Pain in the Rain: LA Derby Dolls ’08 Kickoff Bout @ The Doll Factory, 1/26/08
5.32pm. The night is cold, dreary. Rain drives down without cease. DF’s spirits are as low as the weather is gloomy. Usually when I’m in a mood like this, I just head down the street to Jumbo’s Clown Room and chug Zima until the blues abate. But DF is persona non grata there after causing some … unpleasantness last week. Looks like I’ll just have to engage in the usual Saturday eve Cointreau-and-pork-ribs binge. Then it hits me: there is salvation. Tonight is the L.A. Derby Dolls kick-off bout at the Doll Factory. Fight Crew v. Tough Cookies. Historic Filipinotown and hot roller derby action, here I come!
6.53pm. Arrival at the Doll Factory always lifts my spirits. I so cherish the waiting in line, the personal-injury-waiver-signing, the aggressive pat-down, the—what the shit!?!?! Do my eyes deceive me or is that a Hot Dog on a Stick truck parked right outside the venue? Bellowing like a banshee, I relinquish my place in line and charge to the counter, scattering waiting patrons hither and yon. “Corn dog me”, I demand, and the hilariously accoutred salesgirls accommodate. I devour dog after dog, vaguely aware of but basically indifferent to the phallic connotations, and when I am sated I leave behind a pile of twenty-seven corn dog-less sticks in my wake.
7.23pm. Now inside a sold-out Doll Factory and taking in the pre-match spectacle. DF’s intrepid research reveals that the guy running around the track in a lobster suit is actually the Fight Crew’s mascot. In retrospect, that makes sense, of course, because… Um… Anyway, this leads me to ruminate on a good mascot for the mascot-less Tough Cookies. Hey, given their identity as girl scouts gone bad, maybe it should be a big, anthropomorphic thin mint cookie! I find thin mints more delicious and irresistible than anything else in the world. A guy running around in such a costume might be too tempting for me to resist. Cookies, take note: when you unveil your thin-mint mascot, there is a nontrivial chance that DF will bite the living shit out of that mascot. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
7.40pm Celeb moment #1: Alexis Arquette sings the national anthem, gamely attempting even the highest notes. My favorite Alexis Arquette cameo is from Pulp Fiction, where she played the guy who comes out of the bathroom shooting at Jules and Vincent. In 1995, I ran into someone who was foolishly convinced that part was actually played by Jerry Seinfeld. I managed to convince him to place a substantial wager on this point, but in those pre-IMDb days, was unable to confirm the rightness of my position. Point is: that dude still owes DF $100. If you can find him and get the money, I will give you a 10% finders’ fee. Or if you just want to break his kneecaps for me pro bono, that would also be great. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
7.57pm Oh, right, there’s also a roller derby match about to start. Question is: which team will rebound from late-season disappointments better? The Cookies got smoked by the Sirens in the final game of 2007, losing by the largest margin in LADD history. The Fight Crew lost the mantle of LADD champions at the last minute and in dramatic fashion to the Sirens in the 07 Championship Bout. The odds probably favor the Cookies, if only because they’re at full strength, while the Fight Crew are missing key skaters including Judy Gloom and Broadzilla due to injury.
8.11pm Indeed, the match begins and the Cookies look as organized and resolute as they did ragged last November. Rangy TC jammers Laguna Beyatch, Gori Spelling, and Anne Hackaway snake their way through the Fight Crew’s debilitated blocker pack and rack up a substantial lead even before the end of the first quarter.
8.32pm Yikes. In addition to their preexisting injury-based absences, by the end of the second half the Crew have also lost jammers Crystal Deth and Leia Mout as well as blocker Trixie Biscuit. What has the Fight Crew done to provoke the wrath of the fates? The Cookies press their personnel advantage relentlessly, racking up points to widen their lead further before the halftime break.
8.39pm Q: Is it a marvelous idea to eat twenty-seven corn dogs in rapid succession immediately before a roller derby match? A: if DF’s gastrointestinal system’s reaction is any indication, the answer is an emphatic “Hell no”. DF spends much of halftime stretched out on a bleacher, hoping that a creative journalist will discover a tasteful euphemism for “died of a corn dog overdose” in his soon-to-be-penned obituary.
8.50pm I rally for the start of the second half, when—despite significant attrition—the Fight Crew manage to mount a comeback, cutting the Cookies’ lead to the low single digits. The key to the FC resurgence is cagey defensive work that prevents the TCs from scoring a single point during the third quarter.
9.07pm DF’s award for violentest hit of the night goes to the Fight Crew’s Apocalyptica for her truly bloodthirsty cross-body block on Cookies jammer Laura Palm-her late in the third quarter. DF’s award for one-liner of the night goes to LADD play-by-play announcer Evil E, who follows up by drily telling the crowd, “I guess now we know who killed Laura Palmer.” Ooh, snap!
9.18pm Celeb moment #2: I spot this guy in the crowd, and after much searching of my truly ravaged memory, realize that he is the host of the TV show Survivor, which, people tell me, is still on the air. I yell out “Hey Probst, why don’t you snuff this torch?” while gesturing crotchward. Fortunately, he does not seem to hear what I realize a moment too late sounded more like a sexual proposition than a clever insult.
9.46pm By the time the last jam rolls around, the Cookies have recovered from their third quarter swoon and pretty much put the match out of reach. The Fight Crew refuse to give up, though, and jammer Fighty Almighty puts in a characteristically gutsy performance, skating balls-out despite the result being a foregone conclusion. The jam ends with no points, though, and at its end, the Cookies celebrate a well-earned 35-28 victory. DF rises to applaud the victors, and also to leave ASAP for the nearby City of Angels medical center to see if there is an antidote for corn dog poisoning.
10.03pm Rain has poured down throughout the match, overwhelming LA’s meager drainage system. The capacity crowd exits the Doll Factory to find that the streets of Hi-Fi have turned into scary urban rivers. Does the deluge portend a sea change in the LADD balance of power? Have the rains of fate fallen hard on the Fight Crew, washing away their once-dominant status? Are the winds of change blowing in the direction of the Tough Cookies? Is DF trying far too hard to force a weather-related roller derby metaphor? Well, dear losanjealeno readers, the 2008 LA Derby Dolls season is still in its youthful efflorescence. These and other questions will all be answered in good time. But don’t just take DF’s word for it. Check it out for yourself: next bout is February 16 when the Sirens begin their championship defense against the undefeated Tough Cookies. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.
Postscript: What’s that? Even after reading DF’s article you want more of the Derby Dolls? My god, you’re insatiable. But fear not. You can see the Sirens here as they receive commendation from the L.A. City Council for their 2007 championship. And several of the Dolls (cap’n Myna Threat and rollercannibal Tara Armov of the Fight Crew, as well as jammer Mila Minute of the Sirens) recently made special guest appearances on “Rock of Love”, where you can see them beating up on the various skanks competing for Bret Michaels’ affection.
#1: Markie D. Sod and Tara Armov await the whistle
#2: Fighty Almighty jams against Krissy Krash as Markie D. Sod wipes out
#3: Crystal Deth and Laguna Beyatch jam
#4: Tough Cookies celebrate victory