Ok, well you can say that about anything, I know, but go with me here, I'm about to recount a tale of heroic exploits, sweaty backs, smashed faces and no, I do not mean the football, I'm talking about something much, much MUCH better than that. ROLLER. DERBY. GRAND. FINAL.
Ok, so let's start from the start. Kat and I were organised for once, and actually got to the showgrounds a half hour before we had to. I felt good about it til I realised that it was locked and we couldn't get in. We were at the Rose Tce entrance so we walked around to the Goody Rd one, shut too (ugh). THEN we had to walk all the way round to the farmers market. All this time I was aware that everyone who saw me was like 'what the...' as I was in my boutfit with my hair all teased up, my eye stripe and my top hat on. Kat was in a tiny dress with fishnets so while people were fearful of me, they were perving on her.
We eventually got in and the pandemonium started. I got geared up and had a lil skate on the track we were going to use, as it was different from the usual one. I warmed to it straight away. It was more slick than the usual, but less slick than where we practice each week, it was perfect for me actually, cos I like a little slide, but not too much. Then, we got to our jobs, mine was selling raffle tickets. I'm good at this, cos I can shout loud and have the ability to make people feel bad for holding out - 'C'MON PEOPLE, I KNOW YOU GOT A DOLLAR IN YOUR POCKETS, DON'T MAKE ME SMASH HEADS HERE'. The crowd was already huge, the line snaking several times, and it was only just after 12:30, doors opened at 2:00. I finished my book and went back in to skate some more.
At this time I asked Caddy to tease my hair up for me. 'make it real big' I said. As she was teasing, she was giggling, and she told me that maybe she'd made it too big, maybe I wouldn't like it, so I checked it out in the mirror. If a lion mated violently with Tina Turner and had a dodgy looking kid with a black stripe over her eyes, she would look like me. I gasped, touched it softly and whispered 'it's perfect'. Caddy asked 'why do you want it so big?' I gave her crazy eyes, pointed at my head and said 'to put fear in the hearts of my enemies. Would you fuck with this?'
At some point someone told me there was someone outside with hair like mine and that they must have dressed like me. I laughed, cos that was the first time I'd done that to my hair, so nobody could've known, that must've been their real hairdo. Sweet.
Ok. Fast forward to the skate out. I was a little unsure about it, I'll admit. I'm not really a musical theatre fan, and it was a take off from West Side Story, which I've never seen. Why I liked it in the end, is that Mr W and Candy sang a duet together and it was so camp and fabulous that it sold me. I think the crowd liked it, well there wasn't any booing, so they must've.
So. The first bout, Mile Die Club vs The Salty Dolls. Poor MDC hadn't won a bout all season, so there was a lot riding on it for them. They started strong, but then gradually got a lil razzed and the Salties started to get a grip on the scoreboard. I watched as Champion Ruby planted a canopener straight into Lula Fortune's face and I thought to myself 'oh my, this is gunna be interesting' (yes, I actually so have the phrase 'oh my' in my inner monologue).
The first half went so quickly. It was time for us to warm up, so I didn't see the second, but from the sound of the crowd, it was going off like a frog in a sock. Letta Loose from my team is a mad kickboxer so she brought focus mitts for our off skates warm up. GREAT idea. I got a lil overzealous, which, teamed with the fact that I have no boxing skill almost bowled her over backwards. 'Take it easy psycho', she said, and I felt very complimented! My hair was clearly working.
Karmen Getme set up a good vibes shrine in our changeroom. All of us put something there to boost the good juju, I contributed with the bowtie I wore to the skate out of my first bout ever, which was the first time I ever got lead on Barrelhouse Bessy. That's important, more on that later.
More warming up in the deafening roar of Mile Die fans as they took third place, and we were out on the track. I mean it when I say I wasn't nervous. I'm sick of that shit. I was always nervous when I played hockey, feeling ill because of it, and it's useless, so I scrapped it. These days, I just tell myself that I'm gunna try the hardest I can. Whether we win or lose, I can't give more than my best, and that's what I did.
The bout started tentatively, we got on the board first, but the Hearses followed soon after. They are an amazing team, lots of depth there, and with leaders like Pixie Pincher and Nyx Bellatrix, with Bessy in the mix also, well, let's just say that they're formidable opponents.
Now, I gotta admit, and I apologise, but I can't remember much. One thing I can remember is that my first jam of the game was against Bessy, just like my first jam ever. And, like that first jam, I got lead! It must have been that bowtie on the shrine. I think I jammed lots in the first, I do know that I jammed last before half time, and I thought I was going to pass out. I was so hot. I managed to get my breath back though. At this point we were 13 points down, I think. Back out there, and things got hairy. Both teams were getting penalties, and there was a jammer in the box a lot of the time. People were getting desperate, blocks were flying all over the shop and I think we were all pretty damn tired. It stayed close until I think the last six minutes or so. Then, things got crazy, and time went into fast forward, like a Benny Hill flick without the music. I think from memory, Mad Dog Mims had a great jam, then Kit Cat Krunch, then me, and all of a sudden we were 20 or so points up. Our blocking was amazing. I felt like we'd finally clicked as a team and were truly working as a unit. I didn't let myself dare believe that we had it in the bag, especially as Violent Krumble was in the box and Bessy was up to jam. Bessy is just someone that you can never ever underestimate. She was on fire too, lapping the pack. I think we had blockers in the box as well. She skated amazingly, but then Krumbs was back out, earning points, and we knew we were safe. The clock chimed zero and we were champions.
What a crazy bout. The Hearses were undefeated all season. It was Vaderella's last game as she's retiring, so I was even more super duper happy to give her that send off. Incidentally, it sealed the hat trick year for me. I retired from ice hockey after we won the national championships for the fifth time, my ice hockey team I coach won gold in their division for the first time, and my derby team won the championship. High fives all round.
Now, to the afterparty. I re-teased my hair for the event. The Ed Castle was packed with derby girls and supporters, it was jumping with positive energy. I was flitting around, socialising, dancing, drinking, spilling etc. I lost a dance-off but was gracious in defeat. When the lights came on, we migrated to La Sing in Chinatown, and that's where things got messy. I was standing around, chatting, when I heard a crash. I looked over to the stage and Kit Cat had fallen into a cavity in the wall back there and was struggling to get back up, beer intact. I thought to myself 'oh my, things are getting good'. I've blogged before about the karaoke-goers who are very serious aboutt their 'craft'. Well, there was one there. Incidentally, the tranny with the fripples that I usually d and m with wasn't there. Sad. Anyhow, there was a serious singer up doing a song, can't remember which one. Canon Wonderful grabbed the mic and began singing over the top of him. Who was better I cannot say, but who was funnier, I can. Canon, hands down. I was helping her do highlights. The man became very upset and glared at us. He said 'Do you want to do it then?' Canon replied 'yep' so he left. Then a very angry chinese man came over to sort us out. 'You cannot steal other people song! You don't do it again! Now Behabe! BEHABE!' I nodded and confirmed that I would 'behabe'.
There was a football team in there with us, who kept choosing shitty songs, so I got on the mic and shouted 'You all are pussies and you're choosing pussy songs!' The chinese man glared so I stepped down.
All in all, dedspite the lack of my perpetually hard-nippled tranny friend, it was a great time. We got home about four, went to bed and I awoke feeling like I'd been danced on by John Goodman. I think that some of the soreness was from the bout, some was from dancing and repeatedly punching my arms in the air. I was supposed to go to uni but my car wouldn't start again, so I stayed home, feelin very happy in spite of the alcohol poisoning and derby tenderising.
Now I'm in Canberra for a week, chilling with Kat and my sister's family and I'm loving myself sick about it. So, until I'm back in Sunny Adelaide,
Thank you for tuning in, this is Burt healy saying...
Hey! Hobo man, Hey! Dapper dan, you both got your style, but baby you're never fully dressed, without a smile...