Spanksgiving: Swarm v. Tough Cookies @ the Doll Factory, Nov. 14, 2009
6.45pm. Magnanimous (n, mag naa nuh muhss). From the Latin for “Great-spirited”, normally defined as “generous, appreciative”, though another synonym is “DF”. In a typically seasonally appropriate gesture, DF hereby supplies an illustrative object lesson. DF is thankful, bitches. Oh, yes. DF is thankful for everything from Axe Body Spray to Zatarain’s Fish-Fri. Exempli gratia: DF is thankful for the tact exhibited by the personnel at the nearby Qik-Stop (sic) Market, who never point out how inebriated he already is when stopping by for the night’s umpteenth booze purchase. DF is thankful for the local police precinct’s underenforcement of prohibitions on public urination. DF is thankful for Tommy’s lax condiments policy, which allows him to stockpile enough gratis ketchup packets to provide nourishment for days, even weeks.
7.11pm. Most self-evidently, though, DF is thankful for derby. It soothes him, it refreshes his soul. Yea, though DF may walk through the valley of the shadow of death (i.e., find himself again in the east Hollywood jail for soliciting five-dollar HJs from chunky Malaysian streetwalkers), he shall fear no evil, for derby is with him.
7.43pm. More specifically, DF is thankful for tonite’s LADD bout ’tween the Tough Cookies and the Swarm. If there’s a more mouth-watering matchup, DF hasn’t yet seen it. Both teams are tied for first in the league, both teams are undefeated in 2009, both teams are mortal locks to re-compete in December’s Championship Bout. Tonight’s titular tussle is thus titantic but also tantalizing, as it affords los aficionados de la derby a sneak preview of the carnage that will surely be forthcoming in the title match. The bout’s outcome (boutcome?) may not be strictly relevant to the championship, but it affords strategic possiblities galore, with the need for momentum, and the desire to take psychological advantage, and the possibilities for strategic gameswomanship, and what have you. It’s on, beyatches. Fully.
7.58pm. Whistles blow and Swarm and Cookie skaters alike splatter all over the banked track from the first. The bout’s first quadrant begins as a defensive tangle, as both packs exhibit both discipline and brutal hitting sufficient to keep the tallying to a minimum. In early going, the Cookies scratch out a 10-6 advantage, but just as it appears that first-quarter affairs will end in relative equipoise, Kiki Diazz turns on the afterburners and laps the pack twice for nine points, opening up a not-trivial 23-12 lead for SDDD.
8.33pm. Through the second quarter, the Cookies scratch their way back into contention and soon the momentum appears to have swung in their favor. Gori Spelling and Stefcon manage to overcome the Swarm’s fiercely organized pack with some regularity, though Bonnie D. Stroir and Kiki Diazz rack up enough points to keep SDDD in front, barely. As halftime beckons, it looks like we have a competitive contest again, with the Swarm’s lead down to a relatively slim 42-36, with time left for but a single jam.
8.58pm. There is in some—though not all—bouts a signature jam that renders the pack a mere afterthought, and rivets the atencao of jaded veteran and newbie observer tonight. Tonight, that jam happens at the very end of the second quartile. Sarkastika, the mysterious alter ego of Steely Jan, takes advantage of a major penalty on the Cookies and blasts through a depleted pack faster than a turkey dinner goes through DF’s ravaged GI system. Then she does it again. And fuckin’ again. When the smoke from her skates clears, there are fourteen more points for San Diego on the board and the Swarm has reasserted dominance, 56-36. Halftime beckons, and the pole position has once again been wrested by Swarm jammer heroics at quarter’s expiration.
9.02pm. Let us continue with the litany of DF’s great-spirited appreciations. DF is thankful for halftime, and for capacious urinals, and for the jaws of life that rescued him from the porta-john when the door stuck shut, and for the Xanax that quelled the panic attack that would otherwise have been triggered by DF’s acute claustrophobia, and for the emergency personnel who extracted him from what nearly became his stinky tomb, and that the whole fiasco was resolved in time for the second half.
9.10pm. So. The second half dawns, and once again the TCs have a mountain of Swarm to climb. The blockers up the brutality, and the refs are wearing out their whistles trying to keep a lid on things. Trish the Dish’s body-check on Aggro Vader ranks among the violentest hits of the bout, and also showcases the Cookies’ fight-back grit, as it doesn’t stop Aggro from racking four points on her jam. Moments later, Krissy Krash goes all Michael Oher on the Swarm, clearing a path for Gori Spelling to grab yet more points. The Cookies have once again effaced a major deficit, and lo and behold they’re within two points, 60-58!
9.23pm. But by this point the script should be familiar: Cookies draw close, Swarm kick into another gear to regain the lead by quarter’s end. And so it is. Just as the Cookies narrow the gap to a pair, Sarkastika rips off six points, then Ivanna S. Pankin throws down ten on a powerjam, and voila—we’re back to a massive SDDD lead and the third stanza is in the books with the Swarm firmly in control.
9.31pm. The fourth quarter begins, and any semblance of decorum evaporates as skaters scatter hither and yon. The refs can barely keep up with all the ejections—first Ivanna S. Pankin is booted, then Stefcon and Bo Toxic, and at some point Kelly KaBoom, and there goes Laguna Beyatch as well, and then the refs kick out the team managers, and Dr. Rick Fox, and those nice ladies who sell tamales, and the halftime band, and the refs are all like crazy-eyed and screaming “we’ll eject the shit out of anything that moves!!!!”, and security personnel have to come in and restrain the refs and give them all horse tranquilizers, cause things got a little crazy up in there. Yikes.
9.39pm. Seriously, though, a lot of skaters are kicked out. Anyway, at the start of the fourth act, it looks like the Swarm finally have the Cookies dead and buried. But then the TCs smash a hole in the door with an axe and stick their head in and go “Heeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!” and the Swarm is all like “Really? Again? Really!?!?!?”, and we’re off to the races. Amid the internecine combat and premature ejections, the Cookies summon the wherewithal to make it a game one more time, and when Snipe scores four and Laguna follows on with five, the lead’s down to a manageable six with a couple jams to go.
9.45pm. DF braces himself for the conclusion with a big heady swig of turkey beer, and unsurprisingly given the disciplinary flavor of this particular endgame, penalties play a decisive role: with the Swarm leading by a mere five, Sarkastika (who else?) steps to the line against … no one. A major on the Cookies means it’s a power jam for the Swarm, and true to veteran form, Sarkastika takes full advantage, racking five and more or less putting the contest out of reach. Moments later, the final whistles sound and despite all their brave assays, the Cookies fall short and the Swarm emerge victorious, 89-79.
10.06pm. DF is thankful that he took a quadruple dose of loperamide before the bout, because the rollicking back-and-forth action of this contest certainly would have caused him to crap his khakis otherwise. And speaking of self-soiling, what on earth is going to hold DF’s easily excited bowels in check when these teams re-meet in December? That’s right, kids: let us not lose sight of the fact that this bout, however dramatic, was a mere amuse-bouche designed to whet our appetites for the main course in less than a month’s time. Will the Swarm continue their dominance and roll to an undefeated 2009 championship? Will the Cookies rebound from their valiant defeat to turn the tables on San Diego’s finest? Will DF be able to cane-walk faster than .00007 miles per hour by then? There’s only one way to find out the answers to all these pressing questions, amigos: join DF, LADD, and a couple thousand historic Filipinos at the Doll Factory for the Championship Bout ‘twixt these selfsame Swarm and Tough Cookies on Saturday, December 5.
Images and credits:
1. Clash of the titanesses: Krissy and Sarkastika go shoulder to shoulder
2. Pre-game tension mounts: Swarm skate out, Cookies strategize
3. A blurry Stefcon scatters Swarm skaters in her wake
4. Refs tower imperiously, presumably plotting about who to eject next
5. Post-game hugs to commemorate undefeated Swarm reg season
All photos (C) 2009 by Marc Campos/Stalkerazzi. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.
General lowering of expectations: Despite what you may have come to believe from reading his work, DF is entirely fallible. Comments, emendations, corrections, and suggestions about the foregoing article are welcome at df at losanjealous dot com. You can also follow DF’s merrie adventures on Twitter.