My parents, god bless them, tried their darndest to get away from the fact that they had spawned a total loser. Afresh with celtic tiger ambition, they began sending me to any and all after school activities to both a) strengthen my almost completely non-existent physical dexterity and b) school me to view other people as being more then just an obstacle between me and precious solitude. I only remember a few of these ventures; tennis, swimming and most painfully, dance, being the most standout crushing memories. My mother assures me that their were dozens of other attempts, so exhaustingly short-lived that my childhood memory hasn't even bothered documenting them. Eventually, they learned to just leave me do my own thing, and maintained it to be the most harmonious policy to take.
Eventually, however, something emerged out of the mists that dragged my pale limbs into the sun, and probably just saved me from rickets. These magical things were called ROLLER BLADES.
|Basically the most awesome things ever|
The kids in my park were going through a pretty major roller-blading phase in the mid-nineties. Like every estate there was a constant current of trends rising and falling, and I only seemed to ever partake in the trends that required the least amount of physical effort. Even yo-yo's and hackeysack proved too daunting: Pogs and Pokémon cards I could handle. So how I actually got around to strapping on a pair of roller-blades is a mystery to me. It's entirely possible the whole thing was a bribe from my mother or sister. However it happened, I decided that roller-blades were basically my chief calling in life. Not only was roller-blading something I could actually do but I was also good at doing it. And perhaps most shocking of all, sometimes I could beat other kids.
And then, just like that, the phase past. Suddenly nobody cared about roller-blades anymore. I think scooters were the next hip form of pseudo-transport. I was crushed. If nobody cared about the thing I was good at anymore, then no-one would know I was good at it. So I kept roller-blading on my own. Occasionally I could coax Mags to come with me, but eventually there's a limit to what two loner kids will do for one another, and she stopped too. Eventually, my lovely pink rollers were discarded and let to rust.
AND THEN THERE WAS WHIP IT
Whip It (2009) is basically the Citizen Kane of girly sports movies. Not only does it have an immense soundtrack, a fantastic cast and some gosh-darned snappy lines, but it's about a roller derby, for crying out loud. I've watched this movie an embarrassing number of times, and yet will never not be in the mood to watch it. Every time the credits roll, I pine and paw with my unrollered feet for a Cork city based roller derby team.
*This came to a shuddering halt when I was about eight and my dad caught me staging an elaborate sexual encounter between Barbie and Action Man. Ken was away on business and Action Man had those huge arms and gruff demeanor.