A Demure Hobby

I’ll try to articulate my point without sounding like a pretentious toff but I’m warning you ahead of time I might not be able to pull it off.

If you live close to New York City and never take your kids in to experience its rich cultural offerings, you are a negligent parent. Art is life. It’s important. At this point, The Daughters walk around the Metropolitan Museum of Art like they own the joint. They can spot van Gogh’s thick, juicy brush strokes at 15 paces. They know their way around the mezzanine section of a theater. But turning them into culture snobs is also a terrible mistake. They need a variety of experiences. That’s why when summer rolls around, we make sure they get a good, healthy dose of loud, violent fun. It’s summer and time for…



WOO HOO! That’s right, bitches. Roller Derby is alive and well and flourishing in New Jersey. Our team, the Red Bank Roller Vixens, recently went head-to-head with their arch nemesis (not really) the Shoreline Belladonnas. I don’t want to get all Oprah on you guys but aside from the purely visceral  pleasures of watching a bout, I like the fact that the girls get to see a bunch of women out there knocking it around a bit. Roller Derby is just as important an influence as Degas, and I’m not joking about that.


A funny thing happened. I asked My Bride if she wouldn’t mind taking a pic of me with one of the derby girls. Everything, and I mean everything, is a potential blog post. She knows this and indulges me. (It could be worse. It could be whisky and whores. Some guys take that route.)

At halftime I walked up to one of the toughs and sheepishly asked if she would take a picture with me. She took her mouthguard out, looked up at me and said, “I know you.” I didn’t recognize her with all her equipment on but this girl used to cut my hair! For about two years! We had a happy reunion. She left to teach so the first thing I did was yell at her for dumping me. Hair care is critically important to me and she was a grand master ninja with the scissors. I think The Daughters were kind of impressed. Hey, fellas. Check out those fish nets. Meow!


Her Roller Derby name is Lady Speedstick. They all have made-up names and they’re hilarious. Also skating on the quads that night were Pushy Galore (jersey #007), Particle CollideHer (#U235), Anita Guinness (#16oz), Strawberry Shortfuse, Fire Crack-Her (#M80), Slamour Doll, Smacks 5th Avenue, Hip Czech, etc., etc. You get the idea. This is an excellent education for The Daughters. I wouldn’t mind one bit if they signed-up.

*     *     *

deck1deck2deck3deck4Hey, robins! Building your nest under the floorboards of a deck is a terrible idea. There’s a lot of foot traffic there. Should we charge them rent? Or fire up the omelet skillet?

31 thoughts on “A Demure Hobby

    • I draw the line at professional wrestling. I don’t think I’ll introduce them to that.

      Fishnets. It’s a given.

  1. flat track roller derby is a great time! we have a local team and i’ve been cheering madly for a few years – even seriously considering boot camp so i can learn to be a ref. our crew now has a junior team – 8-17 year olds. i think it’s a great sport, mostly because of the ‘girl power’ camaraderie. even when they’re done knocking the crap out of each other, there’s obvious friendship between the teams. they are awesome!

    • There was a junior league bout here, as well. It’s not a demure sport, by any means, but it’s not as violent as it makes itself out to be. Fun for the whole family! And you’re correct about the camaraderie. The two teams are fierce competitors but seem to genuinely enjoy each others company. Hummm….

  2. Never been to a Roller Derby…it sure looks like fun! And what a wonderful thing for your girls to see….! You look incredibly Happy and Very Very Handsome in that Picture with ‘Old Fish Net’…..(lol)… LOVE seeing those little eggs! I would have thought that was a very safe place for these little ones….Very sheltered and protected.

    • Do you remember the Raquel Welch Roller Derby movie from the 70s? Kansas City Bomber? That’s when it’s popularity peeked.

      I was incredibly happy being that close to a pair of fishnets. Who wouldn’t be?!

      The eggs ARE sheltered and protected. Just not in a very convenient spot. And the droppings! Yikes!

  3. So you prefer to have your hair cut by a woman, like a true ladies’ man? Good. She seems to be a comely lass, although that tattoo is somewhat excessive. I hope you’ll take some pictures of the feathered chicks as well – if and when they hatch.

    • I’ve gotten my haircut by women since I was old enough to start paying for them on my own but the funny thing is I never realized it until you just now pointed it out. What a sexist I turned out to be! Lady Speedstick was charming, lovely and a hell of a talent.

      The chicks hatched not long ago. They’re not cute. They look like space aliens. I guess cute comes later.

    • I’m hoping it grows in popularity to the point where my gals can get scholarships to a decent college. What?! It can happen!

  4. I have considered trying out roller derby. I used to be hell on wheels when I was younger, but not sure how well my body would hold up if it’s bouncing off the floor. Plus, the older you get, the easier you bruise.

    • You should totally do it! They looked like they were having more fun than the audience. Plus, I could sense a spirit of genuine friendship and closeness. Even between the two opposing teams. It would make for killer blog posts.

    • Do you ever stop trying to impress your kids? Please tell me this isn’t a permanent condition that goes on forever.

      • yes, you do, but guess what? as they age, YOU become even more impressive without even trying! trust me on this one key thing, sugar! (and come see the pictures at my place!) 😉 xoxoxo

  5. Until daisyfae mentioned roller derbies last year I think it was, I had no idea what there were, but yes, it does sound fun. Is it mainly a girl thing or can boys take part?

    When I had my hair cut in Brussels last year (best hair cut I’ve ever had), I was starting to feel a bit strange about how much I was enjoying his touch on my head and neck.

    • Girls only!! There are no men’s leagues. If there were I’d probably sign up. Skating is one of the few things I can actually do. They’re tough girls. They love it. You can tell.

      I love having my hair cut and getting massages by girls. It’s the only time a strange woman can put her hands on me and not have it result in divorce proceedings.

  6. Dude, this is AWESOME! I used to be the roller skating rink queen back in my day–they played the best music. I think my favorite was Rob Base “It Takes Two.”

    Love the girl power message if roller derby–that strong and healthy is cool.

    I’m sure you saw the Ellen Page flick “Whip It?” Your girls would probably enjoy!

    • I can totally picture you as Queen of the Rink. During the match they play a rousing mix of Clash, Johnny Cash, Ramones, Green Day, etc. It really is an all-girl celebration. Even the coaches are women.

      “Whip It” is an unsung masterpiece. I love that movie. It even explains how Roller Derby is played. How points are scored. Penalties. Very helpful. The girlies are too young for it, though. Maybe in a few years. Fun fact: it was directed by star Drew Barrymore. An excellent job, if you ask me.

  7. You and the wife teach the girls some well rounded memories GOOD JOB! Can’t wait to see all of you….please send food requests.

    • I hate to think of it as a JOB. I’ve already got one goddamn JOB and don’t need another. But I suppose when you boil it down, that’s what parenting is. Your job. You’d best do it well.

      Note from Miss S: RIBS. RIBS. RIBS. RIBS. RIBS.

  8. Awesome post, thanks for sticking up for me! There are men’s leagues, Jersey Boys Roller Derby is a new one in NJ. You should check it out.

    • Hi! Nice to see you, my Lady. I would totally join the derby although I’m fairly certain I’d be in for a proper ass-whipping. Do they take graying old men? My girls would have a heart attack.

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