Stink City Views: Teaching an Octopus to Twerk
One of the originators of modern roller derby (or so she tells us), American inmate ANN C BITCH has a few things to say about men’s derby…
Hi limey cousins! Or “g’day copper” as I believe y’all say in your funny little country (is it a country? whatever). I mus’ admit I didn’t even know y’all had roller derby over there in Europe, but I think it’s darn brave of y’all to be givin’ it a go. It can’t be easy with your weak foreign limbs, diet of tree bark and cress, and that whole skating on the wrong side of the road thing. Still, on the plus side, at least you ain’t gotta worry about mouthguards – being Brits, all your teeth done turned green and fell out when you were like 15 anyways.
I would give y’all some tips about playin’ derby, but I know it would be wasted on the sort of folks who think football is something you play with your feet – duh! – plus plenty of rules have gotten changed since my day anyhoo. Like, somebody told me they’ve made punching an opponent a penalty now. For serious? Turnin’ it into a sport for librarians ‘stead of horse wrestlers. Damn straight. Shoot, where’s my manners, best introduce myself. My name’s Ann C Bitch and I used to play for – ’til we got shut down by some baloney Federal Inquiry – the Stink City Roller Psychos.
Who? Wash your toothless limey mouths out (do y’all have soap over there?). The Psychos were the first ever modern roller derby league. Whenever folk in Texas say Bad Girl Good Woman were formed, we done got formed the day before. Straight up fact. Only reason anyone thinks different is they got better lawyers than us, plus we didn’t get the internet in Middle Dakota ’til 2005. We were also the first derby league to play a bout in Canada – although the folk we was playing against didn’t know that’s what we was doin’ – and the first to have the National Guard mobilised for an after party.
Anyways, just making sure y’all know you’re reading the words of one of the primo inventors of modern derby, so darn well pay heed to everything I say and you’ll learn plenty. Gotta admit, I was stoked when Mucky Murder (or whatever the hell her name is) from limey derby rag Lead Jammer asked me to write a blog for them. I was a whole lot less stoked when she said she wanted a piece on men’s roller derby. Say what? Men’s roller derby? Roller derby played by actual men, rather than broads with beards? That’s a thing now? For real? Men’s roller derby? Holy cowdirt.
Now let’s be clear, I’m like totally the most unprejudiced person y’all will ever meet. For me, we are all God’s children, whether we’re normal or French or from Ohio. I truly believe everyone should have the opportunity to follow whatever pie-eyed dreams they have, without fear of discrimination, hostility or ridicule. Having said that, jus’ the idea of men’s roller derby made me sick up Cheerios into my own face. I mean, really? Y’all could sooner teach an octopus to twerk than teach a man to play derby. Their bodies jus’ ain’t made for it. From their lanky Sasquatch gaits to their pancake hips. From brains that can only focus on one thing at a time (usually hot dogs) to their dumb mailbox chins – heck, do they even make derby helmets to fit men’s heads? No, sure as sheep-dip ain’t candy, if the Good Lord had meant men to play roller derby, he’d have given them foo-foos ‘stead of wangs.
But hey, I was ready to be cool with it. Like some kid with the brains of a crawfish saying he’s gonna grow up to be a spaceman, you know it ain’t gonna happen, but you don’t tell the kid that. So yeah, if a couple of dozen guys wanna get together in someone’s garage for some Keystone Cops attempt at playing “derby”, as long as it’s in the privacy of their own home, and not in front of children – heck, or anyone – then sure it’s plenty weird, but I’m fine with it.
Then I read the next line of Mucky’s letter. It isn’t the freaky deaky ‘idea’ of men’s roller derby she’s all after me writing about. No, she wants a blog about “the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup” – excuse me, the what? The absolute what in the Sam Heck straight up WHAT? You gotta be kidding me. They do this shit in public? No way. Uh-huh. No. This is an early April Fools, right? Gotta be. I read some more, my hands shaking like a gator in a car wash. Seems this whole tournament of wrongness is takin’ place this weekend in Birmingham. Moment I read that, I’m ’bout ready to use my one phone call of the week to holler ex-teammates Jill O’Teen and Carjackie, get ‘em to bust me out so we can all hightail it to Alabama and put a stop to the whole damn thing, any which way we can.
That’s when I learned it wasn’t even in the real Birmingham, it was in some place called after it in like Germany or somewhere. They’re holding a World Cup and they don’t even have the decency to hold it in the Capital of the World, the US of A? I guess they were afeared of what would happen if they did. Not only that, but it’s not just the USA and Canada takin’ part. What kind of world contest, world series, world anything, lets other countries play in it, for Palin’s sake? Was gonna be seventeen so-called ‘nations’ all told, but at least two of ‘em had the decency to realise the crime ‘gainst God and humanity the whole thing was and pull out. Still leaves what, like, fifteen – are there even fifteen countries? I can name, like, five. I read the list. England, Sweden, Finland, Neverland… heck, they’re makin’ half of these up… Wales? That’s not a country, that’s what sea hippos are called.
Still, I guess maybe some people want to watch this kinda thing. Why? Sure must be the same way folks slow down for a good look when cruisin’ past a pile-up on the highway. As long as y’all are watchin’ men’s derby the same way you’d gawp at some kid with two heads playin’ the banjo, the stuffed carcass of a beast with donkey’s head and penguin’s body, or any other travellin’ freakshow exhibit, then it’s kinda OK. Jus’ remember no man is ever gonna have his arm ripped off mid-jam, pick it up and carry on makin’ scorin’ passes, the way Dirty Buckets jammer ShyStar did ‘gainst Wipsville Wheeleaters in ’02. No man’s gonna get bones in his neck surgically removed so he can Exorcist his head 180-degrees when pivoting like Chicago Crushers’ Lady MacDeath did in ’03, God rest her soul. And no man’s gonna shave off his hair and get his head tattooed to look like a derby helmet, to get round stupid safety rules, the way the whole roster of the Sawdust Soreheads did in ’04. (Props to the superfast tattooist who added and removed their jammer stars and pivot stripes between jams.)
So, yeah, I can jus’ about put up with men’s roller derby existing – heck, it keeps them off the streets and out of our workshops, right girls? – as long as we all accept it for the silly little sideshow it sure as heck is. The day that people take it seriously? Well, that’s the day Ann C here moves to Mars! Laters, limey losers x