Arts and Entertainment

Notes from a derby widow

Lolli Von Perkipops (far left) and A. Cup Killer (center) get their block on in Slaughter County
Lolli Von Perkipops (far left) and A. Cup Killer (center) get their block on in Slaughter County's first official bout of 2008. SCRV's Death Rattle Rollers face off against league rivals the Terrormedixxx Jan. 25 at Skateland
— image credit: Bill Mickelson/staff photo

The time has finally come.

On Jan. 25, Kitsap County will no longer be known as such. From then on, the area will revert back to its original moniker, ushered in by a batch of vicious vixens on roller skates.

That day at Bremerton’s Skateland roller rink, Kitsap will be re-proclaimed Slaughter County, the name which it was first designated but was later changed by the area’s prim and proper citizens.

Kitsap County’s first-ever roller derby girls — the Slaughter County Roller Vixens — say the original title suits them just fine. And to see these ladies on the track, one would have a difficult time disagreeing.

This past Sunday, the SCRV travel team went to Olympia and rocked the Oly Rollers newest team — the Prima Donnas — by a final score of 124-105. There were bodies flying, noses bloodied and bodies bruised, all in a good night’s work for the Vixens.

At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Bremerton’s Skateland, SCRV will host the first official bout in its home county, as the two teams that make up the SCRV League — the Terrormedixxx and the Death Rattle Rollers — will line it up against one another.

It’s a game that’s been quite some time in the making, and I — one of the lucky ones, a derby widow — have witnessed it take shape from an outside perspective of countless hours of meetings and practice and scrimmages. The ladies of Slaughter County have put in the blood, sweat and tears to build their own league, DIY-style, an impressive feat for anyone who’s ever tried to organize any sort of team.

A little over a year and a half ago, the call first came out for Kitsap’s first-ever roller derby league. Beckoned by one of the Vixens key weapons, a heavy dose of peer pressure, my wife, Karissa — aka Lil’ Tipsy as she’s known on the track — decided to join, despite the fact that she has the size and stature more of a figure skater than the rough-and-tumble image conjured by the thought of roller derby.

I was skeptical — nay, frightened — at first. But thankfully for me, having gotten through the first year without any broken bones, we recently found out that we are expecting our second child and therefore she’s got to take a few months off to have the baby and buff up a little bit more.

Not to say she wasn’t buff in the first place, it’s just that these derby girls are savage.

The first bout of the SCRV season this past weekend in Olympia was littered with roller carnage — body checks, high-speed blowouts, roller girls flying into the front row and more. The Vixens have picked up the pace since Kitsap last saw them in an exhibition bout last fall.

How it works, for those unfamiliar with the sport, is a pack of eight skaters — four from each team — start skating around the rink, jockeying for position. Then two more skaters, known as jammers, start a few seconds later, trying to navigate the pack to score points.

Only it’s not quite that simple. The pack is a rolling mass of chaos as each team’s blockers try to make way for its jammer by knocking the other team out, making for some wonderfully nasty high-speed spills and thrills for the crowd.

But despite its vicious nature, a few PG 13-rated skater names and the short-skirted uniforms, roller derby is a family-friendly affair — the type of thing that will have little ones chasing down the derby girls after the bout for their autograph.

And for derby’s more mature fans, there is always an after-party.

Slaughter County Roller Vixens’ Terrormedixxx take on the Death Rattle Rollers at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Skateland — 1740 NE Fusion Rd. in Bremerton. Concessions and beer garden available and an after-party featuring Seattle bands 3 Inch Max and Jaded52 will follow the bout. Tickets are $12 ahead of time, $15 at the door general, $7/$10 for kids. Order online at www.myspace.com/slaughtercountyvixens. Info: www.slaughtercountyrollervixens.com

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