Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Arch Rival Roller Girls And A Man Named Clownvis

There's a moment in every man's life where he gets a hankerin' for some good, old fashioned girl-on-girl action. This is opposed to new fashioned girl-on-girl action which is stupid and probably just a fad. No, old fashioned is the way to go and I was lucky enough to see some of that hot, hot action with a dude named Clownvis. [Note: If you are my young cousin or one of my nieces from the future, this post is not actually about sex. I was using some double entendre to pull the reader in. Yeah, it's predictable and somewhat tasteless, but what can I do? Sex sells. Please visit your local library for more info on sex. Do not google that shit.]
On a late August night I headed down to the All American Sports Mall to check out the championship match of the region's Flat Track Roller Derby league, Arch Rival Roller Girls. Now, I'm not one to gloat, but I'm no stranger to Roller Derby. I'd seen a match or two on TV back in the 80's. You know what I'm talking about... Girls beating each other up on the rink in ridiculous WWF-like moves. Oh you don't? Well that's awesome because it gives me a reason to show you this!

Yeah, I'd seen that so I knew what to expect. It didn't matter that I had no effing clue how it was played - Because, really, who cares? I was about to see some straight up Jake The Snake style DDTs.
I had no idea how popular the Arch Rival Roller Girls were, but when I arrived 20 minutes early I was shocked that the place was packed. I had to park two parking lots away and the line to buy tickets was reaching far down the long hallway into the rink. Once I got through I headed up to the second level where the obligatory bar awaited me with the obligatory PBR special.
The first obvious difference between the above clip and the Roller Derby I was about to watch was that this match was going to be played on a flat track and there were no railings. "Audience participation," I whispered as I imagined the crowd surrounding the track shoving broom handles under skate wheels whilst dodging flying bloody girls.
As the lights dimmed the booming announcer uh, announced that we were going to have a special treat tonight. And then there he was. Perhaps the most perfect combination of two things people sometimes dress up as. Clown + Elvis = Clownvis. Or, the most awesome combination ever invented.
And then Clownvis went ahead and did something I wasn't expecting. He blew the effing roof off the place with the finest National Anthem I'd ever seen in a Sports Mall, either American or foreign. You could hear a pin drop. Need proof? Arch Observer video... "Give me a beat!"

I could barely contain my excitement for what I had just witnessed. It was the perfect introduction for what I expected to be a particularly violent and bloody derby.
Here's the thing... Yeah, that fake and ridiculously over the top Roller Derby you remember from the 80's? It's not like that at all now. It's an actual sport and one that I found more enjoyable and exciting as the night went on. In fact, I found myself getting really into it. They still hit each other but you aren't allowed to use your arms or legs. It's all about the hips and shoulders in real Derby. There's a ton of fast-paced slams and crashes but it isn't superfluous. There's strategy behind everything. The only issue you may have is figuring out the rules. Luckily, I don't have to go over them with you. Just check out Arch Rival Roller Girls website where they have a page dedicated to teaching you such things. And then, after that, check out some video.
One thing that hasn't changed is style. The Arch Rival Roller Girls are rocking some serious outfits of badassness. They also get to choose the names sewn/ironed/taped on to their jerseys. Some of my favorite names: Miss Lippy, Smarty McFly (her number is 1.21 Gigawatts!), Suri O'Killer, Riddle Lynn and Joltin' Josie. This makes me want to come up with a cool name for myself.... Damn, I just spent 15 minutes thinking of one and I've got nothing. How about Bad Ideas and my number can be zabillionity-gillion?
I know the new season starts sometime this Winter and you bet your black and blue ass I'll be there. Seriously, this is more fun than you are imagining right now. Plus, Clownvis could be there at a moments notice and that's something you can not miss. Point proven by watching the following video. Actually, all you need to do is forward it to 45 seconds and just hear a few lines of "Jesus Christ Eatin On A Chicken Wing." God bless America. And God bless you, Clownvis.


Smarty McFly said...

Thanks Jim. I am a big fan of you!

~Smarty McFly

The Pro-Agonist said...

I am also now a big fan of you. And Clownvis. In fact the two of you may have to fight to the death for my affections. Listen, I don't make the rules.


Hera said...

Ooo, I think I could love Clownvis. I HAVE to check this out!

Funny story for you--I read this post and forwarded it to my boyfriend saying we should check this out. His reply to me was, "I think I know this guy?!?!?! I'm pretty sure I sold him season seats." Turns out he meant he thinks he's met you before, as he's pretty sure he's the one who sold you your tickets to the Cards this year. Small blogging world.

Jim Barnthouse said...

@Hera - Say what??? Is your husband Michael or Justen? It's a small world indeed. And, yes, you would love Clownvis.

Abby said...

I love the Roller Girls :)! I might try out next year now that I live much closer to where they practice.

Hera said...

Michael. Hope you enjoyed your seats!

quirken said...

i am a sucker for the national anthem. never been much of an elvis guy, but this was good. real good.

Jim Barnthouse said...

@Hera Ah yes, Michael was awesome! Hooked me up nicely. Looking forward to getting down there soon to pick out next year's!

bridget said...

Clownvis is loads of fun...he attended our family Christmas party 2 years ago with his sidekick (dressed in a banana costume). He sang, told off-color jokes (that went over the young kids heads!), did magic tricks and made balloon animals! He will be at Off Broadway this Sunday Oct 18 along with Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three (their CD release show). Come check them out!

abigail184 said...

I heart Clownvis! Jim, I think you know this already, but Mike had Clownvis serenade me at City Diner for my b-day just a few weeks ago. Everyone loved it, including my friend's 6-year old daughter, who wanted to invite Clownvis to Sunday dinner. Kick ass!

Courtney said...

I love roller derby. Saw a show on Chicago's West Side a couple of years ago, and it had a all the right elements - keg beer, rowdy crowd, loud music and violent athleticism.

Can't wait to see a show here. Thanks for the post on the St. Louis scene!

Miss Lippy said...

I'm so glad to see someone had fun at one of our bouts. Anyone who is a fan of roller derby and clownvis is a friend to me!