Last night, before I decided to do my midnight studying at the library, I went to the Thursday skating session at the local skating rink, which is the day most adults typically go roller skating. Not being the greatest of skaters on the hardwood, which is a stark contrast to my skills on the ice, I made sure I stayed on the inside lines as to not create issues for the more comfortable roller skaters. Well, there was this one chick doing her thing out on the floor. She was varying her speeds around the rink, doing the Bankhead Bounce, riding backwards…pretty much the whole nine. This couple of skaters fell and this chick, instead of just going around the fallen couple, decided she wanted to get cute and jump over them. She ended up catching the knee of one of the fallen skaters, which threw off her landing trajectory and she faceplanted. It was the most incredible fall in skating that I had seen since January 2010. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the Tokyo Midtown incident.
How I first came across this moment? It all started on January 9, 2010. On the way back home from an all-day date in Aomori, I stopped by Tokyo Midtown to grab some chocolates out of Jean-Paul Hévin for one of my co-best friends. As I was walking out of Tokyo Midtown towards the Tokyo Metro part of Roppongi Station, I noticed an ice skating rink on the green. It was an outdoor rink and they had night skating. Instantly, I came up with the idea of my crew coming down on a Saturday night to skate in the open air under the Tokyo lights and the “Midtown Saturday Night” event was born. When I pitched the idea to my crew, all except for a few were game for it so we set it up for the following Saturday night—January 16th. On that particular night, we all hopped on the trains and dined in at TGI Friday’s before making our way over to Tokyo Midtown. Everybody was out on the ice—kids included—having a good time. We were taking pictures and just wilding out on the ice and then it happened: a thud that shook the entire rink. Initially, I thought it was an earthquake…after all, we were in Tokyo and it would’ve been a common thing. But nope, I turned around and I saw my friend, Donna Miller, faceplanted on the ice. Apparently, she was trying to be all cute on the ice and her skates didn’t cooperate. Being that I was out on the ice with my Nikon D-90 in tow, I took pictures of the entire scene…for proof purposes. The first person to run over to assist Donna was another one of my friends, Chauvonne. A couple of Japanese skaters helped as well. Though I know she was supremely embarrassed, Donna was actually a good sport about it. The rest of that night went on without serious incident but I kinda leaked the photos to people at church the next day and all you heard at the ensuing Sunday afternoon cookout was “Timmmmmmbeeeeerrrrr”, a play on the very tall Donna falling to the ice.
What it meant to me then? In the moment and days to follow, I let her have it. I tagged her on Facebook so all of her friends and their friends could see it. I even gave the clue of “Donna fell on it” during one of our battle of the sexes Taboo games.
What it means to me now? Looking back on it, Donna’s fall took all of the embarrassment of the infamous Showa Park incident off of me. Me crashing into the bushes on a bike was nothing compared to her falling on the ice…especially when you consider there is no actual footage of me crashing at Showa Park, just a blog post about it and some hearsay from a select few in attendance. I actually think back to that moment every time I’m ice skating and see people getting cute and fancy on the ice. It’s a reminder to myself of the penalty of trying to exceed your skill level on the ice. Nevertheless, Donna’s fall and the “Midtown Saturday Night” event, at large, is one of my Most Memorable Moments in Tokyo.