I've known K for years, although he is about 12 years younger than me, and for about 20 of those years, K made his living from running bars and nightclubs. He also made his reputation as a fearsome doorman who has had to deal with machete and knife attacks from bands of marauding 'Yardies', over from Bristol on a night out, as well as your average drunken idiot who fancies himself as a hard man trying to spoil everyone elses's peaceful evening.
You must not get the wrong impression about him though, he is - at heart - a polite and peace-loving citizen who is also great fun to be with, but not one that you would want to upset - especially on a full-moon.
To give you an example, he was walking home one night a couple of months ago when he was violently pushed out of the way by three nasty youths walking in the opposite direction. One of them said, "Get out of the way, old man". Big mistake.
He turned back to them and, whilst removing his hat and gloves, told them that if he was indeed an 'old man', then they should show a little more respect toward him, whereupon one of the others pressed his face against K's and said "OLD MAN." Another big mistake. In about 4 seconds, all three of them were lying on the pavement, bleeding from various parts of their faces and the streets of Bath had become a little more pleasant to walk around at night.
Some years ago, he was working in a local night club, when he became aware of a very small, Chinese man creating a disturbance. The man had been drinking pint after pint of strong lager and had become abusive and disruptive, so K approached him and told him he had to leave. When the refused to do so, K decided that he had to bodily escort him up the large flight of stairs to the street outside, where a pre-booked taxi was waiting.
In the process of seeing him off the premises, K somehow managed to find out the Chinese man's address in order to tell the taxi driver, and this was no mean feat, especially as the man had obviously had some training in Kung Fu and was doing his best to land quick successions of blows on various parts of his body as K carried him up the steps.
K was surprised how difficult it was to get him into the taxi considering how small he was, and they had both fallen on the pavement a couple of times as the man pushed his foot against the side of the car, sending them toppling backwards.
Eventually, K employed the old police manoeuvre of pressing hard down on the Chinaman's head as he stuffed the rest of his diminutive body into the cab, then slammed the door shut and watched the taxi disappear into the night. The Chinese man had dragged himself to the back window and was shaking a fist at K as he shouted promises of revenge, and his screams - clearly audible, even through closed windows - diminished as the car vanished from sight.
When he got back into the club, someone who knew told K that he had just bundled a high-ranking Triad family member - a 'Mr X' - out of the club and into the taxi, but K thought no more about it.
A few days later, K applied for a different job working in a specialist shop, and arranged an appointment with the owner to be interviewed for the position, via a secretary. When he arrived for the interview he discovered - to his horror - that the owner was the Chinese man, and the first thing that Mr X suggested was that he needed a chauffeur to take him to a meeting the following day, and K was invited to be it, just to see how they 'got on'.
The next day, K climbed into the driving seat of the huge BMW, and as he pulled away with Mr X in the back, managed to convince himself that he was driving to his own torture-chamber, if not execution.
As it transpired, Mr X had no recollection of the incidents of a few nights before, and they became best of friends. I too became friends with Mr X, and he, K and I went on several little trips to the pub which began at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon and ended at about 7 o'clock after Mr X had drunk about seven pints of strong lager and had us all thrown out with a warning never to return.
I don't think that Mr X drinks like that anymore - which is just as well - and K is getting older too, but not so old that you would want to push him into the railings on a dark night and tell him to 'get out of the way'.