The first rule of the real-life Fight Club is...

If like me, you’re a fan of the 1999 Brad Pitt movie Fight Club, you might find this story of interest. But there is no paranormal character like Tyler Durden involved. The New York City Sheriff’s Department was called to a warehouse in the Bronx recently where a real-life version of that particular phenomenon was playing out. Hundreds of people were inside, getting drunk, smoking and, of course, fighting. And to the horror of city officials, social distancing protocols were not being followed, nor were face masks in use except for any bits of cloth being used to wipe up the blood. Arrests were made and the party came to a halt. (NBC News)

A 200-person unlicensed fight club in New York City was disbanded by sheriffs on Saturday night, according to officials and local reports.

Attendees of “Rumble in the Bronx” were discovered drinking, smoking and fighting — but not socially distancing at the event, according to NBC New York.

At around 11:15 p.m., New York City sheriffs entered a Coster Street warehouse and found the crowd watching and participating in the fighting, NBC New York reported.

Someone apparently dropped a dime on the party, leading to the arrival of the Sheriff’s deputies. This was an obvious violation of the first rule of Fight Club. You don’t talk about Fight Club… particularly to the police.

It’s not that there weren’t things going on that would be of interest to the police. At least one loaded, unregistered handgun was confiscated. Illegal drug use was involved. There’s also apparently a law on the books in New York City regulating “illegal combat.” The place didn’t have a liquor license. The list goes on.

But the people in attendance were also charged with “violation of emergency orders.” That would be the part about not observing social distancing rules handed down by Mayor de Blasio and a lack of face masks.

So what was the major complaint that brought the law down on this massive shindig? Were they more worried about the “illegal combat” or a possible novel coronavirus superspreader event? Given the current situation out on the streets of the Big Apple, I’d be more inclined to believe it was the latter. The cops are constantly faced with much larger crowds who are committing acts of violence far more serious than fisticuffs, not to mention arson and looting, and not too many people wind up being arrested. And at least these people were apparently volunteering to get punched in the face.

But if you violate the social distancing rules you’re going to have to be made to pay. Well, unless you’re part of a BLM march or one of the looters, of course, in which case you’re simply engaged in “peaceful protesting.” But these clowns had to be taken down to the lockup to make a date with a judge.

Exit question: Was I the only one that was shocked to find out that these fight clubs are still a thing in real life and that people are out there beating each other up at random for fun? And they are apparently paying for the privilege to do so. The organizers weren’t making much of a secret of this since they announced the party on their Facebook page. I’d honestly thought this phenomenon was primarily fictional. I mean, I did a lot of stupid things as a young man, but I never paid anyone to get into a fight. (As a sailor we expected those services to be free.) Ah, well. It seems the world remains even crazier than I tend to believe on most days.