Friday, August 12, 2011

B.A.D. Religion - Derby Conversion at the Golden Bowl

I cannot get enough roller derby. Originally, I was sucked in as a fan, and before my chronic pain worsened, I joined the rec league attached to the Bay Area Derby Girls. While the higher level of pain has kept me off skates for the last few months (pain => nausea, nausea + skates => clean-up on Aisle Maddie), my enthusiasm is anything but dampened. In fact, there have been weeks where the only times I left the house have been to go to the doctor or to a bout, and roller derby has proven to be much better medicine than the stuff I get in bottles.

Like any good fanatic, I see opportunities to convert others everywhere. I prevailed upon my sister (who lives on the other side of the country) to take a group of her friends to a bout, though she knew next to nothing about derby, gave her a briefing on the rules, and faithfully stayed by my phone all evening to promptly answer all of her questions via text. I forwent a birthday party in favor of rounding up friends to see a bout, in the hopes they'd be hooked.

Nor is my proselytizing limited to friends and family. At a double-header in June, I was in line for beers between bouts, when a stranger in the line next to me informed me she had just been talking about me. I had no recollection of meeting this woman, but as it turned out, we had met in a bar in Oakland, and I had given her my full pitch. Apparently, effectively, since she'd actually gotten her butt to a bout. In my defense, while I'm sure I'd had a few drinks in me, it's always dark in Radio, and I've told any number of random people in bars about my love for derby. As anyone acquainted with me will tell you, if you talk to me for any length of time, it's inevitable.

This weekend marks the last opportunity I will likely have to see derby this year. The Golden Bowl is a round-robin tournament between our local B.A.D. Girls All-Stars and several out-of-state teams: Austin, Denver, and Chicago. And it is during this event that I plan to make my ultimate roller derby conversion: my mother.

Don't get me wrong, Mum is a cool cat. But she's not the first person you'd think of to enjoy watching girls on skates slam into each other at full speed. When I was a teen and wanted to take up boxing, she wouldn't allow it because I might get brain damage. My sister was in the dog house for a long time following a Marilyn piercing, since it might chip her perfectly-aligned teeth. If it weren't for the fact that Mum's Canadian and grew up watching hockey, even I might suppose her a lost cause. As it is, if I can do it, it will be the crowning glory in my campaign for roller derby domination.

And to get pumped, here is my musical inspiration:

Let's roll!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The TOMs Tap - Punch Buggy for Hipsters?

When I first wrote my blog post on TOMS rip-off Bobs shoes, my other half expressed some doubts about the claim that I see upwards of half-a-dozen pairs around the streets of the Bay Area on a daily basis. Yesterday, I had a chance to prove him wrong. BARTing from our home in Oakland to downtown San Francisco, and then taking Muni into the Sunset District for a doctor's appointment, we must have seen at least 5 TOMS owners, and as many on the way back.

It was waiting for the N-Judah that he came up with a brilliant idea: a new game in the vein of our childhood fav "punch buggy" (or, as he calls it, "slug bug"). He suggested something like "TOMs punch" to start, which I modified to "TOMs Tap," partly because it sounds better, and partly because I was developing a bruise on the upper arm where he kept hitting me.

The rules of TOMs Tap are simple, being pretty much identical to the rules of punch buggy. Every time you are the first to see a pair of these very distinctive shoes, you give your partner(s) in crime a love-tap and say "TOMs shoes _____," filling in the blank with whatever color they happen to be. Now, I'm pretty sure in punch buggy, there's some rule about what happens when two people try to claim the same car at the same time, but I don't quite remember what it is. Something about repeating "bunny, bunny, bunny" over and over until you see a white house? (Or is that the graveyard game?) I'm not sure what the TOMs Tap equivalent should be. A hipster on a bike? Too easy. I'm open to suggestions.