Friday, October 31, 2008

"Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. & Mrs. Pistol!"

As you all well know, I’ve held and played various roles in derby in the past few years, and this past season being out with double shoulder injuries has been no exception. I was a player for game 1 and then a bench coach, announcer, bench coach again, and most recently a “referee minister”.

Several months ago when my team-mate and bench coach of the last 3 seasons (Pistol Whip & Mr. Pistol) asked me if I would preside over their marriage ceremony, I was thrilled. But when I found out they wanted to do it at our 2008 championship bout, I was ecstatic!

I got ordained earlier this year to preside over the wedding of another two of my friends, Dana (aka, Miss Handle, a former CCRG referee) and Eric. It’s an honor to be asked to play this role for people you know and love, and having the chance to do it again – at roller derby, during half-time of our championship bout, while wearing booty shorts and skates – is nothing short of awesome.

A formal account of the wedding and how The Pistols met can be found here – an article and slideshow published in today’s Baltimore Messenger. But how did I get to know them?

In CCRG’s infancy, we held fundraisers what seemed like every other week, many of which were car washes held at bars. I may have met them before the car wash at The Mojo Room, but if I had, I can’t remember. I knew Pistol’s sister, Buzz Kill, as well as I knew any other rollergirl, since she and I were two of the eight founders of CCRG, starting the LLC that got the ball rolling on our becoming an official league. Not only that, but we had realized we were neighbors. I knew Buzz had been trying to get her sister to come out and skate with us, but never made the connection of who she was until that day at the car wash.

It was cold, it was October, and the car wash wasn’t that well attended, so The Pistols, J, and I hung out at the end of the bar by the door, drinking beers and waiting to see if anyone rolled up. I can’t remember what we chatted about, but I know I instantly liked both of them.

After that, The Pistols started coming out the The Mojo Room (it was our hang-out spot back then) with Buzz, her husband, and J and I.

“You got to be able to hit hard,” I remember Mr. Pistol saying to me one night, 10 or so beers in. “Come on,” he said to Buzz and I, as he tightened his upper body and got into position, “Hit me!” We threw shoulder blocks (all the blocks we knew at the time) until he turned blue – literally. Several days later he lifted up his shirt and showed us his purple ribs. It was arguably the first thing Mr. Pistol did as a coach to help both Speed Regime and the CCRG All-Stars (formerly the Mobtown Maulers).

Pistol Whip was – and still is – quiet but consistent. An amazing jammer and a great blocker, it’s been fun skating with Pistol for over 3 years. Last year we planned Buzz Kill’s baby shower together, and it was great fun.

This past Saturday, the cake arrived before I did. Charm City Cakes (from Ace of Cakes), one of our sponsors, jumped at the opportunity to make the Pistols’ wedding cake for their special day. In Speed regime colors, The Pistols topped their own cake – Mr. Pistol with his little go-tee and Pistol Whip with anatomically correct tattoos.

In an elaborately planned ceremony where I was asked to wear something “referee inspired”, since we would all be on skates, the rest of our team, past and present, were the bridesmaids dressed in green tutus and holding green pistols with a single red rose coming out of the barrel of each gun.

The music started. I skated out (almost biting it on the way) and took my place. At their cue, Mr. Pistol and Pistol Whip’s father walked out and took their places. Mr. Pistol’s eyes welling up almost made me lose it. The bridesmaids skated out as a pack, and slowly they skated around the pack until after turn 2 they dissipated, forming staggered lines on either side of me, revealing the bride, Pistol Whip, who had been in the middle of the pack the entire time. Greeted by her father, he walked her over to Mr. Pistol and gave her a kiss. The ceremony began, and before we knew it the ceremony was over. I remember trying to say everything perfectly, looking at my notes, but seeing undoubtedly the two happiest people in the room standing in front of me smiling and dancing together with their eyes.

Like I said during the ceremony, The Pistols told me during the wedding planning that “it’s the marriage that’s serious, so why not make the wedding fun”. And fun it was. From vows like “Do you promise to always bring your helmet panties home to him at the end of the night,” and “Do you promise that no matter what, you’ll always tell her that she’s your lead jammer” to bridesmaids in tutus and wedding cake at the after party, it was a wonderfully fun and beautiful wedding.

I video of the ceremony can be seen here.

Although I may joke about placing myself on Craigslist to perform weddings dressed as a rollergirl – you pick the booty shorts: gold or silver – I really do appreciate and enjoy being included and being asked to perform the legal ceremony that joins two people in love.

I, myself, am not big on marriage, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love partaking in other people’s joy, especially when I can revisit my role as The Officiate.

With less than a week into their married life, I wish Mr. and Mrs. Pistol the very best, and I will continue to look forward to working and playing with them and seeing their love grow over time. Mr. and Mrs. Pistol, CHEERS!


Big In Day-town said...

That is so f-ing terrific! Wonderful story. Congrats to all!

DayGlo Divine said...

You did great as a minister, and seeing the Pistols get married was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

That looks like such a fun wedding! (And, damn, the groom looks like Duff from Ao'Cs, doesn't he?!)