I haven't written in my blog in a long time, but that is probably good news for any readers I might still have because if I had been blogging, chances are good that every single blog article would be about roller derby. Yep, in February I joined the Saskatoon Roller Derby League and since then derby is always on my mind. We practice three times a week, I skate on my own most evenings, and it seems like every weekend we have a fundraiser so that we can afford to rent places to practice. This past weekend was an event called "Dirty Dogs and Derby Girls" where we washed dogs to raise money. Since dogs give me asthma something fierce I let the other girls wash the dogs, while I kept well away. In fact I was several blocks away at a busy corner holding a sign advertising the dog wash. To me, skating around at a busy intersection makes a hell of a lot more sense than being near those evil deadly poisonous dogs.
I was out there for two hours at the corner of 8th and McKercher on a little triangle of concrete. The goal was to get people to see my sign, so I wore my skates and my jersey and tried to skate around a bit to catch the eye of drivers. It was pretty windy out, and my sign was acting like a sail, but I think the skates were still a good idea because I actually seemed to get a lot of attention. As cars stopped at the red lights I looked at all the drivers and almost all of them were looking at me. A few people even shouted things at me, like asking to see my sign better, or asking how much it cost to get a dog washed. One woman actually got out of her car at the red light, walked over to me and asked where the dog wash was.
Not everyone who said something to me was interested in the dog wash though. Some people were more interested in my derby outfit. A guy who looked a lot like Big Moose from Archie comics yelled "ROLLERGIRLS ROCK!" as he sped by in an over-sized truck. One woman yelled "I LOVE YOUR SKATES!" A while later a younger woman passenger leaned her head out of her window and shouted "WHAT'S YOUR DERBY NAME?"* I turned around so she could read the back of my jersey. It was a boring job, but I have to admit - I was enjoying the attention.
Over an hour of sign-holding later, the dust and the wind were getting to me so I took a short break. I skated into the 7-11** for a slurpee. I also took this time to put down my sign and pull out my headphones. After I had some 80s music playing I picked up my sign and headed back out to my windy concrete triangle.
I wasn't out there for more than a few seconds before some guy yelled something at me. I couldn't determine what he was saying, but I smiled and waved and spun around on my skates. To my surprise it was only about a minute later that some other guy was yelling something at me. I thought the wind must have blown my hair into something cute for once, and I waved and smiled at him before his light turned green and he drove away. Then mere seconds later someone else was shouting something at me! I didn't know what was going on. I was getting so much attention! What fun! I pointed my sign at her and waved happily.
The woman obviously didn't want to see the sign because even after I showed it to her she was shouting at me again. I thought maybe she wanted to see my derby name too or something like that, so I pulled my headphones off so I could hear her. Once I had them off she repeated herself, "YOUR SIGN IS UPSIDE-DOWN!"
* My derby name is Mega BiteMe. It is part computer reference, part taunt.
** I skate a lot these days, and I've adopted the policy that if any business does not have a sign prohibiting rollerskates on their door, then they must be allowed, and I will skate into them (but very slowly and mindful of other customers of course). So far businesses that seem to be rollerskate friendly are McDonald's, Starbucks, Sobey's, 7-11, two different Sasktel stores, and Shopper's Drug mart.