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The Dockyard Derby Dames return to dish out the damage

Wall up!

Marauding Mollys are in it to win it. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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There's a thunder on the horizon, Gritty City, and it's not our inevitable return to a gray autumn rainscape. No, that ominous rumble you hear, pitched way, way down in the basso profundo hum of a gathering tremor, is nothing more than the return of the Dockyard Derby Dames: Tacoma's premier roller derby league and an all-around explosion of eight-wheeled badassery. The action returns for season nine Oct. 4, when the Marauding Mollys extend laurel and hearty handshakes to the Emerald City Roller Girls' Andromedolls. In a follow-up bout, league play gets underway, with Femme Fianna attempting to defang the Trampires.

There's streamlining in the works this year, as the Hellbound Homewreckers skate off onto that grand, golden flat track in the sky. Instead, the league will focus more attention on its all-star team, the Wave of Mutilation. (Scientists currently believe the trigger for the so-called "Wave of Mutilation" is the Middle Finger of Ornithology, but additional testing is underway.) The Weekly Volcano's justly proud of its seats in the VIP section, but there's room for you as well. In fact, anyone who buys a ticket to a Dockyard Derby Dames bout gets treated like something of a VIP. Yes, even you, Gentle Reader, as your $12 advance ticket buys, not just great seats for a pair of killer bouts, but also two tall, frosty beverages from the beer garden. There, a "VIP skater/bartender" will both sling the hooch and dish out insider info on derby league action. And hey, if you're bringing a group, a "buy four, get one free" deal knocks your average ticket price down under ten bucks. Ten bucks! That's cheaper than a movie - and, unlike the cineplex, the Dames let your kid (of 5 or younger) in for free. It's time to introduce your precious little one to violent, third-wave feminist skating with attitude! It's like mother's milk, people, seriously.

This opening extravaganza will be followed by epic bouts Nov. 22 (Femme Fianna vs. Marauding Mollys, Trampires vs. Bellingham Roller Betties), Jan. 10, March 14 and April 11, all at Pierce College. Each will include a league bout, plus a generous beatdown on a visiting team. Welcome back, ladies. As your Facebook page pithily observes, it's time to rock out with your dock out.

DOCKYARD DERBY DAMES, 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Health Education Center, 9401 Farwest Dr. SW, Lakewood, $12 advance, $15 at the door,

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