“There’s a deaf birthday party today,” the owner’s wife whispered to us as we walked in. “So if you see anyone acting weird on the rink, that’s why.”
“Aren’t there always people acting weird on the rink?” Henry retorted, making her shift uncomfortably because she clearly didn’t want to be standing there making fun of the clientele, even though we had totally been joking about amputation moments before.
Meanwhile, the prospect of sharing the rink with deaf people had left me positively giddy, like I was at a theme party. I love deaf people! (Just not Marlee Matlin. Actually, she’s the only deaf person I know.) Henry kept giving me warning glares, like I was going to do something stupid, as if I haven’t learned my lesson from the horrible blog backlash I’ve been getting in 2012.
If it hadn’t been for the occasional frantic signing, I wouldn’t have even noticed that there was anything unique going on. It seemed like a typical afternoon skate to me, complete with the rogue assholes skating on the diagonal, against traffic.
“God! Why isn’t Robin blowing her whistle?!” I yelled at Henry after nearly being plowed down by some directionally-challenged runt.
“Um, because they can’t HEAR it,” Henry reminded me.
If ever there was a time to use the IP Relay service for good!
I don’t know what the hell Chooch’s problem was that afternoon, but when the first couple skate was announced, we made it around the rink once before he got all inexplicably angry at me and left me to skate alone to Luther Vandross’s “Here and Now,” and suddenly it was the 6th grade all over again and my crush du jour was dancing with some other stuffed-bra bimbo to that same song and to this day THAT IS WHAT I THINK ABOUT WHEN I HEAR THAT SONG. Which is often, actually, because if I’m not listening to Jonny Craig on repeat in my bedroom, the radio dial is set to soft rock. There, now you know something about my private bedroom life.
Oh, was I in a foul mood after that! Never has someone had a scowl so chiseled while being serenaded by Vandross. Toward the end of the song, Henry skated onto the rink and attempted to take my hand, oh valiant one that he is. I was like, “Quit trying to look romantic in front of your rink ref girlfriend.”
And that’s another reason I was in such a surly mood: Every time I would look around for Henry on the rink, I’d always find him over by the snack room, hyuking it up with either the owners or the employees and NEVER ON THE RINK WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND. And Chooch was off somewhere laying on a bench, being a pouter-bitch. I think he may have only skated for one song all afternoon. Oh holy shit was I livid. Nice to know I came to the rink to skate alone.
Be a bitch, I don’t care!!
He wouldn’t even stand near us for the Chicken Dance. THAT’S COLD.
In other rink news, I have been having a big issue with the music there. I feel like it used to be a decent mix, with some nerve-grating tracks, but you have to expect that shit when the DJ is paid to cater to the masses of ordinary people who like shitty, ordinary music. When Ladies Only was announced, I said to myself, “Single Ladies or Barbie Girl in 3…2…1.”
It was “Barbie Girl.” Fuck that song. Fuck the other song too. This is the best us ladies get? Beyonce or motherfucking Aqua? Yeah, I still skated to it, but I WASN’T HAPPY ABOUT IT.
Men Only was next and it is almost exclusively “Boom Boom Pow” for the guys. I sat on the bench, gripping my phone and clenching my jaw. Deaf people are so lucky they get to avoid the Black Eyed Peas.
My ear drums were crying uncle at this point, so I skated over to Roller DJ’s music room and pleaded with him to play The Cure.
“Oh…I don’t think I have any Cure,” he said, but not making any moves to actually check. “I haven’t finished bringing all my music in yet, so I only have new stuff, or like, really old stuff.” Yes, I know — that fucking organ bullshit.
“You don’t even have ‘Just Like Heaven’?” I continued to press. What the fuck kind of DJ doesn’t at least have “Just Like Heaven”?! Supermarket sound systems have “Just Like Heaven” and those aren’t even real DJs!
I skated away in disgust and immediately this really terrible song came on that he plays every week.
“What the fuck kind of song is this!?” I shouted over the feel good “You’re my best friend” lyrics. I figured Henry would know, because it sounded like some goddamn Leif Garrett Afterschool Special track that he would have hitched up his tube socks and pranced around his bedroom to.
“It’s the theme song from the Pokemon movie,” Henry answered entirely too quickly.
Roller DJ has the motherfucking POKEMON MOVIE SOUNDTRACK but he looks at me all crazy when I request THE CURE?
Furthermore, why does Henry know this!?
So instead of skating dreamily to the sonic bouquet of black roses that is Robert Smith’s golden voice, I had to mope around on wheels to this bullshit excuse for a song:
Please try to imagine me skating around, shoulders all scrunched up in annoyance and a look of absolute horror and disgust on my face EVERY WEEK WHEN THE SAME KID (who is the best roller blader I’ve ever seen) REQUESTS THIS SONG. And on this particular afternoon, HE WASN’T EVEN SKATING TO IT!!!!
Oh for Christ’s sake.