It’s been several years since I did a Lagniappe feature on the Gulf Coast Roller Girls. It was a fun story to write. It must have been. I still remember it. As a rule, anything I write about completely leaves my memory within 24 hours.
When I learned the team was still around, I thought spreading the word might be a job for the Up Fronter. Team member Squid (Squid Pro Quo for full) was happy to answer my questions. “We really just want to get the word out that we exist and for people to come to games.”
On Nov. 3rd at the Civic Center, the Gulf Coast Roller Girls will take on the No Label Society Roller Girls. The Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue will be the team’s guest charity for that game. There will be a kissing booth (at which you can kiss puppies). And there will be opportunities to adopt a dog.
The Roller Girls’ matches are all-ages shows. Youths 10 and younger get in free. Doors open at 6 pm; the first whistle blows at 7. Concessions are available. Alcohol is served via the civic center. Please don’t bring in food or drinks from the outside. Tickets are $12 at the door.
The group is always actively recruiting new members. It holds a “Fresh Meat” open practice every Tuesday for anyone who’s interested in joining. Prior knowledge of roller derby or experience with skating isn’t required. The Roller Girls supply the training and have loaner gear for anyone who’d like to try it out. (Message them at their Facebook page before you go so they can make sure they have equipment in your size.) It’s a “great way to get exercise, make new friends and challenge yourself,” says Squid.
Amanda Auggie Augustine is the squad’s captain. She’s a tenacious blocker. Her hard hits have been described as “vicious.” She’s known as a solid teacher of new players. When she’s not on the skates, she’s a vet tech; she’s well into her nursing school work for this semester.
Follow the Gulf Coast Roller Girls on Facebook and Instagram. If you’re a vendor and would like to have a booth, send a private message on the Facebook fan page for more information.
You Just Had To Tell Me
When I wrote in the last issue about the “Drag Queen Story Time” that’s set to take place in the Lafayette Library this month, I hoped I’d heard the last of it. No such luck.
The day that edition of Lagniappe hit the stands, the Lafayette City Council took a vote on a measure to condemn “Drag Queen Story Time.” A majority of the council members abstained from voting, so you can make what you like out of that. (The council has no legal ability to stop a library event.)
What was of interest was that citizens voiced their opinions of “Drag Queen Story Time” for more than five hours. I guess we finally figured out what gets the Louisiana citizenry motivated.
Of even greater interest than the length of the speaking was its content. Lafayette’s The Weekly Wire reported that various citizens stated that “Drag Queen Story Time” “opens the door to jihadis … will result in bomb-making classes and promotion of illicit drug experimentation … [and] is part of normalizing pedophilia.”
OK. Now I know what’s wrong with it. See, all you had to do was tell me.
Baton Rouge Bees
Drag queens telling stories in the library isn’t really your cup of tea? Well, how about this concept: swarms of bees plaguing pedestrians in downtown Baton Rouge?
It happened — on Sept. 20, at least. While pedestrians swatted or swore or otherwise reacted to the too-friendly bees on Third Street, Andrea Gallo, city hall reporter for the Advocate, filed this very enthusiastic report on Twitter:
“Welcome to #BatonRouge, where a stretch of 3rd Street downtown is roped off with police tape because bees are swarming everywhere. I’m not kidding. @BRPD on the scene along with many lunch goers watching the commotion.”
I found this news item to be a bit of a puzzlement. It’s my experience that bees aren’t in the habit of approaching people. In fact, as far as I can tell, bees don’t want to have anything to do with people at all unless the people are dumb enough to swat them or spray caustic chemicals on them. How, then, to account for this swarming on a street in downtown Baton Rouge?
Maybe folks would go for a conspiracy theory to the effect that the huge flood that struck B.R. a while back somehow made the bees do what they did. If that’s too bland an explanation, how about a conspiracy theory that posits that the bees “open the door to jihadis … will result in bomb-making classes and promotion of illicit drug experimentation … and are part of normalizing pedophilia”?
The Bad Idea Society
If you’re afraid that years of budget cuts have stifled creativity at LSU, you’ll be relieved by recent news that indicates that in at least one instance, that’s not the case. This semester, English and business major and senior Jamie Leung has formed a new LSU organization called the Bad Idea Society.
Leung said she started the society “to discuss anything and everything.” Member Trevor Serpas said, “it’s a good way to discuss creative prompts or generally any kind of idea.”
But wait a second. Doesn’t the society’s name strongly suggest that it is not concerned with any kind of idea; rather, that it is concerned with one particular kind of idea, namely, bad ideas? It has to be more interesting to talk about bad ideas than boring old good ideas, right?
Apparently not everyone agrees. The LSU’s Daily Reveille’s Rachel Mipro explains that the group tries to avoid “topics that are too extreme.” Not only that, but also “the concept is that there’s some good in every idea. Members try to find interesting or productive angles in each idea they discuss.”
I’m afraid that if this society meets much longer, we aren’t going to have any bad ideas left. Let’s hear some more from Leung about the matter:
“It’s kind of ironic because I don’t believe in bad ideas. I do believe in bad ideas, but I do believe that they’re not completely bad, so it’s just a tongue-in cheek way of saying it.”
She starts the Bad Idea Club but she doesn’t believe in bad ideas. Well, college is the place for doing that sort of thing. Believe me, you won’t be doing it after you graduate.
In spite of this wishy-washyness about bad ideas, the group has hit on some interesting topics of discussion. “In the first meeting, we talked about obstacles that kept us from achieving our best,” Leung said. “A lot of the answers are ourselves.” Another discussion centered around human trafficking, and “whether artificial intelligence could be an alternative for it.” I get a little queasy just thinking about AI alternatives to human trafficking. I would have hoped that maybe somebody would have gone out on a limb and said that human trafficking is a bad idea; and in fact, that it was a “completely bad” idea.
At every meeting, society members are given a prompt and have to write something about it. Now why do they want to do that? That’s what they do in class. Do you form a campus society to do what you already do in class?
Still, this is where the creative part comes in. Once the answers have been written, they’re mixed up, then handed to the members of the group to be read aloud. Each member reads an answer that was written by somebody else. There are no names on the answers, so members are able to express themselves in a completely anonymous manner.
Member Lou Pham said, “the format’s pretty interesting. It’s all anonymous, so you can ask anything. You’re not worried about ‘[people saying] hey, you said this, you said that.’”
LSU instructors take note. The group meets every Thursday in the Student Union.
Scout Island Scream Park
I know that here in SWLA, we have the Lost Hollows, USS Orleck’s Haunted Ship and the Gothic Jail in DeRidder. There are probably a few more scary attractions around the area in the run-up to Halloween.
If those aren’t enough for you, New Orleans has a new scary place. And it’s got 14 full acres of scary stuff.
New Orleans’ City Park will be the site of the new Scout Island Scream Park, which will run from Oct. 5 through Nov. 3. Those who go will be given instructions for a self-guided tour that will take them down lantern-lit paths that run through “ghoul-infested woods.” They may encounter a “laser shoot-out with rampaging zombies” as well as “a circus of crazed clowns.” That phrase “laser shoot-out” suggests to me that if I went, I might have to do something more than just walk. So I won’t be in attendance. But of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.
Scout Island is a patch of City Park land that’s surrounded by forested lagoons. It used to be the site of N.O.’s Voodoo Fest.
Nearly 170 actors will be on hand to do the scaring.
According to the Times-Picayune, the owners joked in mid-September that “the scariest thing about the Scout Island Scream Park so far has been the weather.” Almost daily showers have delayed work and saturated the ground. One T-P photo showed an enormous statue of a monster that got stuck in the mud as workers were pulling it with an ATV.
The Scream Park attractions will be open Friday through Sunday, and then the entire week leading up through Halloween. Hours are different for different days, but Scream Park will always be open between 6 and 10 pm. According to the website, “the entrance is very close to the corner of Marconi Drive and Harrison Avenue. Look for the pedestrian bridge crossing the lagoon on Magnolia to enter the island.”
Tickets are $49; if you don’t want to wait in line, get the $79 ticket. If you just want to go to the Scout Island site, you pay $15 then pay a la carte for any activities you want to undertake once you’re there.
Burlesque For Nerds
Although it’s an annual event, this is the first year I’ve been aware of New Orleans’ Nerdlesque Festival. Performers at the fest promise to blend burlesque, nerd humor and lots of material about pop culture, including sketches that both celebrate and satirize every major pop culture phenom from science fiction to horror.
The event will take place in the Contemporary Arts Center at 900 Camp St. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17. No hours are listed for the performances, but the hours of the center are 9 am-5 pm on Fridays and 11 am- 5 pm on Saturdays.
Shows will include “Stripped Crusaders,” in which superheroes use their super powers to peel off the spandex costumes that grip their bodies like a second skin; “Tease from the Crypt,” which is supposed to be “filled with movie monsters and murderers”; and Cyburlesque, which is “a robotic, laser-powered, sci-fi show.” Another revue will feature animation and video game characters.
The festival is put together by burlesque producers with names such as Persé Fanny, Sable Switch and Honey Tangerine. “Everyone is a nerd about something,” says Perse. “[At the festival,] we have everything from films, TV shows, literature, comic books [to] video games and more. It is funny, innovative and empowering.” For what it’s worth, I’ll take a show about pop culture that’s “entertaining” over one that’s “empowering.”
The show will feature local burlesque performers and more than 40 other performers from around the country. Tickets are $15; get them at nolanerdlesque.com.
Who You Got?
Tweeted by the Advocate on Sept. 21: “Louisiana Tech vs. LSU: Who ya got? The Advocate writers make their picks.”
Who I got? I got some weirdo who says, “who’ve you got?” or “who have you got?” or even “whom have you got?” and who doesn’t give a damn about who does what in that game or any game. That’s who I got.