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The Hot Tempers vs. The Cold Hearts

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Roller derby, May 28 at Redwood Acres.

It was girl-powered mayhem in the heart of Eureka.

Inside Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, hundreds of ballistic screaming roller derby fans filled the bleachers, floors and walls on both sides of the brightly lit auditorium-turned roller rink. Dirty hippies, rednecks, chuckling groups of young guys, suave punk-rockers, polite looking families, little boys and girls and startled-looking older men all came to see some girl-on-girl action. They'd been waiting a year for the first-ever roller derby event in Humboldt County, and it had finally come. And no one was about to be disappointed.

At 8 p.m. an announcer with a braided beard began introducing the ladies of the Humboldt Roller Derby team over the mic. Whatever it was he was saying, it sounded like extremely excited muffled mumble jumble. The girls raced one by one around the rink to say hello to their fans. The Hot Tempers came out in tight black team T-shirts and exceedingly short red ruffled skirts that showed off panties and fishnet stockings. The Cold Hearts sported mustard yellow team T-shirts and black skirts and shorts with heart-shaped embroidery on the butts.

The tall, short, super-sized and petite girls all assembled in one large huddle on the rink. The madness was about to begin. Some girls danced seductively to the music. Others stared straight ahead as if they were focusing deeply on some task at hand.

The whistle blew. Everyone was about to see what they came to see. Within a few seconds, girls on the rink were grabbed, strong-armed, pummeled and body-slammed at every angle by their opponents. Loud "Ooooh!"s erupted from the crowd every time someone fell to the floor or got slammed against the wall. At one point, a Cold Hearter fell on all fours onto the rink and took down five other girls with her. The crowd screamed with delight.

The Hot Tempers maintained a comfortable point lead throughout most of the game. But around 10 p.m., with only two minutes left, an exciting twist happened as the second-to-last round ended. When the score was tallied, The Hot Tempers had 85 points. The Cold Hearts had 85 points. The game was officially tied. The Hot Tempers weren't quite so cool anymore. It was anyone's bout at this point. The announcer yelled something through the mic that no one understood as the audience's screams drowned out his voice.

The last whistle blew. Both teams frantically raced around the rink in a desperate attempt for the roller derby championship. A few last girls were pushed and a few last shirts were pulled. Then a final blow horn echoed through the auditorium. The game was officially over. A scoreboard was thrust in the air. 88-92. The Hot Tempers had regained the lead and officially kicked the Cold Heart's asses in the first Humboldt Roller Derby game in world history. Although a few Tempers gloated, no Cold Heart cried any tears. It was all about camaraderie, even if the girls were placed on opposite teams for the night. Everyone skated a few last circles around the rink to give audience members high fives and smiles. After that, the crowd quickly dissipated because it was past some of their bedtimes. The roller girls headed for an after-party at Aunty Mo's to party it up, celebrate girl-power and toast their new found fame as Humboldt superstars.

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