Back by popular demand, the Blitz Dames Bus was once again called upon to carry the travel team and entourage across the land to their next away game. The bus loaded up in the centre of Birmingham and the Dames set off to Oldham, Manchester, for their bout with Rainy City Roller Girls.
The coach journey is one of my favourite times. I try to see the Dames outside of practice, but I never spend as much time with them as I want. The two hours was spent with much larks and cake. Even the people who ignore the conversation and pretend to hate everyone on the bus with them secretly enjoy it.
The Thunderdome, home of RCRG was like no other venue I’d been to. Miles away from the blue sports court of the Dames’ training venue, it more resembled Toronto’s Bunker. With a sort of derelict charm, the Thunderdome made for a more intimate event, with many people sitting on carpets and cushions in the suicide seats. That was maybe good, because it was freezing in there and spectators had to huddle together for warmth. Whether this was a marketing technique designed for optimum hot chocolate sales from the RCRG tuck shop was uncertain.
The bout itself was impressive. The Rainy City jammers had fantastic agility and the blockers kept the walls tightly. The home team also had several strong hitters, and first hand reports say that falling against the Thunderdome’s concrete floor was a world of pain, though I’m glad to say serious injury was avoided.
Though RCRG took an early lead which they sustained, seasoned Dames jammers Suzette la Flamme and Nina Nunchucks snuck in points here and there. (Nico Warrior also jammed, but she pointed out recently that she skates really low and it makes her look like a gorilla. I was so struck by how true this was today that I found it hard to keep track of how many points she got.) Finally, a great powerjam by Violet Attack ended the game on a high note, despite the score 51-217 to Rainy City.
Since I wanted to skip the after party and go home early, I’d hoped to catch a lift with a couple of Dames that had driven up. Apparently, about four different people were concerned about me getting home and asked the driving Dames if I could ride with them. This is about ninety percent touching and ten percent funny. I really should have asked myself, but as is always the way, I’d gone out to get some chips and when I got back, the game was about to start.
“I was a bit surprised you came today,” Thunderkat said as she drove me home.
“I’d have thought you’d have something better to do on your birthday.”
I’m sure I can’t think of anything
~ Daphne du Gorier #905
(Roller derby is serious bananas and Daphne is the most serious banana)