There was a man vomiting in the park as he searched for bottles and cans in the garbage can when my dog and I arrived there in the morning. He was putting his head deep into the big can and vomiting when he pulled it out. The big can is where everybody puts their plastic bags of dog pooh. We went to a different park. (An aside: why do so many movies feature scenes of people vomiting? Do that many people like to watch a good vomit? If they do, and I think they must, vomit watching ranks just below sex and violence on the list of things people like looking at.) Soon my dog was chasing rabbits, squirrels, birds and shadows across the sparkly morning dew. It was a good start to the day.
I cut the grass, fertilized it and tried not to think about all women's flat track roller derby. The government has ordered us not to water our lawn more than twice a week. Assholes. My neighbourhood is way ahead of the government. Only one of us ever waters our lawn any more.
Once the chores were done Sonja and I kissed the Hammer good-bye and went to the pub. Too bad dogs are not allowed in the pub (by order of the fucking government). Sonja hit the wine while I enjoyed several pints of Kokanee Gold. I like that beer, sounds like the name of some really good dope.
Once we were starting to feel good we met up with Hunky Z and Kitty. Hunky drove us to the roller derby. Before we left Hunky produced some peyote buttons from a bag. I broke up a few buttons and swallowed them with a Red Stripe. "You going to to be able to drive on this shit?" I asked Hunky. "I'll just pretend I am flying a space ship," he laughed. If the people I know were not such good drivers when they are impaired I would have died many years ago.
Kitty and Sonja both had to go see why their men all of a sudden wanted them to wear roller skates and frilly underthings to bed. As Sonja put it in the car on the way to the arena, "Beer has always been a pervert but he never said a thing about roller skates until after the first time he saw roller derby. And now every time I look over his shoulder when he is on the computer he is looking at roller derby pictures and feeling himself up."
I needed a beer. Once I start on the beer I do not like to stop. I should have brought some for the trip like when the boys and I used to head downtown looking for danger. Luckily Hunky drives like Luc Bourdon, faster than the speed of life. We were at the arena faster than Mike Gillis can say, "moving forward."
As we rolled into the parking lot the peyote started to work. Peyote is God's way of saying, "Why bother smoking dope?" I saw Faster Pussycat Dorothy Hammer selling tickets out front. She looked real good without her helmet on. She is what Bukowski would have called a long yellow. I introduced myself to Dorothy as I paid for two tickets. That is something I never thought I would do: introduce myself to a roller girl.
Several men were showing off their work kilts outside. There is something undeniably masculine about the kilt. Maybe I will get one too.
Soon as I got in the arena I found the beer garden. A couple roller girls were pouring pints of Russell ale. I was impressed. Usually you have to drink shit beer when there is a beer garden. I opened up my beer hole and filled up.
The first period of the bout was some great derby. It was a much more violent bout than the first one of the season. The Riot Girls and the Bad Reputations were all going home with big ass bruises tonight.
On my way to the beer garden at the first intermission I asked for and was granted an autograph by Andi Struction of the Faster Pussycats. My first roller girl autograph. She drew a little heart on it. (I keep it under my pillow.) Then I got myself some more Russell.
As I was drinking my beer I asked some of the people I was drinking with why it was they liked roller derby. One biker who was there about summed up what everybody else told me. "I like watching girls fall on their can." There is something just a little Clockwork Orange about the whole spectacle.
In the second period the derby's intensity increased even more. The crowd was getting wilder with each can that landed on the cement floor. The girls and the crowd were rocking like Bo Diddley.
In the second intermission I got Dorothy Hammer's autograph and met her mom. Some people say you should check out your girl's mom before you commit to a long term relationship. Dorothy's mom was looking good.
As I worked the Russell once more I talked to Riot Girl Roxy's dad. He was sure proud of his daughter. Meeting Roxy and another roller girl I have yet to identify on the street was what steered to me to my first bout. They were both so sweet, so nice. I like sweetness. When I told Roxy's dad what it was I did for a living he launched into a great speech about how, "fucking treasonous it is to be shipping raw logs out of Canada. That Campbell ought to be hung from the highest tree we have left in this province."
The third period was a bit of a blur. Between the peyote and the Russell I was starting to get a little fucked up. But I was not too fucked up to mess up my instincts. My instincts about people are gold. I only got to talk to a few roller girls and some of their family in the beer garden but I got to look in a lot of their eyes. Roller girls are some damn fine people.
The people I look up to the most in this world are the people who create a scene; the people who make a scene out of nothing. The people who give you the opportunity to raise the motherfucking roof on Saturday night. That is what the Terminal City Roller Girls are doing.
On the way home Sonja and Kitty were of one mind when it came to their assessment of what it was in roller derby that appealed to their men. "It's all about ass, isn't it you fucking perverts?"