Enter At Your Own Risk
 or… How Roller Skating Leads to Prostitution

Was there a time when Roller Skating was considered wholesome?

4 days to go… and this is what I’ve just seen on the Coachella website:


Please join us at the Down & Derby: A roller skate rink and party in CAMPING. It’s the best old school roller skating party this side of 1979!  Down & Derby will be open from 10PM to 3AM, Thurs night.  Free to all early campers!

DJ’s will be rocking your favorite roller rink hits from the 70’s and 80’s.
Enter at your Own Risk

Enter at your own risk.  Five very ominous words.  I’m sure you think that the “risk” they are referencing has to do with broken bones, but I know better…

A little background is probably in order.  In 5th grade Chip Marshall asked me to go roller skating.  Apparently there was a roller rink somewhere near where I lived in New Jersey, but I would be hard pressed to tell you where exactly.  Why is this?  Because my mother, a lapsed, yet repressed, Catholic, believed that the words “roller rink” were in fact code for “orgy”.  While my mother enjoyed the trappings of the free-wheeling 70s, (i.e. anti-war posters, batique art,  and chunky platform shoes) she had major issues with nudity, sex and roller rinks.  In her opinion, girls who went to roller rinks became prostitutes.   As a result, I was not allowed to go to the roller rink with Chip Marshall.  The romantic implications of this were swift.  Chip quickly moved on to Nancie McDonnell whose mother had no issue with her going to the roller rink, and for the record Nancie did not become a prostitute.

Of course it wasn’t the skating that my mother objected to, it was the roller rink itself that was problematic.  Apparently a roller rink was like a bordello with wheeled footwear.  My mom was very certain of this, “Things happen behind the bleachers,” she would say pointedly as if I were supposed to know exactly what was going on.  But I didn’t know what she meant.  Were they smoking? Or engaging in knife fights. I pictured it like West Side Story starring Pinky Tuskadero.

Still, I wanted to know what they were doing behind the bleachers (and why were there bleachers?).  From her tone, I thought that maybe she meant they were having sex, but when I said this to my mother she looked at me like I was crazy, “Not sex,” she said, “blow jobs.”

“What’s a blow job?” was my response.

Of course she didn’t answer me because Catholic sexual repression involves the complete inability to answer any and all questions regarding sex.   All births are ‘virgin’ and nuditity should be avoided at all costs, as should tongue kissing with boys.  Stuck at home on Saturdays, I will confess to feeling a certain degree of moral superiority.  Also, it gave me more time to do other things like clean the kitchen, or help with laundry.  Those other girls were going to be prostitutes but I was training to be a maid!

Now, as if I don’t already have enough on my plate vis a vis the ‘I’m too old to go to Coachella’ of it all, I find out that they are hosting a special roller skating party for the people coming up Thursday night (which we’re doing, because two nights in a tent really isn’t enough for me).  But I find myself feeling a sense of trepidation at the prospect.  What if my mother is right?  What if a roller rink is some sort of den of sin?  What happens if all those years of Catholic repression come undone, and I suddenly have the uncontrollable urge to perform oral on all the other male skaters?

Thankfully, my boyfriend will be there to save me from myself, now I just hope I don’t break anything, because that would really suck.



2 responses to “Enter At Your Own Risk
 or… How Roller Skating Leads to Prostitution

  1. tom rovito

    You’re still making me laugh! Have fun on the trip. Bring a Chapstick, just in case!

  2. Joanne Clendining

    I just found this while hitting facebook. OMG, Kristen, you’re too funny. I can’t wait to hear how things go on the trip! ….well, unless its TMI in the roller rink….
    Have fun!! 🙂

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