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Published on January 27th, 2012 | by Velveteen Savage

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HELLARAD: Space Travel Is NOT Boring

Enjoy this article from the forthcoming Galactic Issue, and stay tuned to HELLARAD on facebook and their website for the reveal of where you can get this issue!
words by Velveteen Savage
photos by Mister Moxxxie

There’s one on every team. Whether she’s your best friend or she bugs the shit out of you, there’s something to be said for the special breed of skater who doesn’t ever seem to realize what the hell is going on around her. The one who doesn’t pay attention to the rules, at all, who until last season thought jammers could score points on the first pass. The one who stares at you blankly on the pivot line before a jam starts, as though you are a stranger who just defecated on the bus seat next to her and she’s trying to clear her face of all emotion or response out of pure terror. The one who dissolves into a fit of giggles when she hears a particular strategy’s code name like “Butthole Monster,” no matter how many times she’s heard it. The one who unknowingly skates an entire jam or two without her knee pads or wrist guards, who brings only the wrong colored jersey to the away game, who forgets her skates under the seat on the airplane. Oh, Space Cadets.

The dangerous part about space cadets is that they can sort of recruit you on their missions without your knowledge. They say or do one random thing and next thing you know, you are happily employed as flight commander, tooling around the cosmos on your roller skates. For example, say that it’s mid- jam and something really important is happening. Let’s say you are both working together, fighting really hard to put the jammer out of bounds. Space Cadet suddenly says some crazy shit like, “Dude! I need to lie down for about five hours.”

You might unwittingly join her on this inane non-sequitur and begin searching your mind for any activity that would require that many hours of horizontal recuperation. Your stream of consciousness might go something like this: Why does she need to lie down? Surely she’s not talking about roller derby. With whom did she last have intercourse? What else would cause this? Running a marathon? Working the night shift? Being hungover? Is this bout that hard? Why the specific reference to five hours? What part of this jam made her determine that this was the best moment to share such a sentiment? Seeing someone fall? Is that how her mind works. WAIT A MINUTE. What the fuck am I doing?

Space cadets also have lovely, endearing traits as well. As a general rule, space cadets are pretty (I don’t know why, they just are), and they often provide comic relief, intentionally or not. They will walk up on a heated discussion about strategy, where your coaches are literally crying and/or throwing things, and fail to notice the tension. They will proceed to either:

a) start telling crazy-ass stories (about a homeless man that she just met who claims he is Shelia E’s father or perhaps a story about how this one time she took so much acid she made her friends drop her off at the hospital and then thought the ER was the inside of a rocket ship)

or

b) start doing something really weird that makes everyone forget how upset they just were about roller derby.

Weird actions can include, but are not limited to, things such as:

1. getting gear stuck on various body parts due to forgetfulness (not taking off skates before removing knee pads, trying to change clothes while keeping gear on, etc.) and comically attempting to remove said gear in quiet desperation,

2. wordlessly engaging in full pat-down searches of all parties present in an attempt to look for a needed item, such as a pen, money, snacks, keys, or a cell phone to borrow, or

3. hurting herself on the broke-down gym equipment in the corner and requiring assistance, especially on that contraption where you hang yourself upside down by your ankles.

If you recognize yourself in any of the above descriptions, don’t sweat it. You keep roller derby interesting. Just keep on truckin,’ dear space cadet, and keep someone at mission control in case you get lost.

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