World Derby Travels Rawk by Masonite Burn

Published on August 19th, 2011 | by Eric RAWK

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Rawk by Masonite Burn

RAWK City: What’s a Donair?

It’s Friday night and I just sent some comps of web banners over to Jules Doyle for his new book, No Mercy: Life on the Roller Derby Track. I’ve gotten to look through the book (digitally) and Jules threw me a bunch of images for these banners. The overall collection of photos and the compositions in the book are hella impressive. I’m sure anyone reading this knows how phenomenal a photographer Axle Adams is but seeing so many of his images together may cause your retinas to orgasm.

This past weekend I headed up to Vancouver for some fun and derby. It was good to see my buddies from Roller Kandi who had some rad goodies for me. I got to work with some of the officials from the leagues in the area and some of the Terminal City officials came down to Seattle when their Charter Team bouted Rat CIty’s Rain of Terror, so I was excited to work with some of them again and others for the first time. I’d been looking forward to penalty tracking one of the bouts, but poor Loud Mouth broke her ankle the night before so I refereed both.

The first bout was two mashup teams consisting of skaters from Terminal City and the Mainland Misfits. It was really impressive to see these two leagues come together and divide into two very evenly match teams. Kudos to you both, as it shows great awareness of your skaters, maturity and regard for your fans and for the business of putting on a bout.

The second bout was a pretty big deal for me as it was my first time officiating a men’s derby bout. As some of you may know, I was a founding member of the New York Shock Exchange, but officiating always remained my main passion in derby, and I realized being a skater wasn’t for me as the competitive play got more fierce.

This bout between the Puget Sound Outcasts and the Vancouver Murder was a great experience. In the past I’ve heard and seen via video that men’s bouts often get out of hand and in general live up to some of the negative hype. While I did have to warn a skater early that negligent play would not be tolerated, it ended there and that was the only situation of its type. The skaters were respectful of the officials as well as one another and nobody came close to fouling out (let alone being expelled). It really was a great experience and I look forward to the next men’s bout I get to officiate.

Vancouver is an awesome city. While I was up there I stayed with badass official and skater Noah Backtalk (who’s the only other dude I’ve seen rock Neval Wrong’s shorts… like literally a pair belonging to him, not just the same ones) and Dangerous Goods (who I hope bought the dress she was looking at before brunch). It was great talking to Noah about derby and officiating in Western Canada as well as some good old fashioned shootin’ the shit. Plus he had some phenomenal homemade gin an acquaintance had given him. YUM!!!

And speaking of yum, donairs are fuckin delicious! They’re like gyros with this amazing sweet garlic sauce and some extra goodies like pickled beets. As expected the nigiri sushi was killer, though equal to my favorite spot in Seattle, but donairs are what you want to hunt down.

But enough about the previous weekend and Canadian adventures. Saturday I picked up (Sir) Osis and headed down to Centralia for Rainy City vs Oly’s Dropkick Donnas. However, first things first, we followed derby photographer extraordinaire Sharky’s advice and hit up La Tarasca for some Mexican food. Now in hindsight, I knew I was going to be jammer reffing and should not partake in too many delicious things, but pork is just so damn irresistible. I started it off with a tamale, which was really well flavored but slightly overcooked, but it was a magical roast pork that had me fighting my stomach with each stride I took as jammer after jammer opted to go for another scoring pass.

When the bout was over we jumped in Natasha (my car) and headed down to Portland to catch up with everyone for Inspector Parts’ and Isis’ bachelor/bachelorette party. We caught up with them at the Devil’s Point, which I was really stoked about, plus it was rad having the ladies out with us. Strip clubs were never really tickled my fancy and I only go to them in Portland, but I can definitely appreciate a metal bar with nude fire dancing and acrobatics. From here I’ll let you all make up what occurred the rest of the night. I woke up to the lovely sounds of Cop A Phil celebrating his hangover; who, being the good friend he is, opted to be hungover for everyone (what a guy!).

Once Phil was able to make it more than a few steps from the bathroom we did what anyone who’s spent a weekend partying in Portland would expect us to do, we headed to Acropolis for “steak & legs.” Can you really beat watching dancers still attempting to shake off the night before meander into the bar a bit before noon while you devour a cow straight from the owner’s other establishment, a cattle ranch? If you think I should rot in hell for enjoying such things (either hangover strippers or eating meat) then you’re in luck as I hit an insane amount of traffic on the way back to Seattle. Thankfully I had a blanket in the trunk and some Preacher graphic novels with me so I pulled over, laid in a field and read for a while.

Six hours later I made it back to Seattle and headed directly to the Socket Wenches’ BBQ. It was the end of the season and they’d put out a special invite to all of the officials. I’d been talking with Tripp N Dale who was out for some officiating clinic so he and some other officials, both visiting and from the area, came through. It was great to see Tripp and catch up for a bit, to meet Panti Christ, and just get to kick it after a long weekend.

Next up, Boston is headed to Portland and so am I!

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