Before Saturday, I had no idea the songs "Bad, Bad LeRoy Brown" and "Don't Mess Around with Jim" were both by Jim Croce. Not that I knew either song was by him - I'm usually pretty dense when it comes to placing songs with their creators - but the idea both were by the same person never entered my mind. The stories they told were similar enough, I didn't they'd be written by the same guy. More likely that one was done later, having seen the success of the earlier song.
Both songs build up their main characters as these fierce, dangerous fellows, but when the time comes, neither backs it up. For all that Jim is supposedly 'strong as a country horse', and the 'King of 42nd Street' (well Slim calls him that, may not be an actual title), he still winds up cut to ribbons (and shot) by some boy he hustled at pool*.
As for LeRoy, even packing a gun and a razor couldn't save him from the husband whose ire he drew. That song actually ends oddly, because all we hear of the fight is when the two men were pulled from the floor, Mr. Brown 'looked like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone'. Yet the song still ends with the chorus about how LeRoy's the baddest man in the whole damn town, badder, meaner, so on and so forth. Unless this is a case of "You should see the other guy!", I'd say there's at least one man in town badder than LeRoy Brown. But maybe LeRoy won. We don't know for sure what happened to the other guy, since it isn't his song, but I feel if LeRoy had slit his throat, or pummeled him senseless, it would have been mentioned.
Both Jim and LeRoy are presented as these tough guys who are feared throughout their little kingdom, and it's done in a way so we'll be glad when they get their comeuppance (though I think Slim went too far considering Jim's offense), but it's a bit of a letdown how easily the two of them are overthrown. I don't know if the point is there's always someone tougher**, or it's a morality play, where the pool hustler/skirt chasers receive punishment for their sins.
* You'd think killing a man simply over a game of pool would get someone in trouble, but I guess even the police won't mess with Slim by the end of the song.
** That would work for Jim, since by the end of the song, they've substituted "Slim" in for "Jim", which gives me the impression someone else's name was there before Jim's.