I've said often, "I want to be roasted some day." You know, the classic Dean Martin-style roasts where everyone is dressed up, poking fun at the host and each other, and demonstrating the power of being able to laugh at yourself. Comedy Central has recently aired a series of celebrity roasts, though today's humor is much more raunchy and explicitly lowest-common-denominator humor. They're still funny, but the older ones are smarter. You have to think about the jokes a bit more.
When I have expressed my desire for a roast, I pictured (read: meant) it happening around the age of 60. Ray Ray had a different idea to roast me at 40. She decorated the place with movie posters of hits released that year (eg: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Jaws, etc.), she created a playlist of nothing but hits from 1975, and provided food and drink emblematic of parties from that time. (eg: A giant cheese ball and Harvey Wallbangers.) She invited friends and family -- some of whom flew in for the event -- and they proceeded to skewer me mercilessly for every misstep, bad judgment, character flaw, faux pas, and embarrassing failure i have ever endured.
In short, it was one of the greatest nights of my life!
I won't divulge all the jokes or give a rundown of roasters. Video footage is locked away in the archives where it will stay. I will offer that Ray Ray did a bang-up job as Roastmaster General for the night, and she gave as good as she got.
But the winner of the night was my uncle, my dad's older brother. If our family's sense of humor is dry (which it is), he is the Sahara. He gave me a giant bottle of bourbon to help "smooth my rough edges" as I get older, followed by a giant Viagara to help "firm up my smooth edges" as I get older. He even gave a nod to the blog. Some of you will recall its previous incarnation, "Tip of the Sword." "Which was ironic," he said. "Because it had no point."
If you have never experienced something like this, the good news is, you're normal. Most folks cringe at the thought of people verbally abusing them for an hour or two with laughs at their expense. However, if you have the chance, try it. It isn't until those closest to us reveal how intimately they know and understand us - through slightly inappropriate and embarrassing humor -- that we realize the depth, richness, and complexity of relationship. (And if you're the guest of honor, you get a shot at all of your roasters at the end, so, that's fun.)