Tuesday, April 7

Like A Wedding Reception On Wheels.

The Broken Elbow Quadrilogy - Part II.

I will never roller skate again. I’ve come to terms with this years ago, for three very distinct reasons.

One, I’m terrible at it, and I refuse to evolve for an activity that has remained relatively unevolved since its inception. As a child, every time I was invited to a birthday party at a roller rink, I grimaced and attempted to lie my way out of it. I never wanted anyone to know that I sucked at skating, and saw no purpose in spending my afternoon unintentionally doing a newborn Giraffe impression in front of my friends. At the bulk of these parties, I would play video games and hide in the bathroom during the ‘All-Skate.’

Yes, I’m serious, and yes, I know how sad that is. Besides, you weren’t the one that was crying in the handicapped stall while ‘The Limbo Song’ blared over the rink PA system. Those are memories you tend to remember, particularly when you’re quartering a prostitute in your basement.

In 1994, my next-door neighbor suffered the most disgusting arm breakage I have ever seen as a result of Rollerblading (a craze that died out almost as instantly as Hypercolor t-shirts and PM Dawn, I might add). The image of her laid-out on the sidewalk, screaming bloody murder and clutching her S-shaped right arm is etched into my brain forever, as it should be. That is something that I do not want to happen to me as a grown man with a job and mortgage, and nothing short of a full-on Knight costume is going to prevent it from happening.

The main point here is probably my endless attempts to save face in public while simultaneously embarrassing myself in tow. It literally frightened me as a child to risk a pratfall in front of my friends, no matter if everyone else was doing it and nobody cared. Ironically, I was always more than willing to take a pratfall if it was the punchline of a joke that I was telling, but we’ll save the deep psychoanalysis for another time. I ain’t drunk enough.

Two, the last time I skated, I severely sprained my wrist. This happened in gym class, of all places, and I didn’t know what had happened until hours later. Sure, my wrist had turned black, hurt like a Fungo Bat to the gonads and I threw up twice immediately afterwards, but I ignored it and continued on with my day until I could no longer hold anything or move it properly (ever try to work a combination lock with the same arm you’re clutching four textbooks in?). When I finally went to the nurse’s office, I was all but thrown into the car and rushed straight to the emergency room. Protective gear or otherwise, my brain will not let me forget that roller skating is a recipe for humiliation, pain, and limp, black wrists.

Three, and this is purely the Elitist part of me speaking…it just ain’t my cup of tea.

The bad 90’s dance music (or worse, the token ‘Wedding Reception’ music), the 30 children flopping themselves around the rink while celebrating a birthday party, the token old guy that’s all by himself and way too good at it, the fact that every roller rink is in a part of town where people get stabbed hourly, the nostalgic, teenage Roller Rink flashbacks to every failed relationship and nonreciprocating glance…why would I subject myself to this? As an adult, I’ve built my life around protecting myself from the things that destroyed me as a child, so why would I willingly step back into the Time Machine of Failure? I write essays about stuff like that so I don’t have to re-live them in a literal sense. A roller derby is where I want to be; throwing myself onto the rink is an entirely different bear.

Because it’s fun!

Sort of, I suppose. But if I really wanted to strap wheels to my feet and crash into shit, I could just get drunk at my house like an adult. And I wouldn’t have to hear the Chicken Dance, either.


We hates the Chicken Dance. We hates it so much.
I never understood why some kids were upset when I had my parties at the ice skating rink or the roller skating rink. I could always do both, so it made no sense to me. As an adult, I now see how that probably was a very emotionally damaging experience for those kids.
I like the Image very much.

Minor In Possession

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