Assault N' Flattery — or Salty to her friends — peps up at Metal's announcement that real contact is permitted in this demonstration of the Dames' force. "Am I the first reporter brave enough?" I ask.

"Oh, yeah," I'm told. "But the last guy that came did fall on his ass pretty hard." I call him a pussy, almost fall on my own ass, and thus signals the start of my photographed beatdown against the Dames.

The Dames get into formation, skating in a line. My job is to sashay up to them from behind and bang into each one until I make it to the leader and bump her from her post. First up is Maya Mangleyou, who is young, white, and skinny. She's also tough. We smack hips, and I tumble magnificently to the floor. Tolling through my ears I hear, "Get your ass up!" Against better judgment I'm up and back on the attack.

I'm pretty sure I give Maya an illegal elbow this time around, and pry my way past her to challenge the fierce Mystic R.I.P. Her, who easily brings me to my tenderizing tushy once more. One by one, I contest the likes of Kitty Twister, Anita Bangher, and Krush Puppy, and one by one I pass them — with frequent visits to the ground in between. When the last clash keeps me on all fours, I glide to the side of the rink and crumple to my knees.

"So, is it easier when you have a vagina or something?" I mutter through desperate gasps, as defense for my clear weakness in the ring against a bunch of girls who are barely in second gear. Water is fetched, and I gulp it down. I can't tell if one Dame is being sincere when she asks if I'm okay. "Do you need a minute, sweetie?"

As if in a dream, I find myself struggling to get up, muttering something idiotic about my vagina and filing back into formation against the far wall. Barely able to keep from deflating, I imagine the Dames as glorified Denny's waitresses who've fucked up my order, and strap my helmet on tight. "What's next, girls?"

Salty wants this one; I believe they call it "The Whip." I skate beside her and extend my arm. Salty takes my upper limb and forcefully flings me ahead, so that I'm barreling out of control. I spin a few times, trying to save it, but take a mean fall — a bona fide hip injury, as a doctor would probably tell me if I bothered to see one. Another team practicing on the other side of the rink laughs at my dire straits as they float by. "What the fuck are you bitches laughing at?" I bay, shaking off the pain and rejoining my pack of Dames. "I like this kid," one of my girls remarks. "He's got balls."

The coup de grâce, the bullet in my skull, has to be "The Wall." Two players skate tightly up ahead; my job to get through them. I believe in boxing it's called the "one-two punch," and it's during one of our first runnings of this drill that I receive a swift elbow to my jaw by one sneaky Dame I won't soon forget. I crash the boards to assess the damage. Thank God for $2.99 mouth guards. I succumb to a few more cheap shots, and then we all agree I've had enough. Salty is bummed, I can tell. She's just getting started.

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