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Roller Rink from Hell
A friend of my had a birthday party and in true retro fashion, he had part of it at a roller skating rink.  Crystal Palace to be exact:

First, I have to say this.  Roller skating rinks have not changed.  They are exactly the same as they were in the seventies.  They have the same skates, the same horrible black confetti carpets, and the lame decorations that were originally suppose to make the place look like a futuristic disco, like Xanadu.  They even play the same music.  They played "Funkytown".  They even played "Get Down on It" by Kool and the Gang.  There was some new stuff too, but there was a sign stating that they would not play rap or heavy metal because they were not family oriented music.  They have obviously not heard "Who left the milk out?  Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck", which is not only a fictional song, but also reminds the listener that dairy needs to return to the refrigerator.  A lesson Greg has a hard time with, but I'm not pointing fingers.  One thing has changed though, kids now text and skate at the same time, which makes me fear for the safety of our roads in the near future. 

Greg and I arrived by ourselves, which only makes it look like we were in some sort of pedophilia club.  The place was absolutely packed with kids and I mean packed.  There was almost no spot to sit down to put on the skates.  I felt like I was in a Tokyo subway car.

Greg and I find the birthday party, who are skating, so we get on the rink...again, the Tokyo-subway-car rink.  Greg said he was nervous about being on skates again, which is funny, because I wasn't.  I figured I would pick it up quickly and it would be no big deal.  So, we get out onto the rink and I'm doing my best balance routine, which involves jerking forward, backward and flailing my arms.  All the while, the constant loud chaos of children is whizzing by me, sort of like having a hundred ambulances pass you out of nowhere.  I manage to get an eighth of the way around the rink when I stopped and fell.  Not a controlled fall either.  I was going down the way fate decided and I had no choice in the matter.  I fell back like someone pulled a rug from underneath me.  I landed on my back.  I hurt my elbow, which is all well and good, but the chaos continues to swirl around me.  I hear whoa's and people laughing at me, which is all fine.  I decide to hug the wall, until I get more used to it.  I get around once. 

Even hugging the wall, I skate slower than the trail of wall-hugging girls behind me.  Chris remarked that it looked like a mother duck with her little ducklings.  I also had to endure the snickers of the people standing on the other side of the wall looking in on the rink. 

I get off and tighten my laces, thinking that must be the problem.  Someone remarked that I need to go fast and then I wouldn't have a problem, in retrospect, they were wrong.  It's not like riding a bicycle where momentum is needed.  Anyway, I attempted to go faster and what a surprise, I fell.  A much nicer controlled fall this time, however, I caused a pile up behind myself.  I don't know how many went down, but it sounded like quite a calamity.  Again, there was a people on the sidelines laughing.  I know I shouldn't care what other people think, but this only made me feel like a fool.  I was feeling foolish.  My legs were already strained from not knowing what muscles to use, so I tensed them all.  You couldn't swing your arm without hitting ten I was slower than the wall-huggers.  I went around one more time, wall-hugging, and got off. 

Greg skated fine and really enjoyed himself.  I would have tried more and enjoyed myself if it wasn't so crowded and I wasn't 2 feet taller than everyone.  I figure with my luck lately (see previous post), I shouldn't press it and end up with a broken limb.

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LOL LOL I can't get the image out of my mind of you being pursued by all the other smaller but faster wall-huggers. Aren't these moments precious in retrospect!

I was amused at the time...amused and mortified.

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