The fourth of May was the convergence of Comic Book Day, Star Wars Day, an American drinking holiday known as Cinco de Mayo and a post-season charity bout for the Desert Dolls. After a long week work week, we were all ready for a full day of fun.
Feeling too lazy to make breakfast, I picked up breakfast burritos from a nearby tacqueria. There’s nothing like a healthy dose of eggs, potatoes, cheese, carne asada, tortilla and salsa to get you through a long day.
Once we were all fed & dressed, we headed over to Gotham City Comics & Coffee to introduce our six month-old to the wonderful world of comic books & geek culture (not that she hadn’t already been introduced – she has her own Jayne hat). She was obviously impressed, and dove head-first into geekdom, pointing at expensive back-issues and figurines that she obviously just had to have. The staff was extremely friendly; they made sure we got our free Comic Book Day comics and one clerk remarked that he wanted to have a kid just he could carry them around in a “harness.” He was right, though; baby wearing was the only way I was able to finish Portal 2. Free copies of Star Wars/Avatar & Sesame Street/Strawberry Shortcake in hand, we headed home to whip up our entry for the neighborhood salsa competition.
That’s right, our neighborhood was having a salsa competition. Not dancing, although watching our drunk neighbors try to salsa dance would probably be pretty funny. I should probably explain our neighborhood before I can go any further. We have a self-appointed “block mayor” that organizes events like easter-egg hunts, chili cook-offs (which we won on our first entry) and the like. Thursdays are “Thirsty Thursdays,” which means sitting on lawn chairs in his driveway, drinking beers and talking about whatever comes up. So, for this Cinco de Mayo, he decided to throw a salsa contest, have another neighbor’s band play, get a block party permit from the city and shut the street down. Unfortunately, I had already committed to working the roller derby, but we threw together a corn and black-bean salsa, anyway.
We decided to continue celebrating Cinco de Mayo by having more mexican food on our way to the derby. Pulling into the parking lot, which was also Bookman’s, we encountered at least one member of the 501st Regiment. By the time we finished our enhiladas & chimichanga, more were arriving, obviously intending to tear the ship apart until they found those plans. Sidenote: I think cosplay is awesome when other people do it, but I’m way too cheap & lazy to do it myself. I don’t even want all that gear sitting around the house.
I’ve been volunteering with Desert Dolls Roller Derby for two years. Since I don’t work on an ambulance or for a fire service, it’s just about my only way of keeping skills up. I work with other EMTs and medics that do work in the field. Most of the time, we just stand on the sidelines, enjoying the bouts. We hand out a lot of ice packs, but on a few occasions we’ve had to completely immobilize injured skaters so they could be transported for serious injuries.
When I first started, I had no idea what was going on on the track or how the score was kept. Sometimes it still seems like everything’s made up and the points don’t matter, although I know every point matters to the skaters. They are extremely passionate and leave nothing on the track.
Saturday’s bout was the usual: skaters go round and round, sometimes they fall down, everybody goes home. I’m sure there are plenty of fresh bruises, but they all signed up for those. It was, however, the first time I ever saw a skater get her skate caught in another skater’s shorts.
When we got home from the derby, the salsa contest was winding down but the band was still playing. It’s not every night, even in this neighborhood, that there’s a live band playing 70s/80s cover tunes in your neighbor’s driveway. Our salsa didn’t win, place or even show (I think someone might have stuffed the ballot box), but we all enjoyed a cold drink before calling it a day. Our block mayor, completely intoxicated, capped off the evening when he thanked everyone for coming and wished us all a “happy Cinco de Quatro!”