First off, this might be the greatest comment I’ve ever gotten on one of my blog posts:
So does Chris go to work and leave you and your sister for the day with a similar sense of dread and amusement that Ricky Ricardo felt when leaving Ethel and Lucy? Fearing a grape stomping episode, or perhaps wondering if he’ll find you locked in a meat locker when he returns home? Just curious. – Kristina Daheim
Yes Kristina, I think he might. Dread and amusement are the earmarks of Auntie Kaitlyn’s Holiday Reign of Terror here in Bellingham. On the upside, Bet’s friends now call and say “What are we celebrating today?”
Today, it’s all about Roller Derby! Again! Get excited!
10 fun facts to get you started, interspersed with pics of the Blunt Force Trauma kicking ass and taking names from the Wave of Mutilation:
1. Roller Derby started in 1935 with a roller skating endurance race wherein 6 skaters skated for 6 solid days. They completed a total of 57,000 laps around a rink in Madison Square Garden, NYC (the equivalent of skating across the continental US) for $500 prize money and at the end two of the skaters died, including the winner.
2. By contrast, injuries from contemporary games include things like “torn eyelashes” and “fishnet burn.”
3. There’s an art to a good derby name. It needs to be clever word play and have overtones of sex, violence or mayhem preferably with a social reference. My favorite from last night:
4. We all picked derby names for ourselves during the game. Bet gave herself the derby name “Runya Ovah” and I named my niece “Tricksy Pixie” and my nephew “Crash’Her Smash’Her.” Chris is undecided but likes “La Furia” and he and Bet gave me the name “Mad Maxine.” We didn’t use this name generator but if you can’t think of a roller derby name, go here.
5. Roller derby bouts also have clever names, with the holiday bouts being among the best (naturally…). How about “Cinco de May-hem” and “Spanksgiving” ??
6. The most famous roller derby queen, Ann Calvello, started skating roller derby at age 18 in 1948 and competed a final time in 2000, 52 years later. The roller derby girls named their championship cup after her.
7. Apparently men also have roller derby teams. This initially upset me because women rarely get something cool and sexy and athletic and rambunctious all to themselves. However, I relented a little bit when I discovered the men called themselves “Merbys” who play “broller-derby”
8. Roller Derby fashion leans heavily towards fishnets, booty shorts and thigh high socks. This blog post tracks booty short ownership with length of time associated with roller derby in a very corporate looking graph.
9. Strangest conversation about roller derby (recorded here) that includes a holiday from my past week:
Girl 1: “My sister doesn’t play roller derby, she’s a Buddhist. She doesn’t believe in violence.”
Girl #2: “What? What we do isn’t violence, it’s a sport”
Girl 1: “Yea. Well maybe she doesn’t understand what we do.”
Girl 2: “I don’t know. Maybe she doesn’t understand Buddhism.”
10. The Renegade Rollergirls broke away from traditional teams in Phoenix AZ to form a league with the motto “Any surface, any time.” They play without penalties, without referees and encourage outlawed moves like tripping. The words “brutal” and “fight filled” describe their games. Unlike the rest of roller derby…
And because all good things get turned up to 11, here’s an extra for any roller derby bout planners out there:
11. The importance of a good color commentator cannot be overstated. If the commentator’s remarks are silly and lascivious and full of sexual double entendres, all the better. Also, make a penalty wheel and mark spots for spanking and pillow fights as well as whatever else strikes your fancy. Spin the wheel at half time and penalize the player with the most time in the penalty box. Make fans happy.
Happy Roller Derby Day!