I’m thinking of giving up my dualing ambitions of pole-dancing and tour-guiding and instead switching my life goals to roller derby. I know this comes as a mighty surprise and I’m sorry to spring this on you. I know you thought you’d see me inching down a pole at the Spearmint Rhino or some such gentleman’s club, hanging upside down using only my big toe and a two-square-inch piece of shiny fabric to prevent me from crashing to the stage. Or you figured I’d be dressed in period costume with full petticoat and bonnet, taking tourists around to meet the blacksmith and the cooper at Colonial Williamsburg. Well, I’m happy to announce that I intend to pursue a career as a professional roller derbyist. Derbier. Whatever.
I made this decision after I went to the Green Mountain Derby Dames Finale Fatale on Saturday night. I’m a bona fide roller derby fanatic now. I must participate in this most amazing of sports/theater of the absurd. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I arrived at the Champlain Valley Exposition for the Dames’ bout against the trashy Long Island Roller Rebels (I’m practicing my smacktalk). I thought it was going to be a bunch of out of shape, tattooed, pierced, ironic non-athletes rolling around in a circle and flashing their bloomers to the crowd. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were some decent displays of athleticism during the bout.
This is what roller derby looks like when you’re a terrible photographer. No, there’s no banked track. To come.
The crowd was such a crazy mix of homos, roughnecks and punk rock kids. My friend, Big Daddy and I fit in perfectly. And like the rest of the crowd, we didn’t have a clue what was going on. Apparently the goal of roller derby is to amass more points that your opponent by crushing their faces in and skating more kick-assy than them. How exactly they won points is beyond me. Something about jamming and blocking. The rules were in the program, but I make a rule not to read at sporting events, so I didn’t exactly know what was going on.
This is Big Daddy. He is a stud.
But here’s what I did know. Despite the fact that the venue had the acoustics of a Quonset hut (thank you, Big Daddy) and the cheeriness of an airplane hangar, it really felt like a serious sporting event. People were going nuts when skaters like The Atomic Muffin8her, Annie Cockledoux (no, seriously), The Silencer and the Dames’ hero of the night, Star Slayer hit the floor. Never in my entire collegiate sporting career did I have so many fans as Star Slayer, or really any of the other Dames. I clearly picked the wrong sport. If only my college offered scholarships for roller derby. Oh well.
This is me pondering my roller derby career and whether my nose is likely to cause some drag when I skate.
After watching about the first 34 seconds of the bout, I already had my derby name in my head. Henceforth, I should thank you to call me “The Muckracker.” I already checked in the directory of roller derby names and that one’s not taken. Once I had my name, I was planning my derby outfit. I’m not a fan of textured hose, but I suppose I could get used to fishnets. As long as I could wear some hot poom-pooms over them, I’ll be all set. Never mind that I don’t have skates, or pads, or a helmet, or the fact that I’m not a joiner and I don’t like strangers. In my mind, I was already on the team.
Sidebar- I love James Kochalka Superstar. He provided the entertainment for the evening during the half-times. He’s like this crazy puckish ball of energy who sings about Justin Timberlake, rainbows and why you’ve got to wash your bum. Granted, because of the aforementioned acoustics, I couldn’t hear anything he was singing about, but the spectacle of this tiny sprite thrashing on the stage shirtless, with his small son providing backup vocals was worth the price of admission.
This is James’ American Elf cartoon from that night. He is clever. And flexible. I didn’t pay him to use this. I hope he doesn’t sue me.
Anyway, I want rollerskates. And I want to knock other girls on their plus-size fannies with my man-shoulders. But I’m wondering if I join the team, will my initiation involve tattooing my sensitive bits or stitching my eyelids together, because if so I’M SO IN!.
Here’s a little video of the evening:
On a serious note, mad-props to Tofu Torture, aka Meredith Myers, for skating her face off on Saturday despite the fact that her father, Al Myers, recently passed away unexpectedly. Al Myers was a beloved teacher at Williston Central School who came to every one of his daughter’s derby bouts. He died getting the school’s auditorium ready for a production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Tofu Torture, you have my respect.