Sunday, January 16, 2011
No Quads Allowed.
This afternoon, I popped into a local indoor skate park to buy some speed cream for my bearings from the small upfront supply shop. While in the shop, waiting for the purchase to run through the various machines, I made a maladroit go at idle conversation (something, given my compulsive need to both joke and reference obscure novels and natural phenomena not to mention actually speak with parenthesis, I should probably give a miss) by asking if they often get in roller skaters.
'No, this place is pretty much set up just for skateboards.'
'Oh, well, you'd let in the roller skaters though, yes?'
'No. We're only really set up for skateboards.'
At that point my receipt for the bearing lube for my bearings that I bought from a skateboard company that fit in my wheels that are mounted to trucks, looking a whole lot like skateboard wheels and trucks because they are the same damn thing, duh, came through the machine. Beep.
'So, what you are saying, is that you have never had anyone roller skate here? In this skate park? Someone skating?'
'We just set up for skateboards, you see?'
We're both eyeing each other, trying to figure out which one of us is too dense to understand a point. He must of decided it was me, so he elaborated a bit,
'We've had people ask if kids could ride their scooters and stuff, but it's really only for skateboards. Skate. Boards.'
Oh, okay. Maybe he thinks I mean I want to drop off six year old in a pair of roller skates and fuck off for an afternoon pedicure?
'What about adult roller skaters? With insurance and stuff?'
'No,' taking a deep breath, remaining calm, 'It's only set up for skateboarding. In here. Where there is only skateboarding.'
'Oh, okay. Thanks.' I left. Because I'm gracious like that sometimes.
As I was carrying my purchase, sold at the only set up for skateboards shop out to use for my not a skateboard skates, I couldn't help but reflect that something had gone a bit odd since I was a twelve year old with a skateboard, feeling hard done by because I wasn't allowed to skate anywhere there was concrete. If I tried, police people (or bylaw officers or most likely the old bird who spied out her window day and night looking for hooligans - hey, it was a small town) would come along and hassle me.
No Skateboarding Allowed.
I'm not nearly as obtuse as skateboard buddy thinks I am, I know that 'it's only set up for skateboarding' was his nicey nice way of saying, 'we don't want your kind around here.' Because it wasn't about the surface being inappropriate for my wheelie things since my wheelie things actually inspired his wheelie things, and as far as skating goes, he should bow down and thank my beautiful quads for his johnny come lately flat board fad.
Skateboarders refusing to let other people skate? Putting up barriers, hiding behind arbitrary designations, limiting access to a totally skateable surface? When did this aging punk wearing a toque indoors with suspiciously red-rimmed eyes turn into The Man?
Or maybe it's just me. Maybe if the rollergirl asking to skate at the indoor skate park wasn't a rotund, thirty-something old crank dragging a whiny kid around with her, they might be more accommodating. Because me in there, well, I'd probably bring down the tone. Remind the skater boards of their mortality and freak them out before they drop in a half pipe. I might even pocket a fistful of bearings and a couple of stickers.
You just can't trust anyone over thirty.
Here is my prediction for Mr. Skate Park Police.
Given the growing popularity of roller sports, not just derby, but jam skating and aggressive quad skaters, in five years the kids will be breaking down the doors of the indoor skate parks. And they'll have to, because all the cool, rebel kids will be on quads, and nobody but embarrassing dads who talk shit and come out to the skate park Sunday mornings to break their tailbones actually skateboard anymore.
I, however, will not be holding rallies, trying to break the tyrannical segregation between skater boarders and quad skaters because I think that skate parks are freaking dangerous and I am way too old for that shit.
Slopes = death.
Give a nice flat track anyday.