Tonight, my wife and I met up with a few friends for our usual dinner date. Although this time the after dinner entertainment was a bit different (normally it’s just a movie). We went to Ocean Springs Skate Zone to see the Mississippi RollerGirls take on the Panama City Roller Derby in a nice clean match of RollerDerby!
I wasn’t quite sure of what the scene would be like or even what the sport would look like up close having only seen it on TV with the the Thunderbirds being my main reference point. First things first, walking into a skating roller rink again for the first time in what would have to be 20 years or so, was a blast back to the past and memories of Red Ropes, tables and chairs bolted to the floor, rows of yellow lockers, and of course wall-to-wall shag carpeting. This place had all of that and then some. For a bit, my wife and I felt like we had fallen back into our childhood and were waiting for the next couples-only skate session to begin. We talked about doing the Hokey Pokey and of course the music being spun by the DJ that was mostly 70s Donna Summer and the BeeGees.
Well, reality snapped back into place with a thunderous meeting of Marilyn Manson vs Joanie Love Chachi. Everywhere there were straight edge and hardcore people who were usually sporting tattoos and lots of metal piercings. The outer appearance of our dreamlike state while walking into the rink was quickly changed to gawking the fashion statements being made by the local roller derby fan club.
It was like nothing we’d ever seen before. Here were groups of sweaty, tattooed women often wearing nothing more than a short skirt or kilt, with knee high stocking and tight t-shirts that often had vulgar sayings on them that would make most people blush just viewing them. These women were on old school 4-track skates, doing circles around a flat track and truly trying to beat the crap out of each other. Most of them had their “stage” names plastered on their clothing and gear and most were just hysterical comedy gold. I especially liked “Tink Again”, “Ivanna Bruiser”, “Militia Vandal”, and “Tru Shenanigans”. But “Edie Coli” was just too good to be true. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Head Refereee “Ref Hefner”.
We ended up having a great time as the beer was flowing and while we were enjoying the skaters thrashing about and beating the hell out of each other, there was tons of people to gawk at. After quite a few beers and many photos ops, we decided we’d seen enough and to call it a night. We did end up having a great time and really enjoyed the spectacle. Would I go again? Probably not. But I can now check one more thing off my list of things to do before I die list. If you want to see more about the girls of RollerDerby or even find out about the next event, please visit mississippirollergirls.com.