Shakespeare on Roller Skates

My Real Memoir

Sometime during my pre-teen years, I discovered a magical place that combined two of my favorite things: Wheels and Girls. I lived on wheels; if I wasn’t on my bike, I was on my skateboard. I liked skates but had never ridden anything but the metal clamp-on kind that virtually doubled my bodyweight and rolled a quarter of a mile an hour. So, no, I was faithful to my skateboard, and couldn’t imagine cheating on it with some cheap, tawdry pair of skates.

But then I discovered The Roller Rink! There was one near me, and it not only had a smooth wooden floor, it had special rental booties with professional-ish looking rubbery wheels built right onto them! Plus, they played music while we skated–the same groovy rock-n-roll that authentic card-carrying teenagers listened to!

Aaaaannnnd … there were Girls there. Lots of ’em! In fact, they actually outnumbered the guys. My buddies and I liked those odds. What odds? Why, the odds of scoring with a real life girl. And by “scoring” I mean, hubba-hubba, you know, having an actual conversation!

The problem was, they were moving. Fast. So you couldn’t actually talk to them. I could at least smile at one, I thought. But to do that I’d have to get up a head of steam, skate past her, and then look back with a devilish grin. That would make me pretty cool, right? But then I tried it and did a Wile E. Coyote right into the roller rink wall. So I lost face (both figuratively and literally), not so cool, and immediately abandoned the practice.

The Hokey Pokey to the rescue! I thought the song was dorky. But I liked mockingly singing along while we all skated to the center of the rink, and then did the motions together–putting our left skatey-foot in and shaking it all about, etc. Why? Because every time I did it all goofy and snarky-like, some sophisticated 11 or 12-year-old girl would giggle and think I was, you know, cool! I even ended up talking (briefly) to a cute redhead who’d smiled at me. I finally scored with a girl!

A few years later, after my hambone had exploded along with my hormones, I evolved into a full-blown Drama Nerd, and discovered William Shakespeare. I not only loved his language (still do), but found I had a gift for Shakespeare-izing stuff, making everyday phrases sound like something the immortal Bard himself might have said back when he was trying to impress girls at the Stratford-on-Avon Roller Rink in 1597. I now knew two ways to get girls’ attention! And that, as Will says,

’tis what it is all about!

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Shakespeare on Roller Skates

  1. Pingback: Beware of Children Telling Jokes | Mitch Teemley

  2. Somehow, the Shakespearized Hokey Pokey doesn’t have the same fun vibe as the original.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Damyanti Biswas says:

    Shakespeare definitely created a lot of nerds for the literary world 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Neese says:

    Cute Mitch! The roller rink was a hot spot (located on the 2nd floor above the grocery store) in our little Iowa town during the 50’s & 60’s. Learning to skate effortlessly was essential in order to flirt while gliding…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Willow Croft says:

    Between you and America on Coffee, it’s quite the synchronicity with my potentially forthcoming batch of horosopes! *smiles*

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Debi Walter says:

    I lived at the roller rink too. I loved the lights and the music and the boys who might ask me to skate for couples only songs. It was an era for sure. Now most boys would be hanging out at the video arcade leaving the girls to ask, “Wherefore art thou?”—that was strictly off-limits in my time unless you were an adult. Im certain this rule encouraged so many “scores” as you called it, for sure!
    Thanks for the memory, Mitch

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Marsha says:

    I lived at the roller rink and did the hokey pokey, too. I thought I’d be a skating pro when I grew up. 😂

    Liked by 4 people

  8. #hood says:

    as for a 13 year old o in year 59 & 84 o 1840s o back in 72

    Liked by 1 person

  9. simba frank says:

    Wow your writing is amazing

    Liked by 3 people

  10. And The Bard was amazing at eloquent insults: who needs swear words when you can say “I do desire that we may be better strangers”? (Wait, does this qualify me as a nerd? 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love hearing about your life, Mitch. SO CUTE. I love thinking of you skating around to your favourite tunes and feeling pleased to smile at girls. The innocence of this post is so wholesome and sweet ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hubby and I grew up roller skating and went to the rink at least every week, probably for the same reasons you did! I really miss it. I’d still be there if I could find a rink within a 100 miles of us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love it! If I were still teaching Shakespearw, I would definitely share this with my students. Probably also have them doeth dance forthwith. 😏😉🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ahhh, the memories. Unfortunately, most of them bad. Skates and I were not poetry in motion. Most of the girls wanted to dance on skates…..and I could not even stay of my feet on skates.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. murisopsis says:

    If only you had learned to skate backwards!! If I’d have had a young nerd Shakespeare-izing stuff to me at the roller rink, I’d have been head over heels (probably literally)…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Grant at Tame Your Book! says:

    If a challenge tries to get you down, give it the old hokey pokey. Shake it all about and turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Nancy Richy says:

    Shakespeare Hokey-Pokey! Love it, I do. You may guess from that comment that back in the late 70s, my friends and I came up with “Yodaspeare” – translating The Bard into Yoda-ese. Fun. It was! Much time wasted, we did! May the Fourth be with you!! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Methinks thou dost storytell well.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. An enjoyable read… except for your Wile E. Coyote moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Dawn Marie says:

    Thanks for stirring up some fond memories of my own bee-bopping around the rink. I adored my pink fluffy fur balls, resembling cotton candy, tied at the bottom of my laces – but also recognized the splendor of changing out the colors every now and then to attract potential new attention. 😉 Hubba-hubba!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Sorry to say, I was the guy who could skate backwards better than most of the people could forwards, but I spent more time making my not-so-skilled-skater friends look silly (how many times did I turn my best friend into Wile E. Coyote by blocking his ability to turn before the wall?) than using that skill to my advantage during couples’ skates.
    If it’s any comfort, I’m sure you would still beat me in the quoting Shakespeare department.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Pingback: Summer Treats on Wheels! | Mitch Teemley

  23. Taylorッ says:

    Roller skating is my hobby! I enjoyed reading this ✨

    Like

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