B.J. HARMstrong was a mistake. Growing up in the Bay Area on Christie Road, she was the second, unplanned child and so had to compete against her older, all-star brother for attention and affection. She spent her life in his shadow. It was clear to her from the beginning that her parents never wanted her. They didn’t even give her her own name! They just named her after her brother, hoping that maybe one day they might grow to see her as they did their firstborn. Without knowing any real love, B.J. HARMstrong grew up strong, angry, Jaded, and Desensitized.
As she got older, B.J. HARMstrong became an Outsider, feeling like the Last of the American Girls, in a Strangeland. After Church on Sunday, B.J. HARMstrong and her group of Jackass friends would strap on roller skates and skate to the corner of Stuart and the Avenue, where they would get into all sorts of Shennanigans, like drinking Pop Rocks and Coke. After a while, that became Redundant. So one night she decided to go see her brother’s band, Sweet Children, open for a few random touring bands. While there, the lead singer, Christian, from one of the bands started chatting her up. He said she seemed to suffer from Restless Heart Syndrome and he could relate, constantly feeling like he was Pulling Teeth to get anyone in his life to take notice of him too. That changed, though, once he started expressing himself with his music. “Now,” he said, “When I Come Around to each different city, I’m Having a Blast! Why don’t you say ‘Good Riddance’ to this Boulevard of Broken Dreams and come on tour with us!” “I guess you’re going to be Stuck With Me for a while then,” she said with a smile.
That night, B.J. HARMstrong left, Going to Pasalacqua and all over the rest of the country with just her roller skates, $134, and a hope that she was finally on the Road to Acceptance. Hitchin’ A Ride with Christian and company for what seemed like 1,036 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, she encountered a lot of Blood, Sex, and Booze, but nothing weirder than one show where the crowd started throwingDookie at the guys when Christian claimed to be the Jesus of Suburbia. Feeling a strong case of crazy coming on, like if someone put 409 in Your Coffeemaker, B.J. HARMstrong leaped off the stage with one of the microphones, tackled the Chump who started it, and began strangling him with the cord. “Wow! She’s A Rebel!” Christian thought. Just then the crowd turned on her. Single-handedly, she started hip-checking her attackers left and right out of her way. Christian and crew jumped down to help her battle her way out, while she speed skated away from the venue and hid in the van, waiting for them to meet up with her. Once on the road again, Christian took B.J. HARMstrong aside and said, “I keep telling myself I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love, but you’re such an Extraordinary Girl that I can’t help it.” Without a Warning, she felt a swelling in her heart, and said, “Neither of us are Walking Alone anymore. You are The One I Want. Maybe this is what we’ve been searching for after all!” But it wasn’t meant to be.
Just then, the van hit a patch of Dry Ice and careened out of control until it slammed sideways into a semi-truck carrying toxic wastes. Everyone in the van was tossed out and killed instantly from the resulting impact and explosion. Everyone except B.J. HARMstrong. Her roller skates weighed her down so that when she was tossed out, she rolled up small and ended up wedged between the wreckage of the two vehicles like a Castaway tucked in, safely avoiding exposure. Moments after the explosion, she crawled out from under the truck, covered in a green plasmic goo. Strangely, she was unharmed and surprisingly warm. Looking around at the carnage everywhere, she had a 21st Century Breakdown. “Why?! Why not me too?!” she cried. Thinking she lost the only love she’d ever just begun to know, she skated off as hard and fast as she could in Mass Hysteria. Strangely, the harder and faster she skated, the more the goo glowed and tingles of pleasure shot all through her body, so that by the time she stopped, she no longer felt upset.
In fact, she felt like 1,000 Hours had passed and Christian was 2,000 Light Years Away. No One Knows just what happened while she was skating, but B.J. HARMstrong knew she was different now, much different than before. Something changed in her. She rolled into a local bar in Buffalo, NY and decided to sit down with some whiskey to settle her nerves and think of what to do next. While there, she started telling the bartender her story. The bartender’s eyes widened at the conclusion of her story, called her a “Bumble of a Beast”, and hurried her into the back of the bar where she was introduced to 18 other women. The bartender revealed that all of them, including herself, had been test subjects in a top secret government experiment for an undercover army, and had been injected with a substance very similar to what B.J. HARMstrong had been covered in. They all had different side effects, but all were made stronger and faster, and when roller skates were put on their feet, they became an unstoppable force. As a cover up, these women were to join the Queen City Roller Girls as the Lake Effect Furies so they could continue their training incognito. Upon reiteration of her story, B.J. HARMstrong was asked to join forces with them. “Welcome To Paradise, B.J.!” they cheered.
The Furies took her in as one of their own; their sister. Finally having people around her who genuinely care about and love her, she knew this was it. THIS is where she belonged. To this day, B.J. HARMstrong “The Bumble”, skates as a Lake Effect Furie, wiping out other roller derby teams while her body tingles with power. No one dares stand in her way. No longer the unwanted child, she keeps the memory of her journey with her on the rink and brings the heat of Christian’s Inferno, what made her what she is now, when she skates around the track. Try to take her out of the spotlight or mess with her family and she will take you out!
Figure roller skater since age 3
Competitive soccer player from age 7-18
Cheerleader from age 12-18
- Cheerleading Captain Sr. year of high school and 4-time All-Star
Competitive track and field for 3 years
- (1 mile, 2 mile, Steeple Chase, long jump, and triple jump)
Rugby for 1 semester at SUNY at Buffalo
B.J. HARMstrong Gallery
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