Friday, November 23, 2007
Oh, roller derby, we missed you.
If I could roller skate and weren't afraid of getting elbowed in the face by an occasionally aggressive stay-at-home mom or a homicidal school teacher, I would absolutely join a roller derby team. The New York Times ran a great article on the Gotham Girls Roller Derby and the rebirth of this once-popular sport.
"Roller derby, which seemed to have a short final flare of life on cable television back in the 1970s, has been reborn atop the skates of amateur women across the country. They have formed leagues, broken bones, drunk beer and won tens of thousands of raucous, loyal fans. The New York teams, which started in 2003 with a handful of women skating under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, include teachers, stage managers, accountants, a lion keeper, corporate lawyers and an antiques dealer, as well as the one known astronomer. Their ages range from 23 to 42."
I love -- love! -- that there's a lion keeper in the group. The story captivated me not only because it sounds just plain cool but also -- and perhaps more importantly -- because participants get to have their own roller derby nom de plumes, including Lil’ Miss Stuffit, Surly Temple, Beatrix Slaughter, Lemony Kickit, Brigitte Barhot, Auntie Christ and my personal favorite, Beyonslay -- "accent over the 'a,'" says the owner of the alias. Fabulous!
In lieu of actually joining a roller derby team, I may just come up with my own alias and wear it on the back of a t-shirt. Maybe Hermione Rager? (In)Sane Austen? I'll have to work on it. In the meantime, I'll just wonder what it's like to skate like the wind alongside Beatrix Slaughter. I'm betting it's pretty damn cool...especially the part where we cold-cock Farmer McGregor on the back turn.
Photo from www.gothamgirlsrollerderby.com.