The Number FU Stunner: Good Words with Scootaloo

Roller derby skater Scootaloo

At 21 years old, Scootaloo skated with the Minnesota Rollergirls for the first time. At 22, she was running the league’s Public Relations branch. Now, 12 years later, the two-time Pabst Blue Ribbon Rollergirl of Honor and two-time Surliest Girl award-winner is skating in her final home season.

I met up with Scootaloo Thursday night in advance of Saturday’s bout. Since it was a practice night, I had to catch up with her at a Rollergirls practice. Sometimes, practices take place at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Sometimes, as I found out this week, practices take place on a party bus.

You can find more information on the Minnesota Rollergirls and this weekend’s bout on the Minnesota Rollergirls website.

Is this how you always “practice” on Thursday night before bouts?
So we ride this party bus to generate interest and get people excited for the bouts. We have to make a certain amount of events per season in order to skate in the championship bout, and then we have to make a certain amount (50 percent) of practices in order to skate in every bout. This is on a practice night, so we can come on the bus and decide if we want to have this as an event credit or a practice credit.

Dare I ask how this translates to success on the track?
After-parties! Winning the after-party is like, one of the best skills you can have in roller derby.

How did you get into roller derby?
I got a flyer at Grand Old Day when I had just moved back to the Twin Cities. I was only 20, so wasn’t able to try out. Soon afterward, I started working at D’Amico and Sons, and Rumblebee was my boss! She gave me all the information. I ordered skates two weeks before tryouts, showed up and skated like a bat outta hell in cut off Jean shorts and an Iggy Pop shirt.

I had very little skating experience when I started derby. I was a pretty avid snowboarder before, and grew up as a competitive dancer. I was always involved in some kind of athletic community, so it was a pretty easy transition. I skated five years as a Dagger Doll, then decided to jump ship to green and party with the best in the league. They have not disappointed me! By the way, Olga Ogilthorpe and Second-Hand Smoke were also Dolls and followed me over to the Gardas!

How much of your bio is true? Do you and the stegosauruses keep in touch still?
It’s a slight exaggeration. Me and the stegos are cool. Montana keeps them happy!

What’s the story behind the name Scootaloo?
My college friends and I had a made believe band called Pony, Behave. (I was the drummer) So, when I joined roller derby, I naturally had a My Little Pony poster hung up in my room that I Sharpied BEHAVE all over. One of the ponies on the poster was named Scootaloo, and I was like “Yup, that’s gonna work!”

Kevin the Inflatable Alien is a fixture at Garda Belt parties. I asked for stories about him, but they could only be told off the record. Kevin’s been some places. He’s done some things. I saw some pictures.

At 22 years old, you were doing PR for the Rollergirls. How did that happen?
I can’t really remember how I got roped into PR. I’m sure the position was open and no one was taking it, so they were probably like “She’s young and dumb and likes to talk to people!”

Figuring out PR wasn’t really a challenge for me. It’s a lot about building relationships with people in the media, so it was definitely a good fit with my extremely extroverted ways. I was PR manager for such a long time that producers and anchors began to recognize and remember me. Just like anything in the professional world, it was more about getting my foot in the door. Or skate in the door?!

Your number, FU? Were letter-numbers a thing before you did that, or how did you make that happen?
I’m grandfathered in! There were very few regulations when I started derby (which may or may not transfer to my playing style :) I remember hanging out at Station 4 with Rebel Stella, Candi Pain and Sparkle Ninja and announcing from the bathroom stall that I knew what number I was going to be. They all gasped, and I knew I was onto something solid!

First time being put on your keester during a bout. Let’s hear it?
I remember playing queen of the rink before I was drafted, and laid a badass hit on Candi Pain. All her henchwomen witnessed it and came after me. I also tricked Rumblebee into wearing a ridiculous bumblebee costume at practice, and she made up a story that Marilyn Monrouge and Lizzy the Axe hated me. I was intimidated, to say the least. Good initiation stuff back in the day, but I definitely pushed behavior boundaries as a rookie.

At one of my first All-Star games, a chick double my size took me down by the back of my helmet and the front of my jersey (revenge for me knocking her on her ass early in the game!) I got up to fight her, then looked at the bench. Everyone looked horrified. I decided to take the high road and not get sent to the hospital that night!

Two previous interviewees (Shotgun Millie and Brickyard) answered that same question with hits from Second Hand Smoke. Does being on her team make you safe, or are you at risk in practices?
Haha! Smoke and I have skated together for years, and I think we keep it that way for a reason. I’m glad I don’t have to skate against her! We’re lucky to have her as a Garda and I’m lucky to get to call her a best friend!

The Garda Belts identity, in your words:
Party animals with hearts and pots of gold.

When bringing new skaters onto the team, what matters most to the Gardas: how well they perform on the track, or how well they fit in with that identity?
Both! We’re an intimidating bunch, but we’re loyal. Once you’re in, you’re in for good. Switch Please, Delilah Diamond, Erin Watershow, and Shiver Me Kimbers are great fits… and Obscene Sheen, well, she should have been a Garda years ago.

Scootaloo’s Facebook page (photographer unknown)

Now, about this van: how did you find this?! 
Yes, Vern! He’s named after my great uncle, who passed away last year and left my cousins and I his life savings. I found it on Craigslist and actually ended up knowing the guy who refurbished it. We used to work all the same craft shows back in the day, when I was heavy on the hot pants circuit. I drove him to Sturgis, and his next big trip is NOLA! Erick from Derby 4 All is my trusty mechanic.

How “retired” are you going to be after this season? Is this IT it, or are you going to keep one foot (one skate?) in the game?
As of right now, I plan on retiring at the end of the season. I’ll still be skating at the local skate parks and roller rinks, though! I’m excited to take more of a free skate approach. I’ve also thought about giving hockey a whirl!


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