Here's something I've never admitted.
I kind of really love Roller Derby. A lot.
When I was younger, like 5 or 6, my step sister and I took roller skating classes at a rink in Whittier. Twice a week, after school, we'd go skate. Amber was a much better skater than I was. She could even skate backwards. I was good at going slow and staying near the rail. My major problem was that I was afraid of falling. I did get better as time went on, though I still never figured out how to do it backwards - I was, however, able to do the Hokey-Pokey on skates. I am so cool.
I fell a lot. I mean, I fell a lot in general - in my every day young life (tall kids are giant puppies with over-large limbs...it's to be expected). But when it came to putting my giant tentacle-like self on 8 tiny hard-plastic wheels ... well, you can imagine. The last time I went roller skating was in 2007 for a bosses' birthday. I went around the rink three times, and at the end of the third lap, as I was heading back to the benches, I fell backwards - which would have been fine - except that I didn't take my right foot up in the air with me. It stayed underneath me. And as I landed, my foot, complete with skate, bent all the way back. I couldn't walk for two weeks, and the swelling lasted for almost 6 months.
Anyway, at some point in my still-rollerskating years, I saw an re-run of Laverne & Shirley in which the girls have some crazy roller derby antics. It was kind of brilliant. And I kind of loved it. I also saw an episode of Charlie's Angels where the girls rollered their way to justice. Or something. I really just remember Farrah Fawcett's feathered hair sweeping out of the helmet. Awesome. I obviously missed Roller Derby's hay day in the 70's. But it's always been on the periphery of my consciousness throughout the years, and something I always secretly wished I could do.
I watched Whip It! tonight (one of the 10 movies I bought at the dying Hollywood Video). As you could imagine, I was geeking out. Not to mention the fact that Kristin Wiig and Ellen Page are in it, as is the fabulous Marcia Gay Harden. Add in an awesome soundtrack, Juliette Lewis as the Derby villain, and a surprisingly non-formulaic script, and you have yourself a party.
After watching the movie, I mentioned on facebook that I wanted my own Roller Derby name. My friend (and adopted big brother) Sean came up with "Lady MacDeath," Which I think is disgustingly awesome. Some of the poorer suggestions included "Zsa Zsa Ga-Gore," "I'm Gonna Kill You-inator," and "Slam Let." The runner up was "Snakes Spear." You know you love it.
Want your own Roller Derby name? You can go here, though I suggest a facebook poll. Laughing at the creativity of your friends is fun! Hopefully they're down with the Derby... if not, go to the generator. ;) I'm also fascinated with the names of the derby teams. If they had Fantasy Roller Derby on Yahoo! Sports, I'd totally name my team "The Suffer Jets." Huh?? Huh?? That's what I'm talking about!
At any rate, Roller Derby is totally making a come back. As depicted in Whip It!, Austin, Texas has a thriving Roller Derby culture. London, New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Cleveland, Calgary and Los Angeles all have active Roller Derby Leagues. There are thousands more, but I think you get the point. Roller Derby in the Olympics? I think this needs to happen.
Come on. You know you want to go. ;)
This blog post is brought to by:
Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide Ice Cream