If you’ve played roller derby, or expressed more than a passing interest in it at any point, it tends to come up in conversation. Something about playing this kind of subversive, contact sport is interesting to people. Go figure. Your co-workers want chat about it, and your friends, and family, and that’s all fine. Then, you have to go out in a roller derby uniform at some point to talk with the public. That has…mixed results.
They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but that’s debatable. Now, to be clear, I love talking about roller derby, answering basic questions, helping newbies, filling in new fans: all of that stuff. But that doesn’t mean I love every person on the planet all the time and all of their stupid questions.
“Roller derby, huh? Eh eh?” *elbow jabbing motion*
The most common question, hands down, is always asked with the elbows out. Proper response: If you wanted to knock someone down, would you use your elbow? That’s not very efficient. Try delivering this cooly, looking the target straight in the eye.
“Do they all look like you?”
DEFLECT, DEFLECT. Why, no, there are all kinds of people from different backgrounds, and we all have features that help us on the track, please leave me alone, oh look, a wedding ring, on my left ring finger.
“Aren’t they all lesbians?”
I’m married to a dude, but I’m not speaking to everyone’s sexuality. Strictly, no. Also, please leave me alone.
“Are you sure they’re all women? Some of them looked a little burly!”
Thank you for coming today, have a great one now, bye. (If you would like to chat with this person about gender politics, I wish you luck.)
“But you seem so nice!”
Interesting take, co-worker.
“Why should I pay to watch you if you don’t get paid to play?”
This one took me off guard. Can you imagine someone getting all huffy about paying their $7 to get into a high school football game? (This price is a total guess. You’ll be surprised to learn that I haven’t attended a high school football game since my mom made me go because my brother was in the band.)
“That was cool, but how do they score points?”
Totally fair question, but it’s very strange to be asked this after the game is over. You sat there for an hour and didn’t catch the whole thing with some skaters going around more than others? Not an inkling? Well, glad you had fun! That’s what counts.
What are your best/worst questions about roller derby from friends, acquaintances, enemies, and randos? Let’s commiserate in the comments.