Bouncy Boom Gets Her Skates

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Every great industry has a folk hero: Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Pecos Bill all represent mainstream working class archetypes. All men. Roller Derby is bigger than all of those old industries: Logging, Railroading or Cattle. Roller Derby is too much for mere men. Only the finest amazons allowed, you know.

In the inner most circle of Roller Derby, the tales of Bouncy Boom are the biggest and wildest.

Maybe you have heard some of the stories, or seen the pictures: a willowy skater who inherited her mom’s distinctive skating ability and combined it with legs powerful enough to flip over an 18 wheeler. She could slither into the tightest formations and explode the opposing team members like bowling pins into the stands. Using her five foot braids like whips, she could boost a team mate into overdrive through the other team.

Her early years are shrouded in secrecy since the mob was on the rampage from her birth. Bouncy Boom and her mom went into hiding for 18 years. Some say that Bouncy Boom made a brief career as aCholita, a South American female wrestler when she was 12. She won too many matches, and the authorities stepped in. “Too young to wrestle,” they said and she quickly disappeared again.

But this is about Bouncy Boom’s birth, and it is well worth telling and retelling. Here is the story as I heard it from the muse:

Bouncy Boom’s mom was an old-school Roller Derby gal in the ’50s: A full figured polynesian who skated under the name Wahina Kapu for the Richter Tens. They chanted “These quakes will move your earth!” or “Killer quakes coming up fast,” during the meets.

Ms Kapu was a fabulous blocker, with her roller skate powered hula hips. She always taunted the other players saying “Betta watch hands, no hips, ya?” It seldom mattered if the other players watched her hands or hips, because very few got by them. The fans always watched the hips.

One evening, huge money was riding on a prestige bet between Leo and Cho: two mob king-pins. They had argued for years about the black market in ten-finger poi. During the heat of the last jam, Cho was taunted into putting up a portion of his territory. Leo had arranged for one of the Richter Tens to get ejected at just that moment, making the team one player short. Cho was in deep trouble and smelled a rat.

The jam was lopsided: Wahina Kapu was struggling with the other team’s onslaught and just as Wahina got a major bump, she cried “‘Auwe!” and gave birth. Bouncy Boom just tumbled out, and the opposing jammer wiped out.

Wahina Kapu, who up to this point had barely noticed her pregnancy, skated a victory lap around the track, laughed and scooped up the baby, saying “You go Bouncy Boom!”

Within days, Bouncy Boom and mom had to go into hiding to avoid Leo’s revenge because the judges, who were in Cho’s pocket, and careful to please the crowd, were “persuaded” to declare Bouncy Boom an officially substituted member of the team and give her skates at birth.

Leo swore revenge, but Bouncy Boom was born to skate. The rest, they say, is Mythology.

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