The Night That I Fell in Love with (Being) A Roller Derby Queen*

Tonight I went to Bailey‘s (AKA “Daisy Fever‘s”) first roller derby bout, which was her first bout as a member of the Little Rock Derby Girls.

And, oh my God, I am in love.

I didn’t really catch on at first. I kept asking, “Who’s got the ball? I can’t even see the ball!” (FYI: There’s no ball in roller derby.)

But ten minutes into the bout I turned to Aunt Doodie — whose elbows were already carpet-burned from leaning and scraping against the “railing” at the rink during the bout — and delightedly exclaimed, “I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s all very exciting.” (If you can imagine a wide-eyed Anya delivering this line, you’ll have the gist of my tone and wonderment.)

I think what excites me about roller derby is the same thing I found appealing about professional wrestling way back when I used to follow WWE Pay-Per-Views around the Mid-South: the violence. Although I suppose that, in this instance, it’s more about the potential for violence. Let’s face it: girl-on-girl derby violence is a gozillion times more exciting because it’s for the sake of the game, rather than man-on-man wrestling violence for the sake of scripted entertainment. (Somewhere, a gaggle of niche feminists who just don’t get it are shrieking in horror.)

By intermission (Or whatever. There was a break, okay?), I had decided I had to be a derby girl. I was already envisioning my outfit and trying to come up with an appropriate name. There are just a few complications:

  • I’m old (34), and the vast majority of the derby girls I saw competing are in their early 20s.
  • I’m incredibly short and am not, in any way, an “imposing figure.”
  • I’m an overweight smoker who probably couldn’t make it around the track a single time, much less for two solid minutes in a pack of vicious young women intent on destroying me.
  • I can’t roller skate. (This is, um sort of a big barrier.)

But I’m still giving roller derby some semi-serious consideration, because there are clearly a lot of benefits: something to do other than work at the hotel and peruse the Internet; good exercise; an acceptable outlet for pent-up aggression — and much, much more.  (I’m assuming, anyway.  I’d probably get free nachos after the bouts if I were a team member.)

So this is where you guys get to weigh in. I figure I’ll at least give it a shot; that is, I’ll try to learn how to stay upright on a combined eight wheels, and we’ll see what happens from there. But I need a kick-ass character name to inspire me. There’s a looooong list of registered, in-use names here that can’t be used but might inspire. My favorites are names like “Sandra Day O’Clobber” and “Pound Anya,” which are nice plays-on-words that I find amusing. And I found an anagram-making site, which anagrams my name into “Rabbi Red Rots.” (I thought that was kind of cool and ironic, considering my “reverend-ness.”)

So, get creative and comment!

*Post title bastardized from the lyrics of a song by Jim Croce. And if you don’t have Jim Croce in your life, you are so missing out.

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