I have a friend who is on the Riot Girls team. The Riot Girls team…of the Terminal City Roller Girls…the Terminal City Roller Girls…of roller derby. Yeah, that thing where two teams of girls on rollerskates skate around in a circle and hip check each other into the spectators. Not knowing what to expect I was taken to the first bout of a four game tournament, which this time was at the Kerrisdale rink. It was decent – I would have enjoyed it more if I understood the scoring, if the seats were comfortable, if you could make out what the announcers were saying, and if the place didn’t smell like a gym bag. But it was a great excuse to eat concession food like hot dogs and root beer.
The intermissions, on the other hand, killed me – they were longer than the game periods and the entertainment was exciting enough that we broke out a pad of paper and started playing tanks – you know, the game where you draw a bunch of tanks on either side of a paper and flick the pen to see how far it moves or if the tanks guns hit the opposing tank – rather than pay attention. It turns out bicycle ballet is not very exciting when the performers don’t actually ride the bikes but just kind of hold on to them and walk around.
Despite – or because of – the crashes and yelling, I can’t really say I found roller derby any more endearing than other competitive sports. The main difference between that and say, a hockey game, is I don’t know anyone on hockey teams, so I have at least some tenuous investment in the outcome of this game. And yes the Riot Girls did indeed trounce the Faster Pussycats.