Skatetown USA

When was the last time you did limbo rock?

girl or ghost?
Kids too fast for the flash
I'm out
Elders to old to bend
We’re gonna do the limbo, the real limbo rock, and do it the only way it should be done – on roller skates! That’s right, no Rollerblades, no “in line skakes”, not even in sock feet. No, it’s an old-skol skating rink and we’re doing this right, in 1970’s roller skates.

Or I’m trying to do it right, and not break my neck in the process. Back when the idea was put to me, a night of roller skating, I was all excited that I’d get a chance to roller derby again. Backward skate, reverse directions, even limbo, all the fun/cool things I did as a kid in the hallowed Skatetown USA down the street.

You remember, if you’re a real 80’s kid, Skatetown USA. You put on the brown rental skates, dreaming of the wicked white ones, or better yet the black ones the roller-studs wore as they crowd checked. You looked for the cutie that always seemed to be with friends, ignoring you. You put in the request, every time, for your favorite tune that they invariably played as you were untying your skates to leave.

You spent half the time at the video games or in the food court, making eyes and acting the fool. You thought you were cool, a leader even, till limbo rock came on and all bets were off. Or all the bets on you.

The cute girls in white skates and the roller-studs in black, they ruled limbo. You got a few rounds down, then the bar went low and you fell, trying your best to shoot the duck. Was it in front of your dreamboat? Laughter happen? You never forgive your “friends” for it (for an hour at least)?

This was skatetown, 80’s style. Now I’m here watching the next generation pick it up. A generation that only knows Rollerblades, watches skaters do ramps on ESPN, and even plays Tony Hawk on the PlayStation. These kids aren’t gonna be happy with some simple reverse skate. They need a full-on race around the rink every hour. They need prize drops on the half-hour, and they need their limbo rock too.

Limbo rock that I’m way to inflexible for. Before someone says “age” or “getting older” and I have to pull a gun and pop some caps, I’m inflexible from my triathlon training. Too many quick starts and stretch-less stops, and I can’t bend like I want to. I have no hope for true limbo rock comp. Instead, its to the camera I go and this is what you get. The next generation, so quick they’re ghosts, and me, so creaky I can’t even bend the knees. Ah, its Skatetown USA, 2006.