flat on the track.

i attended a roller derby bout. previously i thought i understood the sport, having attended a match a few years ago and watching it on television, as a boy, with my grandmother, not to mention somehow sitting through the entirety of whip it, but being so close to all the blood, sweat, and tears made me question a few things (one being, why weren’t there more tears?).

the point system: i was trying to keep score, knowing that a team gained a point with each girl that the jammer passed, but after each jam i looked at the scoreboard to find i was off. it seemed arbitrary, like a drinking game where you start changing the rules in order to drink more (for instance, while watching the hills, drink every time you see a white person). when one team was up by twenty one, it was as if the scorekeeper thought, their opponent was good that time, okay, lets give them nineteen. the crowd loves a close game.

players’ numbers: i picture everyone lining up to choose jersey numbers, and the first couple of girls pick sixteen, nine, and twenty eight, and then the fourth one selects 1464. sorry, i thought we were limited by the numbers that could fit across our backs.

one of the most memorable parts of the exhibition actually occurred at the after party when i was introduced to whiskey slaps. participants find a partner and take turns downing a shot and receiving a slap to the face. that’s really all there is to it. it’s simple, yet elegant, much like the universe.

i can imagine after reading this post some of you are interested in starting your own team or joining an existing one, so in parting i’ll suggest a few names for your newly-created alter ego: skate moss; mary flay blige; queefer sutherland; the cast of that 70s show, tokin’ grace, laura preponderate, ashton krusher, and, um, kill more valderrama (if i looked at a list of the cast i could no doubt get you an entire team); emma hotsun and scary (or fairy or mary) potter and volde-court (for a girl named courtney who must not be named); scimitara banks; michelle o’ bomb ya; sarah impalin’; chelsea manhandler; amanda binds; nicki minaj a trois; kim karcrashian; scarlette fever. if you want to adopt the famous new york yankee idea popularized by babe ruthless, then you have mickey dismantle, joy dismashio, or als, which could stand for many things other than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

what i’m saying is that the naming process is not as difficult as some of you are making it look. i’m certainly not insisting that all the names i’ve suggested are amazing, but i came up with this list mostly by browsing maxim magazine’s website for twenty minutes, while you’re supposed to be passionate about this sport.


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