas, yelling at the wrestlers. A bouncer told him to stop. Hate takes this as a cue to get into the ring, and beer firmly in hand, tried to climb into the ring. Two bouncers pulled him out of the ring before he could climb all the way in. We collected Hate from the bouncers, promised that he would behave, and gave him another beer. Hate continued repeating “My grandmother could kick their asses, this is a complete joke,” over and over to himself.

Then I noticed how much we stood out. We were dressed in the standard grad-school uniform; khaki’s and button down’s. No one around us shared our fashion sense. They were dressed in “redneck casual;” dirty blue jeans and assorted trailer-park shirts (e.g. WWF shirts with logos like, “Come Smell What the Rock is Cooking”). The better dressed had on cowboy hats, cowboy boots, flannel shirts and clean blue jeans. Having grown up in Kentucky, I knew that these sorts of people generally don’t take kindly to those they perceive as rich and snobbish, especially when they've been drinking. I filed that thought under “Obvious foreshadowing.”

By this time Hate had separated from us and found his way into a discussion with a group of younger rednecks about the relative merits of the North versus the South. Hate is from Pennsylvania. They did not share his views. He claimed that he could whip any wrestler in the bar that night. Two of the rednecks, one very fat, claimed to be cousins of one of the wrestlers, the one called “Motorbike Mike,” or some such bullshit. Hate questioned the sexuality of their cousin. A girl in the group claimed to be the girlfriend of “Motorbike Mike.” Hate questioned her taste in men, her moral turpitude, and her intelligence.

The fat one, an alleged cousin of Motorbike Mike, who was apparently also somehow a relative of the girl, took exception to this. He was about 6’1”, making him a good 8 inches taller than Hate. He had thick glasses, so horribly smudged I wanted to rip them off his face and clean them on my shirt (remember, I’m sober). His white tank-top shirt had grease and ketchup stains on it, partially covering the “George Strait” concert logo.

The redneck desperately needed a course in logic. He was losing an argument to someone so drunk he tried to climb into a wrestling ring:

Hate “The south is full of in-breds and rednecks. How are you related to both of them?”

The redneck tries to explain. I’m not able to follow. Hate ignores him.

Hate “None of this changes the fact that they’re dating, and they’re related. That is incest. You are southern in-bred trash.”
Redneck “Yeah, well the north is just a bunch of rich bitches.”
Hate “Possibly, but that doesn’t change the fact that you have not responded to me. You are obviously an idiot also.”
Redneck “Wa, well…You ain’t worth a shit, and neither is the north.”
Hate “Oh, that’s a great comeback. You’re making my point for me, moron.”
Redneck “Bitch, I’ll fight'cha ass. Well see who’s better then, ya rich bitch.”

A few more minutes of this, and the wrestling round mercifully ended, creating a short break in the action. I pulled Hate away from this stimulating conversation, and we joined everyone else at the bar. Hate ordered shots for the group.

After a post-shot round of beers, the mechanical bull started up. Hate not only signed himself up, but continuously yelled across the bar at the fat redneck with the smudged glasses until he came over and signed up also. El Bingeroso slammed a ten dollar bill on the bar, and called the redneck out.

El Bing “Hey FATASS, ten bucks says my friend rides longer than you.”
Redneck “Screw you, northern bitch. I’ll fucking outride your mom.”
El Bing “What? My mother’s not here, idiot. You just have to outride him,” pointing at Hate.

The redneck walked off without answering. After a few girls rode the bull, the redneck got on and was thrown after about four seconds. A poor showing. We mock him mercilessly. He flips us off. We cheer loudly.

Hate rode for the full eight seconds, an eventful eight seconds at that. The first four or so he was doing fine, until the bull reared back, and flung him forward. Hate, had he been like the redneck, would have flown off into the cushions. But Hate is sort of like a British pit bull: once his jaws are locked, nothing short of death can get him to release. As a result, his entire body landed on his crotch, which hit his hand, which he had tied to the saddle horn. You could almost see him turn green as his entire body weight crushed his testicles against his wrist. To his credit, he stayed on for the full eight seconds.

Hate, along with El Bingeroso and Thomas who have joined in the North vs. South discussion, begin taunting the fat redneck.

Hate “Hey, Jethro, how’d I stay on longer than you? Your fat ass alone should have kept you on for more than four seconds.”
Thomas “Can anyone from the South do anything right?”
El Bing “Maybe if you weren’t fucking your cousin, you’d be able to hold on tighter.”
Hate “I thought the North wasn't worth a shit? I’ve never even seen a mechanical bull before tonight, and I outrode your sorry ass.”

The redneck flips us off again, yells a stream of non-sequitors that he presumably intended as disparaging remarks, and storms off with his friends. This enrages Hate,


El Bingeroso and I convince Hate that it’s OK; in this case, a moral victory is sufficient.

The mechanical bull interlude over, wrestling began again. Everything stayed calm for a while. The two wrestlers were incredibly fat, but they were using props (trash cans and such) and fake blood, so it was entertaining.

I went to the bathroom and when I get back Hate had disappeared again. I found him up against the ring, trying to grab one of the wrestlers by the ankle. I run over to the ring, where the bouncers had pulled him off the ring, and were trying to calm him down. He did not respond to them agreeably.

At this point, dealing with Hate was like taking a leashed pit bull to the Westminster Dog Show. I assist the bouncers in moving Hate away from the ring, and he and I end up in the area where the fat redneck and his entourage are. By this time, Motorcycle Mike has come down to hang out with his myriad cousins and girlfriend. Hate, seeing the fat redneck, demands El Bingeroso’s ten dollars. Motorcycle Mike and I try to break them up, when Hate realizes who he is and yells at him,


Then hell starts breaking loose.

The bouncers lose their patience with Hate, and three of them, plus Motorbike Mike, picked him up and literally threw him out the back door. It was a scene straight out of Roadhouse. I go to find everyone else, still at the bar, to tell them that Hate has been thrown out. El Bingeroso and Thomas are drunk, hanging all over each other, telling college stories to each other that both were there for. Brownhole is talking to the only female bartender with a full set of teeth, and GoldenBoy is cheering the wrestlers, urging them to spill more fake blood.

When El Bingeroso gets drunk, violence tends to follow. Provoked by the knowledge of Hate’s ejection from the bar, El Bingeroso begins smashing ashtrays and flinging them off the bar. This upsets the bar manager, who pulls me aside.

Manager “Son, I think it’s time you and your friends left.”
Tucker “Yes sir, I agree wholeheartedly. Let me just get them together, and we’ll promptly leave.”

I huddle everyone together, and explain the situation. We are getting kicked out. As I herd them toward the door, Hate walks up.

Hate "Hey guys.”
Tucker "What are you doing here? You just got kicked out.”
Hate "It’ll take more than that to keep me out of here. I paid my two dollars, I’ve got a bracelet, and I'm getting my goddamn money’s worth.”

Fine, I tell him we’ve been kicked out anyway, it’s time to leave. I get everyone moving towards the door. El Bingeroso is one of the first outside, and as he waits for the rest of the group, he sees a truck parked right next to the door. He rears back and kicks the front grill of the truck. Twice. I am still trying to round everyone up, when a large redneck comes out the front door, and walks up to El Bingeroso.

Redneck “Hay boy…hay, did-jew juss kick dat truck?”

El Bingeroso is unsure how to answer. The redneck is large, and El Bingeroso knows he’s guilty of the offense charged, but he doesn’t seem to want to admit this to the redneck. So he just glares at him.

Redneck “I asked you a question, boy, did you kick that truck?”
El Bingeroso “Who the fuck are you?”

That was apparently the magic phrase, because the redneck immediately open fist slapped El Bingeroso right in the face. Thomas, who was standing there watching, throws his beer bottle on the ground, takes a little crow hop, and swings at the redneck. His aim is not good, and the fight degrades into a poorly choreographed dance, where El Bingeroso, Thomas and the large redneck are each swinging at each other and alternately moving away so as to not be struck by any counter punches.

Before I can even intervene (I was a good 10 yards away as the first punch was thrown), 10 more rednecks pour out the door. Brownhole and I successfully pull El Bingeroso and Thomas away from the increasingly large group of rednecks, and manage to settle things down for a second.

Tucker “OK, we are leaving. Sorry about any problems, but we’re going.”

The group of now 20 to 30 rednecks crowded around the door are staring and yelling at Brownhole, Credit, GoldenBoy and me as we try to pull Thomas and El Bingeroso away from the door.

You might be wondering where Hate is at this point. I would have been wondering that also, except my mind was occupied with the strategic nuisances of trying to keep us from getting overrun by a numerically larger force.

Then he showed up, pushing his way through the crowd of rednecks, emerging on the other side of the crowd just as one of the rednecks yelled something derogatory at El Bingeroso. Hate, being both loyal and drunk, immediately tackled this redneck, pinning him up against the very truck that El Bingeroso was kicking three minutes prior.


The events of the next minute are somewhat unclear, but I do remember these images:

-Hate with his head buried in someone’s stomach, wailing at his ribs, as other rednecks descended upon him.
-GoldenBoy and a redneck trying desperately to strangle the life out of each other.
-El Bingeroso and Thomas, back to back, swinging at anything that came close.
-Credit standing in the street debating whether or not to join.
-Me and Brownhole trying to pull Hate off of his redneck punching bag.

Then, the defining words of the night rang from out of Brownhole’s mouth: “DUDE, HE’S GOT A FUCKING GUN! GUN! GUN! GUN! A FUCKING GUN!”

The word “gun” can do strange things to a fight. In this case, it ended it immediately. At those few words, El Bingeroso and Thomas were immediately out in the street with Credit, and GoldenBoy and Hate began retreating, hesitantly, with me and Brownhole, into the street.

Brownhole and I succeed in pulling everyone down the street, towards the first safe place we can find, a bar called the Oak Room. We walk up a flight of stairs, and there are three girls standing at the top of the landing. Hate is the first one to make it to them.

Girl “Hey guys, welcome to the Pi Phi Fall Philanthropy Event. It’s two dollars to get in. Which fraternity are you guys from?”
Hate “Two dollars? I just paid two dollars and got into a fight, what the hell is this? Tucker? Take care of this, I’m not paying shit. Where’s the damn beer?”

He pushes his way past the girls towards the bar area.

Girl “Hey! You can’t do that! It’s two dollars to get in. Um, excuse me!"

I really don’t need this right now. I try to walk past the Pi Phi police, but she grabs me, “Excuse me, you have to pay two dollars, and two more for your rude friend.”

That was my limit.

Tucker “What are you, fucking kidding me? Do you even work here?”
Girl “Uh, no. But it’s a sorority philanthropy event; it’s for charity.”
Tucker “If you don’t work here, then get out of my way. I’ll drink to charity.”

Brownhole ends up paying for the group to get in, and throws in an extra twenty to make the girls feel better. He’ll do anything to get girls to like him.

We all get a beer, myself included. El Bingeroso buys the round, and then huddles everyone together. His speech is not entirely lucid.

El Bing “Alright guys, seriously…guns. OK? We cannot go anywhere without each other. We could die. For real. From the guns. We cannot leave this bar, except as a group. We have to stay together. We could get shot. Understood? Guns? Everyone together."

We agree. At the time, the group, mired in a fog of drunkenness, misses the irony of this statement. I smirk and head to the bathroom. Alone.

On my way back, I smile at a beautiful girl, and she gives me a cute little acknowledgement smile back. I wrote the book on pickup lines, so I head over to her and drop one of my favorite: “Did you invite all these people? I thought it was just going to be the two of us?”

She laughed, and I spent the next 20 minutes staring into her deep green eyes, pretending I was interested in the stupid things she was saying. A beautiful house, it’s a shame no one was home.

Eventually remembering my shepherding duties, I looked around the bar to make sure everyone was OK. Much to my dismay, NONE OF MY FRIENDS WERE THERE.

I sprint off from the girl, she still in mid-sentence, and find Brownhole standing near the door, talking to the girl who wanted us to pay to get in.

Tucker “Dude, where is everyone?”
Brownhole “Oh, the rednecks came up and got them, but I think it’s best for us to stay up here.”

I fly down the stairs, and stumble out to what can only be described as something straight out of a bad ‘90s remake of West Side Story.

On the near side of the courtyard are my friends, El Bingeroso, Thomas, GoldenBoy, Hate and Credit, standing up on benches, pointing, gesticulating and yelling, in a fashion similar to agitated African savanna baboons.

On the far side of the courtyard are about 20 rednecks, engaged in the same type of ritual male-dominance displays. In between this are five large bouncers, trying to maintain calm and keep the warring factions apart.

Hate chooses this point to try and charge across the courtyard towards the rednecks. Thankfully for him, one of the bouncers intercepts him and places him in a headlock. Hate does not like this at all, and begins swinging at the bouncers ribs. Presumably, he would have swung at his face, but Hate is 5'6", and the bouncer's face was about a foot above Hate's reach. I help the bouncer move Hate back over to our side and out of the demilitarized zone in the middle of the courtyard. The bouncer takes this as a sign that I’m the sober one in the group, and says something to me I heard many times in my law school career:

Bouncer “You need to take your friends and get out of here."
Tucker “Look man, our cars are out in that parking lot. You are going to have to walk us out there. Those fucking guys have guns, and they are very angry with us.”

The bouncer sees the logic in this, and explains the situation to the other bouncers. They encircle us, and begin walking us towards our car. The rednecks are none too happy about this, but the lead bouncer has somehow managed to convince them to not launch a full-scale assault on us. I can only assume he threatened violence and inevitable police involvement.

We finally make it to Credit’s car, when I notice that Brownhole is nowhere to be found. Fucking great. I should leave that disloyal coward cocksucker back in the Oak Room. Scanning the parking lot, I see him. He is walking next to the very truck that El Bingeroso had been kicking earlier, talking to the older redneck driving it.

Thomas sees this, and yells out, “Oh shit, guys, Brownhole, is gonna get fucked up.”
El Bing “What? Where? Brownhole! WE HAVE TO BACK HIM UP!” and he tears off running towards Brownhole and the truck.

The subsequent conversation I did not hear, but was reported pretty much the same from both Brownhole and El Bingeroso. Brownhole had apparently made headway into calming the old redneck driving the truck. This guy not only owned the truck in question, but also the very bar that everything had started in. He was on the way to convincing the old redneck to call off his henchman, when all of the sudden El Bingeroso runs up.

Old redneck “Son, your friends are lucky you’re here to get them out of this. I kill people like them.”
Brownhole “Yes sir, I’m glad we can resolve this peacefully.”
El Bing [As he runs up] “Brownhole, what the fuck? Let’s get the fuck out of here. He’s got a gun!”
Old Redneck “A gun? Boy, I got two guns.” At which point the old redneck pulled a 9mm pistol out from a hidden compartment in the truck, and held it up along with his sawed-off shotgun from before.
El Bing “OH SHIT!”

El Bingeroso tried to back up so fast he fell over.

Brownhole “El Bingeroso, go away, go back to the car, I’m taking care of this.”
Old Redneck “Hey, hey boy, you're the one who kicked my truck. You got to pay for a new grill.”
Brownhole “El Bingeroso, come on, let’s go. Sorry sir, my friend needs to get home, he’s very drunk. Your grill looks fine.”
Old redneck “Who’s gonna pay for a new grill for my truck? Goddammit!”

The bouncers thankfully re-intervened at this point, and everyone piled into Credit’s car. Being the sober one I drove over to GoldenBoy’s car, and GoldenBoy and Brownhole got out and into Brownhole’s car. We sat there and watched them get in, and then pull off.

This is important, because the conversation in the car for the next 20 minutes as we drove to Chapel Hill revolved around this event. El Bingeroso was convinced that we had left GoldenBoy and Brownhole to die by the hands of the rednecks. Hate refused to believe that there were any guns involved. Thomas was convinced we were being followed. Credit fell asleep. It went something like this:

Hate "Dude, we fucking left GoldenBoy and Brownhole. They’re fucking dead, man. We left them to die, man. What the fuck?”
Thomas "Tucker man, speed up, those lights have been behind us since we left Durham.”
Tucker "Guys, everyone relax. GoldenBoy and Brownhole are fine, the redneck with the gun parked his truck, we are fine, so everyone just shut up.”
Hate "What gun are you guys talking about? There was no gun.”
Bingeroso "Fuck you Hate, I saw the fucking gun. I saw the gun that the rednecks are using right now to kill Brownhole and GoldenBoy. How the fuck could we leave them? They’ve been shot. We left them for DEAD. THEY'RE DEAD! FUCK!!”
Hate "There was no gun."
Thomas "Seriously, just pull into a police station. The rednecks are following us.”
Hate "Who cares? They don’t have any guns.”
Thomas "Those are totally the same truck lights. They’ve been behind us since Durham. Tucker, seriously, start evasive maneuvers or something.”
Bingeroso "We left our friends...WE'RE COWARDS."
Hate "Speak for yourself."

We eventually made it to Chapel Hill. GoldenBoy and Brownhole were fine, no one was following us, Credit woke up, and everyone told Hate that there were indeed guns. We drank some beers, calmed down, and headed home.

I was exhausted. Being the only sober one in a group of nine retarded drunks is not fun. Fuck this; from now on, I’m drinking and driving. El Bingeroso and Thomas were the last two I dropped off, and I headed into El Bingeroso’s place with them to get a beer; I figured I had earned it.

El Bingeroso decided he was hungry, so he took out a roll of unopened, pre-made cookie dough from the refrigerator, tore off the package, plopped the whole thing down on a cookie sheet, and threw it in the oven, setting the temperature at somewhere around “Lowest Level of Hell.” He tossed us a few beers, and we relived the night for a while, filling each other in on the parts that the other two had missed. After two beers, Tracy came out of her room, groggy and sleepy-eyed, and said to El Bingeroso,

Tracey “What is that smell?”
El Bing “Oh, sorry baby, that’s cookies burning.”
Tracey “Umm, OK. Can you guys keep it down? I’ve got to be at work early tomorrow.”

At this, Thomas stood up and said, “Keep it down? WOMAN, WE’RE LUCKY TO BE ALIVE!!!”

Another night in my law school life.

To get in touch with Tucker, visit!


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