Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why The Pope Hates Roller Derby

I’m unsure how much media coverage the Pope’s visit to the US is getting outside of the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas, but it’s been all-Pope all the time here in Baltimore since last Friday, probably because he’s coming here as part of his papal visit.

I must admit, this Pope creeps me out a bit. With a devious expression on his face all the time, he just looks evil to me – to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised if he reached under his robe, pulled out a sawed-off shotgun, and started shooting while making his way through the crowd in his PopeMobile (which, by the way, I just noticed is essentially 5 slabs of liquor-store grade bullet-proof glass placed together in a cube formation and mounted to the truck-bed part of a Subaru Baja).

So, although many, many people in the area are excited about the Pope’s visit, many others have been affected in a negative way, causing them to wonder what they ever did to the Pope to be treated this way. Last night during practice I got a really funny text message from Lady Quebeaum that read:

“I am stuck in Pope traffic!!! Why does the Pope hate roller derby?!?! Why?!!”

And, so, I will attempt to answer why the Pope hates roller derby by outlining the following “stances” the Pope/Vatican has taken against what we involved in derby may see as the cornerstones of our very existence (my apologies to the Catholic readers here – it’s all tongue-in-cheek good, clean fun, I assure you):

Divorce and Remarriage: If you’ve been in derby for any significant amount of time, you then know very well that roller derby contributes to divorce, as many ex-husbands of roller girls may tell you. As tongue-in-cheek as this is suppose to be, the first point is all too real. So many men can’t handle their wives being outside the house [gasp!] two nights a week [gasp!] for a hobby they enjoy. These men are control freaks who married independent women. It’s not derby that broke them up, but the men’s unreal expectations of what a woman’s job is suppose to be after she’s married. The Pope, however, would beg to differ. I’ve been told on good authority that he sides with the men here – it’s roller derby that causes divorce, not the men’s unrealistic expectations.

Then, there’s the “derby widow” phenomenon. It’s true, we spend so much time doing derby once we’re involved that our significant others become “derby widows,” and we consequently take “derby wives,” which leads me into derby’s violation of the second stance the Pope is against, homosexuality/gay marriage.

Homosexuality/Gay Marriage: I love my derby wife, Flo Shizzle, even if she doesn’t read my blog because she’s too old to know what a blog is and, quite frankly, has a difficult time just managing using a computer. She can’t be bothered by “technology.” I can embellish here and say that, because she’ll never read it. Regardless, I love her, and we even solidified our relationship at RollerCon last year by getting married. I have the certificate to prove it.

On a more serious note here, one of the reasons I think derby is the bees knees is because we’re accepting of everyone. We love queer girls, and we (my league, at least) strive to create an environment where no one will ever experience any sort of discrimination. Not only that, but we respect each other and create a safe place for the gay ladies to be girly if they want, butch if they want, or just basically express themselves as they please, as we encourage everyone involved in derby to do.

Contraception: Even women who were never too keen on family planning become keen on it once starting derby, and especially if the season is about the start up. Who wants to leave their team half way through the season to sit on the sidelines and bench coach? No one. It’s excruciatingly painful to be on the sidelines, watching, knowing there’s nothing you can do—you can’t jump in and help your teammates out. But, then again, there are those women (albeit very few and far between) who show total disregard for pregnancy, bringing me to our third stance, abortion.

Abortion: When my league first started 3 years ago, there was a flutter of activity on the national Rollergirls Yahoo group concerning a pregnant skater who refused to stop skating even though she was pregnant. Her league told her she wasn’t allowed to set foot out on the hardwood once they found out she was pregnant (and actually kind of far along), and she retaliated by threatening to sue her league. She went on to make a couple postings inquiring about a “belly cup” she could wear to protect the baby when she fell during scrimmaging. She essentially wanted to strap the plastic part of a gigantic kneepad to her abdomen, as if this was an acceptable solution… Or as if this EVEN EXISTED! To this day, this story blows my mind.

Poor Driving/Road Rage: Last, but not least, we have the Pope’s/Vatican’s very odd stance on poor driving and road rage. I remember thinking, “don’t they have better things to contemplate?” when I heard about this one. And even still, we roller girls break this one too! Whether it’s our aggressive driving and excessive speed we use when we’re late for practice or our innate ability to carry derby-play over onto the road after a long night of scrimmaging (I’ve been known to booty block some cars on the way home), we’re repeat offenders here (like the Pope isn’t in his pimped-out Subaru Baja!).

And, so, Lady Quebeaum, this is why the Pope hates roller derby. Take note, I think the Dali Lama is creating his “why I hate roller derby” list now. Something about not being compassionate on the rink…


Anonymous said...

I don't think the Dalai Lama is really a Llama ;)

Tami said...

I am beginning to think that you and I were separated at birth except I am so much older. Anyway,just last night I was saying to Dave I feel like I am on Pope overload! I also do not like the fact that he is helping with making political decisions! What the hell??!!!! Too much Pope!!!

reet said...

my husband thinks he's the pope. i hope i don't have to start driving him around again.....

Anonymous said...

the pope says you should make me some dinner.

Hooligal said...


I would have to argue that these things are not the 'corner stones of our existance' and that not all derby girls would agree with you here, especially on such sensitve subjects as abortion. Derby should not represent politics of any form IMO. THAT is the cornerstone of our existance. Its that once you're out there with your wheels on your feet and the adrenaline in your veins, your differences don't matter, its a game. It doesn't matter if that girl is gay and divoced twice, she's your teammate. These things just don't matter. ;)

And I know its tongue and cheek, I'm just an opionated bitch and liek to get my 2 cents in.
Mwah, derby luv!

Cindy Lop-her said...

The 'corner stones of our existance' comment was meant to come off sarcastic as hell, not to lump all rollergirls into some sort of ideology or lack therof.

If ever you are offended by something I write, ask yourself WWCD (what would cindy do)? And know that I probably intend the opposite!

Hooligal said...

I wasnt offended :P I was just yammering on like a dilhole, don't mind me haha

Holly said...

Ah, religion...gag me! Unless of course it's the church of derby, in that case I'm a total hypocrite.