This is a bit of a long story this one.. Buckle in!
So last weekend I had the pleasure of travelling down to deepest, darkest Englandshire to watch the Granite City Roller Girls take on the Furness Firecrackers. This was done on the team coach, along with all the players and coaches.
It’s this journey that taught me a few valuable, life lessons about what to expect the next time I have the pleasure of travelling with the team.
1. ‘Fart Sponge’ is not a nice game. In fact, a coach full of protein powered, pre-game nutritioned skaters is at times, hell to the face. ‘Fart Sponge’ is a ‘fun’ game whereby if you’re new to the coach, people who need to fart will jump on you to make sure you get the full effect of the gas.
This I thought I could deal with, having some experience in the field of ‘Fartology’ myself. In fact, I’m pretty sure I picked up a PHD during my studies and practical deliveries. However, nothing can prepare you for the gaseous punch in the face and soul that these ladies deliver.
At times, I genuinely thought that some of them had messed themselves, or at the very least had flicked a wee poop out of the bottom of their onesies, which had then rolled under my seat like some kind of stinky hell-fuelled grenade. At one point a fart was dropped that was so terrible, I nearly decided to climb out of the fire escape hole in the roof and surf up top like some kind of slightly less hairy Teen Wolf, just to save my nose from imploding.
I think the pinnacle of ‘Fart Sponge’ was when, after stopping at the services in Stirling for a burger, one of the skaters (Moscow) hopped onto my thigh and let out a ripper that for all intents and purposes felt like somebody was tapping on my leg with a taser.
Right in the middle of my Bacon Double Cheeseburger XL too..
Oh, and in a similar vein, don’t trust your other half when she tells you she’s pulling you in for a hug.. She’s not. She’s pulling you in so that you can enjoy the full tangy goodness of the air biscuit that’s currently making her fitted onesie look like an inflatable fancy dress sumo suit.
I should have known better really, it’s not like the warnings weren’t all there; the material on the back of the seats in front of us faded and crumbled away to ash before my eyes, seagulls outside stopped mid flight and fell from the sky dead, (despite the half inch thick windows separating them from the stench inside of the coach) and people in other seats trying to desperately write out their last wills and testaments through their own tears, regrets and the quickly developing fart induced Bell’s Palsy.
2. Do you remember many moons ago how you would make fun of your younger siblings because they knew every single word of their favourite movie? How, even with the sound on mute they would sit there transfixed by the telly, silently mouthing every word with their eyes glazed over in joy, ribena dribbling down their chin as their mouths hung open in innocent wonder?
Now imagine that same scenario, but instead of your doughy headed little sister sooking on the tail of an old ‘My Little Pony’ whilst glued to her VHS copy of ‘The Little Mermaid’, it’s a coach filled with boisterous, athletically strong women suddenly silent, wide eyed and glued to a TV screen on a coach when someone puts on a dvd of ‘Bring It On’.
Now, if you’re a bloody bloke like me, you are not familiar with the film and it’s premise. Basically, women dressed like Cheerleaders sing songs and win things and stuff.. To me, having this playing on the coach is nothing more than a slight distraction on the journey south into the Badlands. However, to your average woman, it’s like fucking catnip.
As the driver fought desperately to keep us from a blizzard related, mangled bus death, the opening bars of the dvd could be heard over the speakers, and instantly the entire bus descended into a respectful hush. The only noise to be heard as the film continued was the sound of cars pirouetting through the snow around us, along with the mumbled whisper of at least 90% of the coach occupants mimicking the script word for word.
I was sat there in my decidedly ‘not built for the huskier male’ seat, about to say, “What is this pish?” when that little, primordial survival instinct at the back of my head started going off like a dinner bell rung by Michael J Fox, warning me that if I spoke one disparaging word about the musical extravaganza on the screen, they’d be over me like vengeful and bitey spider monkeys.
You know that scene in the movie, ‘Aliens’ when in the tunnels the xenomorphs are swarming toward the automated turrets, clambering over the walls and roof to get to them? That’s what I imagined the view would have been for me if I had spoken out, so I remained tight lipped and slightly terrified as I sat at the back of the bus watching gently illuminated faces around me look toward the tv screens in rapture, my hand being gently squeezed by The Roobs in part sympathy, and partly in an unspoken message that if I spoke out against this movie now invading my precious brain space, I’d be hung by the knackers on the front of bus to appease the vengeful cheerleading dance gods.
As much as I tried to tune it out though, I got sucked in. By the end of the damned thing, I was busting out all kinds of ‘Spirit Fingers’.
Yeah, that’s a thing.
However, I can’t claim to be totally dead inside when it comes to musicals. ‘Rock ‘n Riot’ stuck a copy of ‘Rock of Ages’ on to the coaches dvd player, and I instantly came to life. I’ve decided that this fantastic musical GENIUS is now my film spirit animal. When times are low, ‘Rock of Ages’ will be there to grab me by the scruff of the neck, and pour a strong pint of ‘Man The Fuck Up’ down my throat, before slapping my ass in an inappropriate manner and sending me off into the day to be a fucking champion.
As the opening strains of ‘Paradise City’ hit the speakers, I was up like a goddamned Meerkat in my chair, glued to the screen for the next 136 minutes of brilliance. I will never again speak out against musicals on a GCRG bus.. Well, maybe ‘Pitch Perfect’ can get fucked.
3. On the Saturday, I was able to also see my first Men’s Derby match, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s definitely a different animal than the womens game, relying on brute force at points rather than skill, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t good to watch! I’m still of the belief though that if I tried playing, I’d be hip checked and end up going through a wall leaving a Wile E Coyote shaped hole behind me.
The women’s game though is far more tactical and skill based, and for me that’s a lot more enjoyable to watch. And despite the GCRG losing out on the day, I still had a lot of fun watching the bout and losing my voice trying to cheer them on. If you haven’t watched Derby, you’re missing out people. As a spectator sport, it’s fastly becoming one of my favourites.
Anywho, here’s where I get to my next point. If we happen to be at a Derby bout afterparty together, and you try and embarrass Scotty Boy here by dragging him into a circle of braying derby folk and asking him to do ‘The Worm’, then prepare to be disappointed sir or madam.
For there is one thing you need to learn about me, I do not embarrass easily in a group of people. In fact, what I do is bust out the most MAGNIFICENT worm you’ve ever seen from an overweight hairy faced man with a slightly elevated cholesterol level. After bathing in the glory of my post-worm applause, (and busting out a few of the obligatory ‘Hulk Hogan’ poses for extra effect) I walked back to The Roobs who greeted me with a goddamned high five..
See, she understands me. And anyway, she was dropping five pence pieces from between her arse cheeks into a pint glass moments later, so neither of us worry about the scorn of shame.
Also, I need to apologise to the poor Furness Firecracker who I lied too at the end of the night, so that myself and The Roobs could escape back to the hotel. I ‘may’ have claimed some degree of internal hemorrhaging which could only be solved by us leaving IMMEDIATELY and getting back to the hotel where all the medications where kept. Now, I did this to save us telling the truth that we just wanted to get drunk back in our room, and test the 24 licensing rules at the nearby Asda you people in Englandshire are so lucky to have.
The poor Firecracker felt bad for us, and we both got hugs as we ran into the night to hide my shame.. I thought that would be the end of it, we were free! But no, The Roobs had other ideas, and ran off ahead to tell others exactly what I did to spread my shame and deceit. Cue poor Scott being ridiculed for his lies over the next 12 hours. Ach well, I took that bullet for the team, and for the slight chance that I might get to see my good lady in her undercrackers back at the hotel.
After a quick change, it was time to hike through the wind and rain outside to the nearby Asda and buy the shit out of whatever our drink raddled faces could see. I was sadly discouraged from buying a hat that had moving hands and a monster face, and despite my best efforts to encourage Tazz or Krusty to buy it instead, I was thwarted.
So back to the hotel it was with our booze and sweetie collection, thinking we’d drink the night away in the room, maybe have some other folk over and party like it was 1999.. Two drinks of honey whisky later, I was passed out farting on the duvet with The Roobs snoring beside me, nestling gently in her own slowly expanding puddle of drool.
I call that a win.
4. Okay, so it’s now Sunday, and it’s time for the bus trip home for a squad of people who have drank themselves to near oblivion the night before. The ones who are particularly suffering are spotted a mile off, as they’re the ones sporting shades in an otherwise murky day, and walking at a thirty degree angle as they crab walk to the bus.
Despite the hard night of boozing though, everyone seems in good spirits, and off we head back to Scotland with the film ‘Pitch Perfect’ blaring away to keep us entertained, and to keep our minds of the possibility of the bus becoming a hell hole once the spewers pick up the motion lurgy.
But alas, it wasn’t the motion sickness that we had to worry, nor the hangover farters that made the bus smell like a really shitty brewery. Nope, it was the poopers who were now the problem..
You see, we all know that before going on a long journey, you plant your hips on a pan and evacuate everything from everywhere. Because despite there being a toilet on the bus, there’s also a strict GCRG ‘No Number Two’ policy in place, after they had one trip where they had to duct tape the toilet door shut to try and contain the stench of death, and to stop the overflowing, shitty pan from pouring out and coating the aisle in beer jobbies.
After a couple of hours of travel, you could see people start to squirm in their seats. Then, as things go on and the woman on the telly is flinging about some kind of cup while singing, certain members of the coach party took to standing in the aisle as this seemingly alleviates the desire to shite all down the inside of your travel onesie.
As cruel as it may seem, part of me wanted at least one of them to unleash hell in their cotton jumpsuits, only to see if it sparked a chain reaction throughout the bus causing others to either projectile vomit, or fill their pants with skitters. It wouldn’t have made for a fun journey had that have happened, but for at least two minutes I would probably be unconscious from all the laughing, and that my good fellow is a bullet I’m willing to take.
As time crawls on, more and more people take to standing in the aisle, dancing around like seagulls trying to encourage worms to come up out of the grass in your garden. But to add to their discomfort, the heat on the bus was getting more and more uncomfortable. As you know, heat and a desire to poop are not a healthy mix.
Time wore on, and people took to stripping off to combat the heat. Now you have women down to their bras, onesies pulled down around the waist, striding back and forth along the aisle from the knees down to combat the desire to open the bomb bay doors, and unleash armageddon upon the world. Of course, this is fully viewable to the outside world, and I’m pretty sure The Roobs was responsible for an Eddie Stobart lorry going off the road beside us as the driver caught sight of her duck walking around the bus in her bra.
Finally we reach the services in Stirling, and to the management there I can only publically apologise. As soon as the driver pulled on the handbrake, a bundle of women in onesies sprinted like Usain Bolt toward to the toilets, throwing children and the slow movers out of the way as they fought for cubicle space to purge themselves of their sins.
I thankfully wasn’t too bad, and took a wee stroll to the nearby burger place to get some food. As I was standing in line though, I looked back to see women pouring out of the toilets laughing and holding their noses. I asked what had happened, and it turns out that one of the group had taken a poop so big, that not only did it refuse to flush away, but was standing out of the water like a magnificent, shitty Nessie.
The offender walked out of the toilets with a mixture of shame and pride, came straight to me to tell me what had happened, and said that before they left the toilet there were kids away into the cubicle having a look at the poopy monument, winking at them as it’s head was raised proudly out of the water.
I think they even called their friends over to come have a look. It was a thing of wonder.
Now, I’m not going to say the offenders name as that is just cruel, but I can say that she sat beside me on the coach the whole journey, and her name might rhyme with, ‘The Boobs’.
So finally we got home in one piece, everyone said their goodbyes and that was the end to one of the funniest, most enjoyable weekends I’ve had in a long time. I want to thank all the Derby guys and girls for letting me tag along, and being so friendly and welcoming. You people are awesome, and I’m proud to be able to call myself a fan.
Till next time!!