Welcome to Tuesday Night Fights, a weekly celebration and analysis of street-fight videos found on YouTube. Tonight's fisticuffs: "quebra pau no elevador." Tonight's commentator: Emma Carmichael. (Coming next week: Redneck action, yo.)
The first time I watched this clip, I thought exactly what all of you thought: Women sure are crazy bitches!
But every video in which a group of women savagely beat a trapped woman in an elevator requires context, and this one is no different. So after a couple views, I glanced down at the YouTube description of this particular assault, and I suddenly understood everything: "The camera in the elevator of a building in Sao Paulo city (Brazil)," it reads, "recorded the moment when four women fight over parking spaces."
PARKING SPACES. Before I moved to New York, I was a civil, pleasant driver from Vermont. I was generally considerate on the road, even if I drove too fast, and I'd never experienced anything close to road rage. Intersections in my town are the real-life version of that Portlandia sketch. That all changed when I arrived in New York in my '97 Subaru Impreza. Because I am cheap, and because the car I own is not the type of car that anyone is interested in (it's been broken into a few times; once the culprit simply left the contents of my glove box on the passenger's seat, just so I'd know they'd been there), I park on the street in Brooklyn. Theoretically, this is smart and economical; practically, it means that I have to move my car for street cleaning 2-3 times a week. Sometimes this is easy to do. Other times, I circle the neighborhood for up to an hour, craning my neck on every block and creeping up behind idling cars in the hope that they're leaving. They are never leaving. They are just hanging out, in my parking space. When this process finally ends, and I've found a spot somewhere out in Coney Island and walk the 18 miles home, I sometimes get angry. So angry that I honestly, truly understand the rage these women are in in this Sao Paulo elevator.
If I were to invent a narrative for this particular beat down, it would be simple: lady with the purple bag cut off the threesome for a parking spot, and then calmly made her way to the garage elevator, thinking she'd gotten away with it—until she reached the next floor. That's when the gang, clearly experienced in the very real horrors of losing a parking spot, caught up with her on the stairs.
"You stole our parking spot," says Gray Shirt, but in Portuguese, since we know from the video description that this occurred in "Sao Paulo city (Brazil)."
"Não ver o seu nome," says Purple Bag, which is Portuguese for, "Didn't see your name on it."
(The rest of the conversation is not transcribable, because I only speak so much Portuguese.)
Commence the beatdown. Purple Bag did not stand a chance—in part because the universe in all its glory has ways to punish parking space thieves, and in part because the women who attack her are absolutely vicious and determined and have already successfully cornered her in a tiny elevator with no way out. All it takes, really, is the first slap from Gray Shirt, and then they're going for her earrings and her hair (maybe they've done this before?), and then Purple Bag is on the ground and they're stomping her out while yelling, probably, "ISSO E O QUE ACONTECE COM LADROES DE ESPACO DE ESTACIONAMENTO COM FEIAS MALAS ROXAS" which is, as we all know, Portuguese for, "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO PARKING SPACE THIEVES WITH UGLY PURPLE BAGS."
Purple Bag manages to crawl out on the next floor, rather pathetically, but by then it's clear who won: She's the one who got the parking spot.
And now the rest of the Tuesday Night Fights:
• Real got got at the IHOP in Waterloo, Iowa, yo. (Start of Violence, instantly)
• The long-awaited POV white-guy brawl report. (SoV, 0:05)
• South African crackas, don't ever change. (SoV, 0:20)
• "Stud" and "purple" got down to bidness in Antioch, Cal. for grievances of one sort or another. They end up in a rubbish-runoff seasoned curb puddle. We're all better for having seen this. Trust me on that. (SoV, 0:12)
• Drunks in India, They're Just Like Us Intermission:
• Battling outside the Hookah Bar (in what may be Clayton, Mo.), these bros break glass, "get the fuck outta there." (SoV, instantly)
• Osijeck, I learned from stumbling across a video on YouTube on Saturday, is the fourth largest city in Croatia. Osijeck ladies, I learned from watching said video, settle their differences via smack-first-talk-later philosophy. (SoV, instantly)
• Bikini Fight! (SoV, instantly).
• Bradah and Wes vs. Speedy and Roach, who ya got? (SoV, instantly)
• The Turquoise Anna Face-Stompin' In The Chicago Snow Intermission:
• Sheetz is like a low-end Wawa or 7-Eleven or Terrible Herbst or whatever you call it near you. Sheetz, this one here in Virginia in particular, is also a place where passions can spill over. (SoV, 0:02)
• Angry white boys in Edinburgh. smdh (SoV, 0:02)
• This is what happens when you're perceived to be a crackhead, and you talk smack on da L bus in Miami. Don't worry. He alright. (SoV, 0:12)
• Your School-Bathroom Melee Live Look-In:
• From the 215 vicinity, "Oh Look, Philly High School Kids Brawling Near Flammable Materials In High-School Science Class" (SoV, 0:23). Bonus Coverage: "The Big Fight" (SoV, instantly). Bonus Coverage II: "Here's The Inevitable Philly Tattoo-Convention Brawl Video" (SoV, instantly).
• TNF Beijing Correspondent Anthony Tao checks in with "Three On One Fight Ends Badly For The Three" (SoV, 0:03).
• In this year's Super Bowl roundup, we have "Baltimore Beatdown- Fans Go Crazy after Super bowl Win" (SoV, 0:46), "Street fight girl throws punch gets punched pt1 pt2" (SoV, 0:06), "Super Bowl Beatdown in Vegas" (SoV, 0:24).
• 'Merica rules! (SoV, instantly)
• Postcards from a Dominican Republic MACHETE FIGHT!
• Third Street in McGehee, Ark., represent (SoV, 1:23).
• When cooler heads prevail, thus averting violent conflict, one of these guys had to go and claim carnal knowledge of the other's mother. (SoV, 0:02)
• Others: "Girl hits guy in face with phone." "Wicked female fight brawl in New Franklin Missouri." "Street Fight 4 on 1 and 1 hero." "[Aftermath of] Big RIOT in a club of Costa Rica." "The FLYING Bitch Slap." "Street fight @ woodys." "Basketball Game Ends In Brawl." "I WANT MY CHEESEBURGER." "Martin vs ogre." "Cat Fight - EXTREME."
• Bienvenidos a Miami Coda: