The Ides of March: LA Derby Dolls @ The Doll Factory, 3/15/08
5.57pm. In the days leading up to the LA Derby Dolls’ latest bout, DF continues to receive cryptic notes. “DF: beware the Ides of March” reads one. What can this mean? Another: “If you value your life, stay away from the Dolls this weekend” says another. Does someone have a dark plan in place for DF? Finally, my unnamed nemesis writes: “Seriously, DF, if you go to the Doll Factory this Saturday, I will kill you. This is not a euphemism. My plan is to murder you, all right? Jesus.”
6.17pm. To the many (well, three) readers who wrote in the past few days, encouraging DF not to attend the forthcoming match in order to avoid these assassination attempts, I feel you. I also would not want to live in a world without me. And to the many, many more readers who wrote in encouraging DF to attend the match in order to enable assassination, I retort to ye with a heartfelt “suck it”. If the fine ladies of the LADD can risk life and limb to bring titillation to a couple thousand drunk Angeleno hipsters, certainly DF can brave death threats to cover their worthy efforts. To die by their side would be a heavenly way to die. To Historic Filipinotown!
6.48pm. I arrive at the Doll Factory dressed in my finest murder-avoision disguise: zoot suit; oversized foam cowboy hat; external codpiece; clown shoes. My god, I look sexy. But why the elaborate getup, you ask? Why, to outsmart my attempted killer, of course. Would a man under threat of assassination voluntarily make this much of a spectacle of himself? Only if he were an idiot. And by that logic, I am clearly a genius. Oh, one last thing: I affix a large sign reading “NOT DF” to myself, both fore and aft. I am so many steps ahead of my possible murderer I’ve lost count.
7.17pm. After the standard naughty pas-de-deux with the frisky security folks outside, I hasten into the teeming melee that is the Factory and slink to a safe corner of the VIP area. From my safe haven, I contemplate the upcoming game while remaining wary of threats to my mortal existence. The contest pits the 2006 season champions Fight Crew against the 2007 season champion Sirens in a rematch of last December’s championship bout. But despite their illustrious pedigrees, each team has had a rough start to the season, losing to the upstart and undefeated Tough Cookies. And considering that the season consists of only four games, starting with two losses would be dire. The high stakes lend a sense of urgency to the pre-game atmosphere, where it mixes with the ample dosage of Axe Body Spray DF has applied to throw the assassin off his scent.
7.48pm. Game on, bitches. DF has lived to see the first jam, and early signs point to a hardscrabble duel. The wild card is the injury-depleted Fight Crew jammer lineup, which has made up for injury-related absences by adding a bevy of subs. The Sirens skate to an early lead, but then newcomers Racy DC and Bombshell Betty find the range and the Crew storm back. Betty’s five-point jam puts the FC ahead 11-9, but this appears to be the Pickett’s Charge for the FC, as the Sirens respond to grab a narrow lead by the early second quarter.
8.10pm. Celebrity gossip! Drew Barrymore is addicted—to roller derby!!! DB returns to the Doll Factory with an sizable posse, including her lovely sister, Cameron Diaz. Sadly, I have to lay low and cannot approach Miss Diaz to tell her that I consider her work in “There’s Something About Mary” to represent some of the finest semen-related humor of our time. Also, why aren’t these two wearing LADD jerseys that read “Drew Scarymore” and “Slameron Diaz”?
8.25pm. DF’s award for violentest hit of the night goes to Tara Armov. The scene unfolds midway through the second quarter: Armov lines up a nasty block on Roxy Cotton, but milliseconds before they collide, the whistle blows. Metaphor break: have you ever had an itch you knew you shouldn’t scratch but you went ahead and did it because it felt so good you just couldn’t help yourself? That’s what seems to happen in the next moment, as Comrade Tara defies the whistle and sends Roxy through the air for an ass-first landing. The crowd boos and cheers in equal measure: yes, it was wrong, but god damn it was satisfying to watch.
8.28pm. Of course, the downside of scratching an itch when you shouldn’t is that it can result in an oozing, infected mess (trust me). Here, the satisfying scratch is the violent aggression of the Fight Crew’s tactics, but the resulting ooze and infection is the effect it has on their fortunes. Following a bunch of penalties as well as the aforementioned late hit (and the intervening Armov ejection and de rigeur lap of ignominy/pride), the Sirens get to jam unopposed. Mila Minute takes full advantage of the solo opportunity, racking up a full four points and staking her side to a thirteen-point lead at halftime.
8.41pm. Ah, halftime—or as the French say, le demi-temps. LADD fans circulate merrily (well, drunkenly), unaware of the game of cat-and-mouse DF is engaged in with his would-be killer. I’ve survived so far, and what better way to celebrate than with the now-standard corn dog? I head over to the fine bitches of Hot Dog on a Stick and order one up “DF style” (extra extra extra breading). Halfway through my treat, I realize—my god, someone’s put a wooden stick in the middle of this corn dog. The assassin has tried to take the upper hand by placing the murder weapon in the most delicious place of all, seeking to send a fatal volley of splinters down DF’s throat. Et tu, HDOAS? Coughing and gagging, I theatrically spit out the half-masticated corn dog onto the cold asphalt below. “Dude, you’re sick,” responds one gaping onlooker. Yes, I am sick—sick like a fox! You’ll have to do better than that, DF’s assassin!
9.07pm. The curtain rises on the second half. The Fight Crew emerge with renewed vigor, led by ferocious jamming from veteran Fighty Almighty. Despite the all-out effort, though, they have about as much success as Amy Winehouse’s sobriety coach. The Sirens’ cagey but effective play keeps the Crew in a holding pattern, matching them block for block and jam for jam. The third period expires with the Sirens still comfortably in the lead.
9.31pm. The contest is in equipoise, but I cannot let this lull me into a false sense of security. Sensing the assassin’s presence at hand, I remove myself to a fiendishly clever hiding place beneath the VIP seating in order to observe the game, as Caesar himself might have said, incognito ergo sum. My plan is threatened when a cop, risibly asserting that it’s pervy to lurk alone underneath the bleachers, approaches and demands that I leave. Could this be the assassin? I can’t take the chance. I respond with the only weapon at hand, amply spritzing the officer in the face with Axe Body Spray. He falls to the ground in agonies of suffering. Touche encore, mon frere.
9.34pm. As John Q. Law writhes and continues his attempts to claw the liquid sexy out of his eye sockets, I readjust my focus onto the match. Much action has transpired, but little has changed. The Sirens’ blocking crew administers their sizable first-half lead with calm efficiency, allowing the Fight Crew to creep no closer than eight points, and ending up with a convincing (and surprisingly high-scoring) 50-40 margin of victory. The whistle goes and the Sirens celebrate a hard-earned, season-resurrecting win. As the crowd applauds their triumph, DF takes advantage of the distraction to steal into the night, eluding the assassin’s grasp once again.
9.49pm. DF speeds away from the Doll Factory in high spirits. I’ve often enjoyed cheating on my taxes or cheating at cards, but for my money, there’s no better feeling than cheating death. Then I check voicemail to find a message from LaVerne. “Good news, DF,” he explains, “the guy who said he was trying to kill you just called our head office to say he’d sent the note to you by mistake. Turns out he was trying to kill a different DF. Anyway, he’s sorry and is going to send you a Hickory Farms sampler of high-end meats and cheeses to apologize. Gotta go.”
10.01pm. A lesser man might be devastated by the cocktail of chagrin and disappointment that this revelation produces. Apparently DF dressed like the freak of the week, publicly regurgitated a corn dog, and maced a cop with Axe Body Spray all to foil a murder plot that didn’t even exist. But on the plus side, I have a complimentary “Cavalcade of Sausages” gift basket coming my way. And in any event, the allure of the Derby Dolls is so strong that even the paranoia and death risk could not make an evening with them any less magical. Feel the magic for yourself when the Fight Crew take on the Tough Cookies at the Doll Factory this April 12.
Photos and credits:
1. Trixie Biscuit et al. send Killo Kitty flying
2. Racy DC celebrates with moustachio’d patrons
3. Tara Armov celebrates ejection
4. Hot Dog girls
5. Sirens discuss strategery
6. Fighty Almighty is flummoxed by Cagey Bea’s clitoris
Photos ##1-2 & 4-6 by Rinkrat; photo #3 by 3dsean. All photos (C) 2008 by their respective authors. All rights reserved.