Fists and FroYo: Friday on the ‘Fax

I just witnessed an assault on East Colfax.

OK, I’m not sure what you imagined when you read that, but I’ve got to be honest: If I had just read those words on someone else’s blog, I’d have made some snap assumptions about the people involved in the assault. And I’d have been dead wrong.

Here’s what happened.

We were at Red Mango Frozen Yogurt over by Tattered Cover, about three blocks away from our new house. (The location of which, by the way, prompted my sister to say, “But do you really want to live so close to Colfax?” Heh.)

Red Mango

In comes an older couple. Mid-sixties, maybe. White as white. They look like church-going, golf-playing country clubbers.

In walks another older couple. Also mid-sixties. Also white as white. Also sporting the bridge-club, retired-from-a-long-career-in-banking look. Only this couple has their three young grandchildren in tow. The kids are maybe between the ages of five and eight.

Now, W and I are sitting at the first table by the door. Apparently, both aforementioned sets are trying to walk out said door at the same time. WG1 accuses WG2 of bumping into his wife. Next thing we know, WG2 has been knocked to the ground, WG1 is on top of him, straddling him, throwing some pretty serious punches. The wives are shouting. The grandkids are crying. The sidewalk is a yogurt-strewn battlefield littered with candy sprinkles and red plastic spoons.

Everyone inside runs outside. Us included.

Two of Red Mango’s teenage employees immediately take control and handle the whole situation with amazing cool-headed efficiency. One physically removes WG1 from WG2 and stands between them, even startes down a wild-eyed WG1, who clearly isn’t done with the fist-fight portion of his evening. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen such raw hate and anger in a man’s eyes–not in real life, anyway, and never that up close and personal. And it escalated so quickly! I have no doubt that if WG1 had had a gun, he’d have shot WG2 on the spot.) The other employee chases WG1 and his wife down and gets their license plate number as they flee the scene. Meanwhile, the first employee makes sure everyone is OK, calmly cleans up the sidewalk, confirms that the cops are on the way, apologizes to all the bystanders, and offers everyone who’d gathered around free yogurt or coupons for their next visits to Red Mango.

Adults behaving badly. Teenagers saving the day with calm heroics and common sense. Is there a moral to the story? Sure. Books and their covers and all that. The lesson is obvious. Indeed, this was a strange and unexpected night in my new neighborhood.

But the bottom line? I think I’m going to like it here.